Is Nursing the Right Second Career for You?
Second careers are daunting, and yet they can be the best decision you ever made for yourself. Unlike other second career options, nursing is almost a guarantee. So long as you are qualified and hold a license, there are more open positions than nurses. Not only can you find work as a nurse easily, but you can even work freelance as a travel nurse and fill your docket with relative consistency.
While most nurses areregistered nurses, you should always look into APRNs and the roles available to MSN-holding nurses to see if the sector is right for you. Looking beyond the first step is crucial, and it can help you stay focused while you reach goal after goal.
Nursing, of course, is not for everyone. However, if it is right for you, there is no career like it.
Is Nursing the Right Second Career Choice for You?
Nursing is for those who are fascinated by health and are passionate about care. The biggest difference between nurses and doctors is not their level of education or skillset, but that nurses focus on the patientside of care and doctors on the medicalside of care. If you are a carer at heart and want to make a difference in the lives of others and even society as a whole, then nursing is right for you.
By exploring the full range of nursing roles and positions out there, you will start to see just how varied and robust the sector truly is. Everyone can push through a few years in a role that isn’t the perfect fit while they train for their dream job. Find that dream job you want within nursing, and keep it in your mind’s eye while you continue to advance through your career.
Top Tips for Starting a Second Career in Nursing
Starting a new career is daunting regardless of what field you want to get involved in. The good news is that while you will need to earn a nursing degree and take a state exam, these barriers also make it extremely straightforward. You don’t need to network to find someone who will give you a chance in a new career, you don’t need to start right at the bottom, and you don’t need to flounder wondering what your next step should be.
With nursing, you earn the degree, you finish your clinical hours, and you pass the NCLEX. Once you do that, you can start applying for RN roles in your state or within the eNLC if you earn a multi-state license. There are more open nursing positions than there are nurses, which makes getting your first job a breeze.
Getting into nursing is straightforward, and there are many tips to make the process even easier.
If You Can, Always Choose the Accelerated Route
There are three main ways to get started as an RN. The first is with the associate’s degree. As the associate’s degree is being phased out and it does restrict you from progressing in your career, however, you are going to want to choose a BSN.
If you already have a degree, chances are you can fast-track your career change with a second-degree nursing program. An accelerated BSN can be completed in just 15 months. All you need is to have an undergraduate degree in any subject and to also have completed eight prerequisite courses. If you have a STEM-related bachelor’s, you will almost certainly have all the prerequisites already, making it faster, easier, and more efficient to kickstart your nursing career with an ABSN.
Plan Out Your Career
Nursing prospects change from state to state. As nursing is a licensed role, where you can work is often limited. What this means is that you may need to move in advance to get the job prospects that you want. For example, registered nurses, on average, make the most in California. California, however, is not part of the eNLC. If you want to work in the state where you are currently located, understanding the job prospects can help you negotiate better in the future and can help you choose a realistic career path for yourself. Some states offer nurse practitioner autonomy; others do not. If your ultimate dream is to open a clinic of your own, you will be limited based on which states allow full autonomous practice.
Never assume. The rules are constantly in flux, and nurses are getting more privileges as time goes on to offset the physician shortage and service new healthcare sectors like telehealth work with what is currently available,so plan your career accordingly.