30 Apr How to Change Your Career and Become a Nurse
It is not unusual to hit a slump in our careers and realize that we may have taken the wrong career path. This could be because our initial drive and ambitions were focused on the wrong thing (e.g., aiming for a job purely because of its high salary, for example), and has now caused you to dislike and regret heading to work each morning. While salary is important as you need to be able to look after yourself and pay for a house but also have money left over to treat yourself, you also need to work in a job and industry that you enjoy. Working in a job that brings you little to no joy can cause you to feel depressed. This can be dangerous, as it can lead to mental and physical health problems that could impact your quality of life. At the end of the day, everyone deserves to work a job that they love and brings them happiness.
Changing your career, however, can be a daunting prospect for many. This can be especially true if you are wanting to make a massive leap from one industry to another, or into an industry like healthcare which requires a lot of education, degrees, and training. Remember, though, that if the role of becoming a nurse seems like the right job for you, the heartache of making the transition will be worth it in the end.
Are you looking to change your career and become a nurse but are unsure of the best steps on how to do so? If so, read on for guidance on how you can make the switch as seamless as possible!
Why Become a Nurse?
The role of ‘nurse’ is highly respected. This is because the role sees a person caring for those who are ill, fighting a disease, or in need of medical attention. Usually, nurses will work unusual hours, which can be long and tiring, purely so that their patients are cared for and looked after, making the role of nurse exceptionally selfless.
The reasons for becoming a nurse will be purely personal, but there are a whole host of benefits that could be the reasons fueling your decision to make the career swap into healthcare. For instance, as a nurse, you will be looking after the general public. This is rewarding and ideal for those who wish to care for others. However, other benefits include:
- The nursing role being incredibly in-demand due to the lack of nurses and primary caregivers being available right now.
- Plenty of career progression if you decide to specialize and become an expert in a specific field of interest you may have.
- The ability to work in numerous locations
- The personal satisfaction that your work is making a difference to a person’s life
Of course, much like any job, you need to ensure that you are wanting to become a nurse for all the right reasons and that you can handle how demanding this role is and the amount of time that will be spent caring for patients.
What Does a Nurse Do?
The role of a nurse greatly depends on your place of work, but also if you are specialising and becoming an expert in a certain field. However, the role of a general registered nurse (RN) typically involves:
- Proving care to your patients
- Working with a doctor and offering your services when needed
- Maintaining patient records and ensuring that they are accurate and up to date
- Creating and administering patient care plans
- Checking and making records of a patient’s vital signs
- Supervising nursing staff (once you are more senior)
- Managing and keeping track of stock and inventory
- Reporting any issues to a higher-up or your line manager
- Monitoring reoccurring patients and keeping an eye on their health and wellbeing
- Continuing to educate yourself so that you remain knowledgeable in your field
Is this the Right Job for You?
Before you decide to make the change and quit your current job, you need to ensure that this is, in fact, the right job for you. Create a pros and cons list; see whether you can financially support yourself while you are studying; look up studying opportunities; speak to those who work in healthcare, and discuss your job change with your friends and family members. Here are six common signs that a career change may be right for you.
Understand the Nursing Requirements in Your Country
You need to understand that nursing requirements differ between countries. Therefore, it is time to research how you can best make the change. For example, do you need to obtain a nursing degree, head to medical school, or could you land a nursing apprenticeship?
Apply to Medical School
If you are applying to medical school in Canada, then applications typically open around July time. Getting into a medical school can be incredibly difficult, but if you have a degree in science or another related field as well as other interpersonal skills such as communication, then you have a higher chance of being accepted. However, before you can be accepted, you will also need to pass a Canadian medical school admissions test, typically called the MCAT. A high score on your MCAT will be greatly beneficial.
Look at Specialisms
Once you have become a registered nurse, you can then decide whether you wish to specialise so that you become an expert in a certain field. This can be great for your career progression but also your job satisfaction, as it will allow you to perform the job roles that interest you the most. Plus, there are numerous online university courses that can help you balance studying with your current nursing role and responsibilities. For example, the BSN to FNP programs provided by Carson-Newman University allows you to study an online curriculum that will provide you with the information and skills needed to become a trained FNP. Once you have completed their online course, you can then head to a clinical placement that allows you to put everything you have learned into practice.
Completing an online degree can be beneficial as it allows you to continue working while also studying. This can be ideal for those who still need to be financially stable while improving their skills.
Changing your career will never be easy, but in the long run, it can make you a much happier and satisfied individual. If you wish to become a nurse, it is never too late to make the transition. There are numerous resources out there that can help you land the nursing role of your dreams!
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