Deciding to change your career and enter a whole new field can be overwhelming, especially if you have already attended college or university and have a significant number of years spent within your current field. However, staying in a job because it is simply easier than changing can deplete your mental wellbeing and cause you to become depressed, lethargic, bored, but also unfulfilled. Taking the leap and changing your job to one that truly inspires you to be your best self and allows you to be happier and more content can be well worth it. You may need to return to education first to remove the added stress of finding and landing a new job within your desired field.
One amazingly rewarding career path you may wish to consider and transition over to is becoming a nurse. Working within the healthcare industry as a whole is incredibly important as you will be working with and caring for patients, ensuring they are being properly taken care of so that they can heal. However, if you also enjoy being organized, working part of a team and making a difference to people’s lives, then the role of being a nurse may be ideal for you.
Before you enroll in any nursing courses though, be sure to check whether nursing is the right career for you and your lifestyle. Read the following guide for some good advice and guidance on what a nurse does, how you can become one, and the proper qualifications you will need.
Is Nursing Right for You?
A career in nursing isn’t right for everyone. After all, it can be draining due to the long hours and the type of work carried out. You will have to encounter patients who may be troublesome and not want your help, or you could have to witness certain injuries and ailments that can leave you feeling shaken and overwhelmed. There is also the possibility of you having to deliver bad news to family members and friends.
However, being a nurse can also be incredibly rewarding, fulfilling, and allow you to unlock your potential. If you are someone who enjoys keeping busy, thinking on their feet, and who loves to care for others and ensure they are looked after and well, then this could be the career path for you. You will need to practice critical thinking as well as harness great communication skills, however.
As a nurse, you will typically work within a team of other qualified nurses who will have the same ideas and caring nature as you do. However, you may also work with doctors and surgeons if they require your assistance. On some days, you may need to see to patients who you are familiar with, but you may also have to introduce yourself to new patients who require immediate care. This depends on the environment you work in, as a local clinic that is situated within a suburban location may see you treating the same people time and time again.
What Does a Nurse Do?
As a nurse, you will have a variety of duties. They may change on a day-to-day basis, but typically, you will have the same responsibilities, such as attending to your patients and checking their vital signs.
Your usual roles will include:
- Assessing and making plans on how nurses can carry out their care requirements
- Providing help and support for pre- and post-operation care
- Charting a patient’s vital signs
- Monitoring a patient’s medication and ensuring that they are taking the right prescription and doses
- Supervising and teaching junior staff and student nurses
- Organizing your own but also potentially the workload of other nurses
- Being there to emotionally and physically support your patients
- Providing assistance to your colleagues when needed
- Taking patient samples as well as temperatures and blood pressures
It is also essential to know that you may be required to work long hours, sometimes even 24-hour shifts that see you sleeping at the hospital. You will be working as part of a team, so learning to communicate, rely on others and offer your own support is essential.
How to Gain the Proper Qualifications
To become a nurse, you will need to obtain the proper qualifications. If you do not have any medical qualifications already, then you will have to enroll in medical school and attain a nursing degree. Of course, this can take time and money, but it is a requirement due to the knowledge and skills needed to work within the healthcare and medical field.
However, you can always accelerate your education by looking for an online nursing degree for non nurses by institutions such as Baylor University. This degree is designed for students who are looking to study online and who are wanting to enroll in an intensive full-time program so that they can become qualified much more quickly. Through these degree types, you will gain clinical experience as well as grasp a great view of nursing as a whole. All you need to have done prior to this, is earn a bachelor’s degree in any non-nursing subject such as Microbiology, History, English Literature, etc.
Once you have earned your nursing degree, you can consider specializing in a specific area. You should also remember to check whether you need a specific license to practice within your state. You can look this up with your state’s Board of Nursing (BON).
Changing your career is an almighty decision. However, it can be worthwhile once you have earned the necessary qualifications and can start working within your newly chosen field. Remember to mull over the job change you wish to make to ensure that it is right for you. The last thing you want to do is transition into a career that doesn’t suit your wants, needs, or characteristics. Nursing, however, is an exceptional career path to take and is sure to make you feel fulfilled as you make a difference to the lives of your patients.