Why Nursing is a Great Second Career Choice

Nursing

People change as they get older and what seemed like the career of your dreams in your 20s may no longer suit you at all in your 40s. However, at this stage, you probably have another 20 or so years of working in front of you until retirement, and now might be the perfect time for you to have a change of career.

If you have experience working in the industry, there will be a lot of career options open for you and you might find it difficult to decide where your future lies. Here are some reasons why nursing makes a great second career choice.

Transferrable Skills

Although nursing is likely to be different from any job you have done before, you are likely to have a lot of transferrable skills. Maturity is a great skill for a nurse to have and the job is open to you whatever your age. The ability to stay calm in a crisis and show empathy are skills that often only come with experience, but these are fantastic characteristics for a nurse to have.

In your current job, you have probably learned to be organized and communicate well. You may need to prioritize your workload and have learned to keep calm in a crisis. These are all transferrable skills that will come in handy for a career in nursing. They are also skills that are difficult to learn unless you have had the experience of being in a work environment.

Vocation

Vocation

A lot of people go into their first career for the money and then find that it doesn’t fulfill them after a few years. The salary might be good, especially once you have started to climb the corporate ladder, but if you don’t feel like you are making a difference in people’s lives, it can be difficult to experience real job satisfaction.

Many people choose their second career because they want the opportunity to give something back to society and feel valued for the work they do. This makes nursing a fantastic second career choice as you will be able to see the difference you are making to patients for yourself.

Study Options

Study Options

A lot of people are put off taking a risk and opting for a career change because they are worried about having to start at the bottom. While this is true in nursing, there is an option to study for qualifications while you are working in your first career and a BSN program for non-nurses means that you will know a lot of the theory before you work on the award, which will help you to feel as if you have at least had some experience. The rest can be learned on the job.

Training

As nursing is such a unique career, everyone who comes into the job will have to build up their practical experience. Although you may not know exactly what you are doing, as you gain experience you will start to feel like an old hand. A lot of the training for a nursing career is done on the job and it won’t be long before you are supporting less experienced nurses than yourself and showing them what to do.

Responsibility

Once you have reached a certain grade in your job, you may have been given some responsibility. If you enjoy this, it can be difficult to give it up and start a brand-new career. However, you will have responsibility from day one in nursing as you are the one in uniform.

Being easy to spot means that patients and their families will expect you to be able to help them and you will find that responsibility is given to you easily. Don’t worry if you don’t feel ready to take this on; remember, most people fake it until they make it.

Variety

Another popular reason why people change their career partway through their working lives is boredom. You may have chased the promotions in the past but if you have got to the stage where you don’t know what to do next or feel stuck at the level you are on, you can start to stagnate. This is especially true if the job didn’t fulfill you in the first place or you work in an industry where every day is the same.

A career in nursing will give you the sort of variety you may have dreamed about. No two days are the same; in fact, you will often find that no two minutes are the same as every patient you treat is likely to have different problems and needs.

Patients will come and go, and this will add to the variety of your working life too. When you go into the job, you may find yourself working on many different wards which will mix things up for you. It is not until you have been there for a while that you can choose to specialize, and some nurses decide not to do this anyway. Nursing is not a career you can get bored in easily.

Camaraderie

There is a lot of camaraderie in the nursing profession. You are making life or death decisions every day, and this makes you feel especially close to your colleagues who have made them with you. A busy shift will find nurses coming together and supporting each other and the camaraderie is wonderful. Not only that, but the nature of your job means that you will have to liaise with people from many different departments too.

This may be a change from what you are used to as there is not as much need to pull together in a desk job and you may never have spoken to someone from a different department if your job doesn’t necessitate it. You will find that nursing will give you a lot of new friends and shared experiences.

Career Prospects

The career prospects for a nurse are excellent. There are lots of opportunities to get promoted if you are prepared to work hard, take on additional qualifications, and prove yourself capable. Your promotion prospects don’t have to move in a linear direction either.

Many nurses decide to take a sidestep in their careers at some point and specialize in an area of nursing that they find especially interesting, such as working with children or cancer patients. Again, you may need to gain additional qualifications to do this, but you will find there are a lot of opportunities if you want them.

Job Security

Most jobs are not very secure these days and it may be that you have been made redundant in the past due to company restructures or business closures. This is never a very nice experience, and you may be looking for an industry that can offer you more job security than your current career. Nursing is the perfect option as there will always be a need for great nurses.

You are never likely to be out of a job for long and it is an industry where there are more job openings than there are qualified people to do them. If your current job leaves you feeling as if you are living on a knife-edge, then a move into nursing could be like a breath of fresh air. It will certainly make you feel less stressed about your job security.

Location

The chances are you have put down roots in the area you are living in, and you don’t want to relocate for a new career. Perhaps your kids are in school, you have family nearby or your partner is settled in their career. Whatever the reason, it can be difficult to relocate once you have settled down.

Luckily, if you choose a career in nursing, you won’t have to go anywhere. All towns have hospitals or doctors’ surgeries in them, and the chances are they are short-staffed. Once you are qualified, you will be able to find a job in your vicinity and you may even find you have a shorter commute than you do now.

Flexibility

The great thing about nursing is how flexible it is. If you work 9-5, you only have the weekends to get anything done which can leave you rushing around and not give you time for a proper break. However, nursing often involves working shifts which means that you often have a morning or afternoon to yourself as well as days off during the week.

You will often know weeks in advance what shift you are going to be on which makes planning ahead easy. Working a varied shift pattern is great if you are trying to juggle your career with other responsibilities because it makes doing so that much easier. It also means that you can visit the grocery store and run errands when there are fewer people around.

There are so many fantastic reasons to consider a second career in nursing you won’t choose it. However, you may end up wondering why you didn’t make the change years ago.

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