Once upon a time, nursing was strictly a profession for females, especially those who had gone under professional training. However, with the rapid evolution of nursing sciences, people who have a background in other subjects can also transition into nursing, as there is a lot of scope for them to be successful as nurses if they have a passion for it.
Individuals who have a background in business sciences and technology-related subjects are especially qualified to transition into the field of nursing. It does not matter if they have already completed their bachelor’s degree or if they have decided to change their career midway.
How do you change to a career in nursing?
When studying for a degree, student nurses can receive help transitioning from study to a career. Staff help their students find a supportive community when entering the medical world.
It might be scary to switch occupations, especially if one has been working for ten or more years. The need for nurses is great, and one may jumpstart one’s studies using prior experience and academic work if one decides to pursue nursing as a new profession. It is possible to pursue a career transition to nursing by putting effort, commitment, and these five steps into practice:
Perform thorough research
The decision to change careers to nursing is a significant one that should not be done hastily. It is important to do research before deciding to change professional options. To assess possibilities and determine whether changing employment is practical and beneficial, as well as consulting with family and friends. As ever, a little bit of research and planning goes a long way.
Choose the ideal nursing degree
There are various kinds of nursing degrees available, and the one an aspiring nurse chooses to pursue will depend on their educational background and professional aspirations. For instance, obtaining a diploma in practical nursing, which may lead to a profession as a licensed practical nurse (LPN), is one of the quickest routes to a nursing career.
Know what is required to enter into the desired program
After choosing the curriculum that best suits one’s interests, make sure to have knowledge of all the requirements for enrolling in the program before transitioning. To be considered for admission to certain nursing programs, for instance, one must possess a high school diploma or the equivalent and meet certain GPA requirements. The standards for licensure in a specific state should also be checked, as they vary from state to state.
Also Read : Tips to Become a Registered Nurse in 2023
Get ready for the standardized exam
When enrolling in a program, some institutions can ask applicants to take the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS). Be careful to practice ahead if it has been a long time since you last took a standardized test. Learn some new study techniques to be ready for the test.
Tips for succeeding in a career shift into nursing
Manage time properly
In order to succeed in a career shift to nursing, one must manage their time properly. Firstly, they will need to set clear long-term and short-term goals. It would also be very beneficial to make a schedule to manage studies to easily keep up with classmates. Prioritize learning and stay organized by making use of all available tools, such as applications, planners, and calendars to keep track of all upcoming assignments, quizzes, and other submissions.
Immersion into the community of nurses
When trying to change careers from one field to another, it is extremely important to interact with people from that specific community. So, in this case, it would be of benefit for aspiring nurses to immerse themselves in one or more communities of nurses where they can interact with their peers and build a strong network. Professionals from these communities can always provide guidance, offer essential tips and share professional insights that will assist success.
Furthermore, there is a list of professional nursing organizations such as the American Nurses Association (ANA) which represents over four million registered nurses, and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) which represents nurse practitioners in the US. These can advocate for the healthcare policies and practices that these professionals uphold and offer support for the respective healthcare staff during their careers. Rockhurst University is an institution that ensures students immerse themselves into the nursing community and offers a variety of accredited online programs depending on the focus students want to take up in their nursing careers.
It is also possible to seek mentors who will be guides throughout one’s degree and even afterward. Mentors have useful knowledge and insights that will be beneficial. Additionally, aspiring nurses can also volunteer in various healthcare facilities where they will be able to get exposure to the real and practical world of nursing. This is another way of learning and getting involved in the nursing community.
Look for improvements in patient care
Aspiring nurses need to look for improvements in patient care by staying inquisitive. They can do so by developing a mindset that is always on the lookout for areas that can be improved, either by introducing new practices or by improving previous ones. Another way to do so is by taking feedback from patients, peers, and fellow classmates. It is equally important for nurses to stay informed and up to date with the latest developments in the field of nursing.
Transitioning from one field to another can sometimes become a little challenging, and it is easy to go into a state of self-doubt. However, it is very important to keep in mind why this journey began. Doing so will help one maintain the passion they initially had for their selected field and make all the struggles worth it.
Another great way to stay motivated is by celebrating small wins. Aspiring nurses should appreciate the hard work invested, the decisions made, and their achievements, even if they are small. Lastly, remain adaptable and flexible, as nursing is a dynamic field, and it is never certain where and when the next challenge will pop up.