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Nursing continues to be one of the most rewarding careers available, and people from all backgrounds are drawn to its fulfilling nature. If you’re like many people, you might have always dreamed of becoming a nurse, but you decided to pursue another career instead. If you still have that dream, know it’s not too late.

Nursing has many benefits as a second career, but there are also some challenges. However, a good plan can help you succeed regardless of your age. Here are some considerations to remember when deciding on the next chapter of your life.

Why Nursing As A Second Career Is A Good Idea

If you’re considering working as a nurse later in life, remember that you would not be the first person to make this decision. You should also consider that you can jump to nursing from almost any other field. Some folks have chosen nursing as a second career after working in computer science, theater, and other unique professions. So, don’t let what you’re doing now hold you back. 

The career you worked in the past could help you succeed as a nurse. For instance, a career in theater could make you a good speaker, and communicating with others is essential as a nurse. If you’ve previously worked in business, you likely have excellent critical thinking skills, which can help you provide your patients with the proper services and treatments. Many careers require multitasking, and that’s also an essential skill as a nurse, especially when dealing with multiple patients.

In addition to the potential to succeed, there are other benefits to nursing as a second career. Once you have the qualifications, finding work can be very easy. Almost every city has countless doctor’s offices and medical establishments, and most need hard-working nurses. You’ll also likely face many different advancement opportunities during your career. New forms of healthcare are constantly emerging, and if you learn everything you can, you can grow and find new positions.

It’s also worth knowing that age is just a number, especially in nursing. The average age of nurses in the U.S. is 45, meaning that many nurses are older than that, and they do fantastic work, so this is the time for you to jump.

Monetary Considerations

There are several challenges and rewards associated with money that you’ll want to keep in mind as you pursue your nursing career. The great news is that you can make good money in this profession. As is the case with many medical carers, you’ll likely earn an income that’s above average. Currently, the average salary for a nurse in the United States is around $43 per hour.

When deciding if you want to pursue nursing, you’ll also want to consider if you can  afford to change careers. You’ll likely need to return to school before becoming certified and becoming a nurse. That may require that you cut back on your hours at your current job. Can you afford to make modifications? To help make a decision, do your research. Are you eligible for financial aid? Would your current employer offer tuition reimbursement? Remember that you may not need to quit your job to return to school. Ask your current management about the possibility of a flexible schedule so you can fit in-person nursing classes into your routine.

Another monetary concern is the potential hit to your retirement savings if you quit your current job or use any of your savings to pay for schooling. Luckily, there are ways to boost your retirement fund in these situations. 

One way is to increase your current contributions on your existing 401(k) until you leave your company. Or you can choose the highest contribution level when you get your nursing job. In addition to adding more, you also want to be wary of taking money out. Early withdrawal can result in some pretty hefty tax penalties, so if you do go that route, it’s essential to research to know what you’re in for. Another option is to open a separate high-yield savings account and earn money there over time.

Overcoming Challenges

You’ll want to prepare for some other challenges during this exciting transition, and a big concern may be continuing your education. Attending a four-year university may seem daunting, but that may not be necessary. Many schools offer an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program for people with a bachelor’s degree in a different field. Most people go through this program in about two years.

Nursing also has unique challenges that may differ from what you’re used to at your current job. Mentally preparing is smart, so you’ll be ready when you start your new career. One may involve the physical demands that often come with nursing, including standing for long periods and lifting and repositioning patients. To prepare while in school, start an exercise regime that includes cardio and lifting weights. That way, you’ll equip your body, and it won’t be such a struggle.

Communication is also key in nursing, as you work with patients, fellow nurses, and doctors. If your communication skills can use some help, start working on them now. Learn to ask for help when you need it. Also, learn how to speak to others and actively listen because that’s important in nursing. You can also make it a habit to participate in team meetings at work to get used to speaking up.

Conclusion

There is nothing wrong with becoming a nurse later in life. Many professional nurses have followed this path. Do your research and find an excellent educational program, and you can achieve your dream of nursing as a second career

The post Challenges and Rewards of Nursing as a Second Career first appeared on Daily Nurse.

 

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