There comes a time in a professional’s life when the need to change career paths becomes apparent. For some professionals, it could be once or possibly never. However, others might have to cross this bridge numerous times throughout their lives. There are multiple reasons why people opt to switch professions, from better income potential to more fulfilling responsibilities and better career advancement opportunities, to mention a few.
Regardless of the reason, a career change is always a challenging proposition. Yet, when done in a strategic, well-researched, and thoughtful manner, it could be the best decision of an individual’s professional life.
Across the global workforce, nursing has developed into one of the most popular professions, offering an impressive job outlook and good career advancement opportunities. With a projected growth of about 6% by 2031, it’s no surprise that more professionals are looking to switch to the healthcare sector. In this article, we explore some of the things you need to know before changing career paths to nursing.
Importance of research before a career change
Making a career switch is a massive decision that should not be made in the heat of the moment. There is a lot to be thought about before switching careers to nursing, one significant one being the job outlook in your area.
Globally, nursing is a thriving profession, especially for professionals qualified to explore top positions in the industry. The job outlook in the US is much more impressive, with the US Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting about 203,200 job openings for registered nurses annually.
Aside from the job outlook, which is impressive in the case of nursing, another vital consideration is the educational pathway. Most institutions offer undergraduate programs that help train students on the foundational concepts of nursing practice. Advanced degrees have also become much more accessible through several online program specializations.
Most of these online programs also offer accelerated programs designed to help students earn an undergraduate or advanced nursing degree more quickly than the traditional on-campus program. It is a good idea for professionals with foundational nursing knowledge to enroll in an online nursing degree
program today. The ABSN program offered by Baylor University is open to students who have already completed a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing discipline and who are now looking for a rewarding career in nursing. Along with the projected job outlook, demand for nurses will be high in the next decade and beyond.
It is important to use your best judgment when considering a job switch by exploring every possible factor and researching several aspects of the new career.
What you need to know before switching to nursing
Before making any move to switch career paths, here are some considerations.
Determine the specialization and nursing degree that is best for you
There are several nursing specializations. Whichever you choose will determine the nursing degree and level of education required. For instance, professionals looking to become practical nurses can explore a diploma in practical nursing. On the other hand, advanced positions such as nurse practitioner would require further educational requirements.
Choosing a specialization ultimately means that you already recognize your interests and inherent competencies that make you perfect for the role. Some of the most popular fields and best healthcare graduate programs for better pay are relevant to nursing professionals in one way or another. Hence, it’s best to research and identify a specialty that suits your interests and skills.
Discover the timeframe required to complete the degree
Having chosen a degree and nursing specialty, you should determine the timescale required to complete the program. Typically, nursing degrees take between 12 months and three years, depending on the program.
Sometimes, it’s necessary to consider accelerated programs to obtain the degree quicker than the stipulated time frame. Alternatively, some institutions accept transfer credit and previous working experience, which helps you reach your goals faster.
Find out the program requirements
At this point, you must have discovered the program that best suits your aspirations. Once this has been done, you should explore all of the course admission requirements to ensure you can fulfill these before enrollment.
Licensing rules of the state in which you want to practice
Licensing is crucial in nursing as it sets the minimum qualifications and assures the public that nurses have met predetermined industrial standards. While licensing requirements have similar foundational requirements, they differ slightly based on the issuing state.
In some states, candidates must earn at least a BSN degree before taking the certification examination. Regardless of the requirement, each offers distinct advantages. As such, you should recognize the specific licensing requirements enforced by the state you wish to practice in.
The essence of research before switching career paths is to understand how the industry operates, from training to practice. Some people get all the necessary information by conversing with practicing nurses and gaining relevant knowledge from their experiences.
However you choose to gain information, it’s essential to be armed with the relevant details of the career you want to enter. It helps prepare you and makes your transition as seamless as possible.