Nursing is a rewarding career that allows you to make differences in the lives of people who may be experiencing difficulties, health issues, vulnerabilities, or pain. While many people enter nursing directly after graduating from school, others join this career later in life,after having worked in different industries or re-entering the workforce after raising a family or undertaking other care duties. Changing or starting a career later in life can be a daunting prospect. If this is something you are considering, however, you are not alone. Every year, many people choose nursing as a second career and there are many reasons why it might be a good option for you.
Good job security
As financial responsibilities escalate with rent,mortgages, bills, and family expenses, job security is increasingly important. This is especially true when family obligations tie you to a particular geographical area and prevent you from moving to follow a job opportunity. Nursing is a career with long term job security. Not only will society always need nurses, but the demand for nurses is increasing as a result of an-ageing population. With the competitive salaries in nursing, this career becomes an ideal choice for those with the financial responsibility of maintaining a home and family.
For many people, family and other social responsibilities are a priority, and they need a career that can fit with these responsibilities. Although it is a demanding career, nursing can be extremely flexible. There are many different nursing roles that allow you to choose an option that works with your lifestyle. For nurses using day care for young children, they will need a work pattern that allows them to pickup their kids at the end of the day.Others may find that a night-shift works better, as it allows them to be at home when their children return from school. It is also often possible to work longer shifts in return for additional days off, providing a better quality of life in terms of family time.
Career advancement opportunities at the right time
While raising a family or undertaking other care responsibilities, a career often becomes unimportant. Many people choose not to work at all while raising a young family, while others work part time in order to contribute to the family finances, while still having plenty of time to care for children. Similarly, those who do work full time often find that devoting more time to family is more important than professional development in their careers and often sacrifice promotion opportunities. Once their children become more independent, however, it can be a good time to focus on a change.
Nursing is a career with many promotion opportunities. After working as a registered nurse (RN) for a few years, it might be time to consider the direction you want to pursue in your career. There are many nursing specialties, such as oncology or surgery. Some choose to pursue further qualifications, allowing them to work as a family nurse practitioner and build their own patient practice. Others choose to become nurse leaders, enter the research field, or become nurse educators, training the next generation of nurses. As older nurses retire in every level of the profession, there are likely to be plenty of opportunities for promotion due to nursing shortages.
Use existing skills and experience
Nursing is a profession in which you develop the necessary skills while undertaking nurse training, further honing those skills in the first years of your career.Nursing also requires many soft skills and there is a good chance you are already proficient in many of these through your existing career and experiences. Even if you have not recently been employed, the organizational skills used in managing a home and family will serve you well as a nurse. Parenting and caring for elderly or disabled relatives are roles that help you develop empathy and compassion needed by all good nurses. Effective communication skills are also essential for nurses, and this is a skill you may have acquired in a previous profession, whether managerial or educational. Problem-solving skills, such as those used in technology jobs, are also highly valuable in nursing.
You may think that if you have been working in a lower-skilled role, such as hospitality or retail, there is nothing you can bring to a nursing career. The opposite is true, however. Hospitality and retail positions will have provided you with vast experience in dealing with the public,similar to nurses.Each time you have had to deal with an irate customer making a complaint has actually given you valuable skills in how to work with difficult patients, both firmly and tactfully.
If you have worked in a career for a considerable length of time, it can be hard to leave it behind, and you may feel reluctant about those skills being wasted. In nursing, there is no need to waste your existing skills, as you will continue to use and develop them every day.
Fast training options
For those with home and family responsibilities, the prospect of taking the time needed for training can be daunting. Tight family finances may mean that a long period of time out of the workplace will be impossible to manage. Moving into a skilled profession such as nursing may feel like an impossible dream because it may take years to graduate, right? Not necessarily. A nursing qualification can be achieved quicker than you might expect, and this is particularly true for those entering nursing as a second career.
If you already hold a bachelor’s degree in any subject—even one unrelated to nursing—you may be able to study for an Advanced Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) which will prepare you for your state licensure exam much quicker than you might think. Studying can take place at a physical nursing school,but online courses also provideeffective preparation, and you can study in the comfort of your home.With today’s busy lives, a placeof study without a lengthy and expensive commute is definitely an advantage.
When choosing a nursing course, make sure it is accredited and qualifies you for the state in which you want to work. For those hoping to become Indiana nurses, a good option is the nursing program at Holy Family University. Through online study, one campus residency,and clinical placements that the university helps you secure in a convenient location, their ABSN will prepare you for the NCLEX-RN exam in as little as 14 months. With options like this, you can work as a nurse and contribute to the family finances sooner than you might think.
Competitive salaries and benefits
While nurses are drawn into the profession because of a desire to help others, no one should work for free. You will find competitive salaries in nursing when you start your career that will rise with promotions. Additionally, there are other benefits that often come with nursing positions, such as welcome bonuses, health insurance, paid vacations, and good retirement plans. For those who need to maintain a home and family while also preparing for old age, nursing is an excellent career choice.
A variety of roles
One concern that many people have about entering nursing later in life is the physical nature of the job. A popular perception of a hospital nurse is that they spend hours on their feet and have to lift and move patients. This may be perfectly manageable for nurses in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, but as nurses age, the idea of a physically demanding career may seem daunting. This can discourage older people from entering the profession, as they may worry that their job prospects are not as long-term as the demand for nurses might suggest.
The busy hospital nurse who deals with the fast-paced environment of the emergency room is only one nursing role, however. There are many others which are just as vital but are far less physically demanding. These include running immunization programs, school nursing, and telehealth. Nursing is a dynamic career which does not require you to remain in a single role for the entirety of your career. Older nurses can move into less physically demanding roles as they age, allowing them to continue working until retirement and making a difference in the job they love.
Elements of nursing process
While nursing is an incredibly rewarding profession, it also comes with considerable responsibilities. Nursing processes do become second nature with experience, but for those considering a career in nursing, these processes may be intimidating. Before getting started, it is a good idea to find out as much as possible about nursing from friends, neighbors, and relatives who work in healthcare or simply by having a conversation with your own family nurse practitioner. Any course provider should also be happy to answer your questions about life as a nurse. The career is incredibly varied in which no two patients are the same, and every day is different with its own unique challenges.
One of the most useful tools a nurse can learn is the nursing process—a five-step system that nurses use to deliver the highest standards of patient care. The process used today tracesits roots back to 1955 when Lydia Hall established a three-step process.The version used today was developed in 1961 by Ida Jean Orlando-Pelletier. When patients are admitted for care, a nurse should follow the process steps to advise the best course of action.
The first step is to collect and analyze patient data. In addition to physiological data such as temperature and heartbeat, nurses also collect other information such as lifestyle, psychological, economic, spiritual, and sociocultural data. They will also collect information on the patient’s response to their symptoms.
A diagnosis is the nurse’s clinical judgement on the patient’s response to a health condition, injury,or symptoms. It will include any additional problems, such as loss of appetite, failure to sleep, or anxiety. This stage also looks at the potential for further complications.
Using the assessment and diagnosis, the nurse creates a plan with achievable, measurable goals for both the short and the medium term. The goals are written into the care plan, allowing for continuity of care throughout different nursing shifts and to informothermedical professionals who work with the patient.
In the implementation stage, the plan is put into action throughout the patient’stime in hospital and in preparation for discharge. All care given should be documented in the patient’s records to ensure that everyone working with the patient is up to date, as well as to monitor the patient’s progress.
Evaluation ensures that both the patient’s status and the effectiveness of the nursing care are continually monitored. If necessary, the care plan will be modified to consider any developments or changing needs.
Characteristics of the nursing process
Every step of the nursing process should have certain characteristics to ensure it is reaching the highest standards of care.
#1. The legal scope of practice
The legal scope of practice is the most essential characteristic that all nursing steps should share. Everything the nurse does must be within the nurse’s legal scope or practice.
From the start of their training and continuing throughout their entire career, nurses gain considerable knowledge and expertise. These skills should be used in all stages of the nursing process, as well as to resolve any problems. Education is a lifelong journey for nurses, in that they continually strive to further develop their critical thinking skills and ensure that their interventions are evidence-based.
There is a reason why planning is one of the five steps of the nursing process. A well-planned approach to care ensures that the care is organized and delivered efficiently and in the right order to achieve the best possible outcome for each patient.
All patients are different, and the same condition or injury may have varied impacts on each patient. It is essential that the care plan is centered on the individual needs of the patient. It should also consider the right of patient-to-patient autonomy.
The aim of all nursing care should be to work towards goals that deliver desired patient outcomes. These goals might be created by a nurse, physician, or other healthcare professional who is involved in the patient’s care.
#6. Prioritized care
A healthcare plan needs to consider all symptoms, health issues, and risk factors, but it should also reflect the order in which the different issues must bead dressed. Deciding the order of care is not set in stone, but the most urgent matters are usually dealt with first. The evaluation step for patient care is so important for this reason. Having achieved the desired outcome, the steps need to be continuously repeated to ensure issues continue to be dealt with in the most effective order.
#7. Cyclical and changing
After prioritized care, the care plan should be continually reviewed with the five steps repeated. Each patient assessment may result in a different diagnosis, which in turn will require a different plan. Through evaluating the effectiveness of the plan, changes to the plan should become clear. Important matters tobe considered are the patient’s needs, impact of circumstances, and nursing environment. The five steps of the nursing process should be repeated as often as necessary until the patient is discharged from care.
Becoming a nurse
With an increasing demand for nurses, there has never been a better time to consider becoming a nurse. Through training—either in person or through high quality online courses—nurses gain the expertise and skills needed to master the elements of the nursing process and deliver the highest standards of patient care. Nursing draws in people from all walks of life, and the experience and skills of those entering nursing as a second career later in life can help them become an even more effective nurse. With a variety of different roles, it should be possible to find a nursing position that fits in with your life, both now and in the future. For those who are ambitious, there are many directions your career can take you.
If being a nurse appeals to you, look at the training options on offer. If you already have a bachelor’s degree,you may be able to qualify via an accelerated program and be in your dream job much sooner than you expect.