Nursing, healthcare, and health keyworkers have been stealing headlines across the world for months now. Working diligently in difficult conditions, often against the odds, has led healthcare workers to win the affection and admiration of millions of bystanders. Indeed, these jobs in healthcare are often rated as the most challenging, at the very same time as being considered the most rewarding. As such, if a career in healthcare, and nursing, in particular, has recently caught your eye, keep reading this article to learn what you’ll need to do to change careers to become a full-time nurse.
It should go without saying that you cannot simply submit your resume to human resources departments at hospitals and expect to become a nurse, without the requisite qualifications. You’ll get these from a university or a college degree – though you may need some other qualifications before you can head to your nursing course.
All of this will be your first port of call. You need to look at your past qualifications, including those from high school, and look at whether these are good enough to have you admitted to becoming a nurse. If they’re not quite impressive enough to grant you access to nursing degrees, you’ll need to start your re-education by taking high school exams again. That way, you’ll earn the grades that high-quality, highly-qualified nurses need to qualify for their new profession.
Planning Your Change
Now that you have an idea of the educational hurdles you’re going to need to leap over to make your career in nursing move stick, it’s time to move onto planning how to make your change. If you’re already in a job, you may well find it difficult to support yourself on a full-time educational course. Stepping down from your position, at the same time as spending money on your education, can be a difficult and risky choice to make. It may take a loan to get you on your feet – or funding from your family.
Whatever is needed to get you from the position you’re in now, into a hospital as a trained nurse, you’re going to have to plan out your route meticulously. That means calculating the costs of your education, and perhaps choosing to stay on at your job while taking night classes, or studying after work to get the grades you need to study at university.
The next step in your journey is to head to university or college, where you’ll be able to pick up the skills you need to become a nurse. Many of the courses available are incredibly demanding – though the upside of these courses is that you’ll qualify as a nurse in extra-quick time. You should look into the possibility of taking part in accelerated BSN programs to get your career in nursing off the ground quickly – so that you can get back to earning as soon as possible after you quit your current job.
You may also choose to spread your learning over the course of a number of years, with part-time study taking place from your laptop at home. This will gradually qualify you to become a nurse – though you’ll need to set aside the time for the practical parts of the course, of which there are many. Nursing qualifications require time on the ward to polish up your skills – so you cannot participate in a course without spending some time on the job.
Having gone through the course of your choice – be that an accelerated, full-time degree or a part-time one spread over two or three years – your graduation is the moment at which you can enter your new life as a nurse. Remember that all of your training and skills acquisition up to this point have been for the piece of paper that shows that you’re qualified and competent to work in hospitals across the country – and, indeed, the world. This is the moment you’ve been working towards, and one to relish.
After graduation, you’re able to move into a job right away. Often, those who have studied in an institution will choose to move into a nursing role in their locality, where their friends and colleagues from their course will have also moved. This is an excellent first step for those looking to broaden their skillsets while remaining amongst people upon whom they can rely for support and smiles in a challenging new job. After you have a year of experience working on wards, the world is your oyster with a qualification in nursing.
As a junior nurse, you’ll be learning how to apply the skills and knowledge you gleaned from your university course to the real world, getting your hands dirty on the ward, and experiencing another steep learning curve. You’ll learn all of those things that you couldn’t learn at college or university – like how to respond to patients in need and how you should treat terminally ill patients and their families. You can only truly improve on these skills through doing your job – so your first year or two as a junior nurse is all about learning and consolidating.
Meanwhile, it’s also worth highlighting the fact that the most ambitious nurses, and those who are natural leaders, should look to start climbing through the ranks at this stage in their careers. It’s at this moment that you will need to look at those senior nurses on your wards and learn from their experience. Learn how they choose to cut corners, or how they make time for themselves and their colleagues to relax after strenuous hours on the ward. By learning from senior nurses, you’ll position yourself well to earn a promotion yourself in the near future.
Making a career change when you’re mid-way through life can be a daunting proposition. But, if you’re not enjoying your current job, and you’ve always wanted to become a nurse, you may be surprised to find that it’s easier to make this move than you’d first thought. So, use the tips outlined above to decisively change your career in nursing towards a fulfilling vocation in the healthcare industry.
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