How You Can Start Shaping a Second Career as A Nurse
A second career can be an exciting period in your life, especially when that second career is in the field of nursing. Having the opportunity to fulfil your dreams and be part of a rewarding industry is not something that is associated with all careers and sectors. So, just how can you start building and shaping a second career as a nurse, and what do you need to focus your time and efforts on?
Table of Contents
- 1 Why Nursing and Healthcare?
- 2 Establish What You Want to Achieve as a Nurse
- 3 Focusing on The Right Program
- 4 Choosing the Right College For Your Studies
- 5 Overcoming Your Fears and Doubts
- 6 How Far Do You Want Your Career to Go?
- 7 What Key Qualities do Nursing Professionals Hold
- 8 Getting the Support From Your Loved Ones
- 9 Creating An Action Plan
Why Nursing and Healthcare?
To get started, you really need to think about why you want to work in nursing and healthcare. Do you want to make a difference in the lives of others? Do you want to fulfil a long-held ambition? Or do you want the kind of stability that is offered within the nursing and healthcare sector? When you can establish why you have chosen to nurse, you can then give yourself both direction and purpose. If you start a career without purpose, then you may find your ambition and drive falters further down the line.
Establish What You Want to Achieve as a Nurse
After establishing why the nursing sector is right for you, you need to start establishing just what you want to achieve as a nursing professional. You can easily be consumed in your new nursing role and this is why goal setting is so crucial. So, for example, do you want to improve the standards of care within your local community? Or would you like to help within an area that is important to you and perhaps even to your family? Having a clear vision of what you want to achieve as a nurse will give you extra purpose and extra motivation that you may just need to help you get through the first few months of nursing.
Focusing on The Right Program
To successfully qualify as a nurse and to practice, you need to hold a relevant degree and you also need to ensure that you meet state requirements. If you already hold a degree in another area or field, you may find that you can start looking at BSN accelerated programs which will save you time because you will be able to successfully train as a nurse in just a couple of years. When you are looking at degrees and programs, you need to be aware that not all programs are created equally. The structure of a program and the contents are crucial to your career, and you can find that they can inspire you and your future.
Choosing the Right College For Your Studies
The program that you choose is important, but so too is the provider. When you have a college that cares about you, and the nursing sector, you will find that you will expect and see better results. A college that is simply interested in numbers alone is not going to be beneficial to you. After all, you want to be sure that you can get guidance and support (even after you have finished your studies).
Overcoming Your Fears and Doubts
This is going to be your second career, and this may mean that you carry with you some doubts and concerns – this is only natural. Learning how to handle these and learning to control them is important. Your fears and doubts can consume you, and they can end up stopping you from achieving what you want to. To ensure that this does not happen to you, you need to start looking to other professionals for support and guidance. There will have been other professionals in the same position as you, and they will have valuable guidance and advice to offer you. You are not alone in this journey, and once you embrace togetherness, you will see that your previous worries disappear.
How Far Do You Want Your Career to Go?
Do you want to be a registered nurse, or would you like to achieve more? Yes, it seems early on to be discussing what you want to do within your career especially as you are starting out, but planning can be crucial to career success. So, do you see yourself in the next 10 years within nursing leadership? Or would you like to become a nurse mentor yourself – helping those new nurses transition and settle into nursing? What you want to do within your career will help you define goals and objectives.
What Key Qualities do Nursing Professionals Hold
To be the best nursing professional, you need to hold a certain set of qualities. These qualities can be instinctive, but they can also be developed too over a period of time. For example, all nurses must have empathy, this can be instinctive or it can be developed. Being empathetic to your colleagues, as well as your patients, will help you build bonds and connections that will strengthen your approach. As well as displaying and showing empathy, you will also find that critical thinking is a quality you must hold. Being able to think quickly and clearly, and sometimes while doing other jobs and tasks is important.
Getting the Support From Your Loved Ones
When you embark on a second career, it is nice to know that you have the support of family, friends and loved ones. With this support, you can conquer your first few weeks and months in a role, and you can focus on thriving and not simply surviving.
Creating An Action Plan
Plans can feel tedious, but to ensure that your second career in nursing is as successful as possible, you need to start formulating an action plan. An action plan will cover what you want to do (and what you need to do) and by when. Ideally, an action plan will cover your goals for the next 5-10 years. Anything shorter than this may not be as inclusive or in-depth as you require. Similarly, any longer than this may leave you struggling to focus on those short-term plans and goals.