Nursing as a Second Career
Are you seeking a change in your career path? Are you a stay-at-home parent preparing to re-enter the workforce? Or perhaps you are an early retiree who is actively seeking a part time job helping others?
If a career in healthcare or nursing is perking your interest during this time, you have landed on a great resource! The healthcare and nursing field is incredibly diverse creating opportunity for just about any personality type or lifestyle.
Adults that decide to go back to school to earn a degree that will qualify them for a new career often find that they do much better than their first go-round. As an adult you are sincerely motivated to learn and master the information. Adults tend to have excellent attendance records and challenge themselves to be at the top of their class. By the time they graduate they either go back for more advanced degrees or enter the workplace invigorated with pride and wide-eyed about stepping into a new career.
Pursuing a career in nursing can be very rewarding as the job paths are endless. You might start out as a bedside nurse at graduation and work your way into an admistrative role that focuses on quality assurance for example. Listening to the stories of many experienced nurses can be quite facinating and helpful as you consider your desired path. Knowing all of the options can help you choose the education options you choose along the way.
The first step for everyone is to become a registered nurse. RN's are nurses that have completed an approved nursing school program and successfully passed their state licensing exam. Many RN's complete an Associates degree program then take the exam. Once you have that education and certification you are qualified to provide care to the sick and injured in acute care settings that include hospitals or long term care settings. Additional education such as a Bachelor or Masters is required for nursing jobs in private practice or specialized treatment centers.
Nursing coursework is very interactive and hands-on compared to standard college courses. Be prepared for a lot of long on-site sessions where you learn more by seeing and doing than you ever could through a lecture on the topic. This coursework prepares you for clinicals where the training wheels come off and you do the tasks under supervision of a nurse educator. This type of training makes for a smooth transition after graudation.
Opportunities for nurses are on the rise. In fact 315,000 healthcare jobs were added in the US just last year. With baby boomers retiring and a growing population there is a growing need for qualified and high quality nurses.
There is no discrimination on age or background in this field. As long as you are reliable, dedicated and have the energy to do the work you will be on an even playing field any other candidate. In fact, being an adult with career experience can sometimes prove to work in your favor as the job does require skills that you can only master with age such as time management, people skills and patience.
Take some time to review the many career paths listed below and see what might provide you with the most satisfaction. The compensation, ever evolving technology, ongoing training and career advancement opportunities in any nursing job is sure to provide fulfillment in your next phase of this journey we call life.
By Linda Bright
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