Pros and Cons of Nursing as a Second Career

Are you an older adult stuck in a dead end job wondering why you have not made a step towards your future? You are never too old to become a nurse. Nursing has increasingly become a high interest for older adults who are interested in making a career change. Do not delay your career advancement, now is the right time to go back to school.

Why Nursing?

Job security is a frightening topic these days. Nursing is a field of high demand. You do not have to fret about finding and holding onto your job when you are a nurse. People are always going to get sick, have babies, need school nurses, camp nurses, and more. Nursing is always changing so if you want to keep your mind sharp, nursing is for you.

The pay is not too bad for even the entry level nurse. Most nurses with RN license are making, depending on the location of the job and the type of healthcare facility, between $52,000 and $75,000. There are nurses who make much more by advancing their education to an MSN degree. Most nursing careers are less expensive than going further into a medical degree. Most nurses start their careers with minimal or no debt. There are a lot of nursing scholarships which are created to help students who are switching their career to nursing.  A lot of hospitals offer tuition assistance for their employees. Some hospitals will pay for your schooling if you sign on to work for them for a certain amount of time.

The flexibility in nursing is an area most professions can not match. As a nurse, you can usually work twelve hour shifts, rotating weekends, and have the days off to go to the doctor or be with your children. You can also work in many different areas besides a hospital. From schools to office buildings, day camps to senior centers, nurses are always needed. After some experience, you can take nursing on the road with you and travel! With travel nursing, you can make very good money, while seeing the country and working on a career you love!

Nursing is also a career that keeps you in shape. If you are a healthcare professional, wellness is a priority in your life. You strive to be the example for your patients. Being the wellness role model itself will help you eat healthy, and nurses are normally busy, so there is a good workout for you on shift as well.

You will never become bored in the nursing profession. A lot of nurses who work night shift stay busy constantly through out the night with patients or tasks around the hospital. Nurses have to maintain their license so continuous education is constant and keeps the nurse with downtime always active.

Is It Difficult to Obtain a Nursing Degree?

Nursing schools now offer many second degree nursing programs, an accelerated program, and programs for advanced degrees for students with previous degrees. The most common degree programs for students with another degree in different field are:

Schools that offer the above degree programs understand that the older adults starting their new career voyage very well. There are many options like evening or weekend programs or online schooling in some cases.

Before You Start

Before enroll for school you need to sit down and be honest with yourself. School is not easy, especially when you make your decision to nursing a second career choice.

Ask yourself:

  • Would I be a good nurse?
  • Why do I want to be a nurse?
  • What demands do I have at home that would keep me from studying and doing my best?
  • Am I too old to start school?

If you decide that nursing is indeed your calling in life, make sure you have a private area at home for your studies. Whether you go to school online or in a classroom setting, a private area is a must. If this is impossible, school may be difficult as well. This area needs to be free of noise and any distractions, like children and television. Many nursing students procrastinate time and then will fall behind.

You can not just dive into nursing school for something extra to do. This is something that will take a lot of your precious time away. You will not sleep as well as you did prior to school. You will also not have time to make yourself meals or for some of the most common household chores.

Lastly, and most importantly, before you jump into school, have a network of support people. You need to have supportive family and friends. Nursing students have emotional breakdowns a lot because the demands and stress that comes with the education. You need someone to help you get back on track when such time comes.

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Janine Kelbach

Janine Kelbach is a Registered Nurse. She has been an RN for 7 years and has been in OB a total of 11 years. High Risk Labor and Delivery is her certification (RNC), but she works as an assistant manager in a Labor, Delivery, Recovery, and Postpartum (LDRP) unit. A small amount of her responsibilities are to train new nurses, triage and telephone triage patients, deliver patients, scrub in the operating room, and assist in the special care nursery.

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