Work is essential for most of us if we want to keep a roof over our heads, pay our bills, buy food, and pay for the things that we enjoy. However, not all jobs are created equally, and if you are working in a job that you dread going to every morning, it’s not going to get any better. Most people today would agree that attitudes towards working are changing, with many employees of the opinion that we spend far too much time at work throughout the week to not enjoy what we do at least a little bit.
There are many reasons why people are not satisfied with their current career. Maybe you find the work boring, are working in a stressful environment, don’t feel like you’re being paid enough for the amount of work that you put in, or simply want a change of field and work environment. A career change might be something that you have been thinking about for a while, or perhaps it is something that you have only had on your mind since you began working in your current role.
Whether you only ended up working in your current career as a necessity, or it used to be something that you wanted to do but have since changed your mind about it, any reason for changing your career is a valid one. If you are a kind, caring, and empathetic person who loves to help others and would prefer to do a job where you can make a real difference to the world, changing your career to nursing might be the best option for you to consider. These are some of the main reasons why you might want to consider changing your career to nursing, and how to successfully become a registered nurse.
Currently, the US is experiencing a massive nursing shortage, which means that once you have a nursing degree and are qualified and licensed to work as a registered nurse, you are going to be in very high demand. Nursing is certainly one of the best career change options for those who want to get out of their current career and start in their new one as quickly as possible since you will often be able to find work almost immediately. Today, nurses can’t be hired fast enough by most employers and there’s a high chance that you will have several offers from almost the moment that you graduate and pass the NCLEX.
Career Progression Opportunities
Some people like to work in a career where they have several opportunities to do something that they love and focus on the parts that they enjoy the most by progressing in their career into a chosen specialty area. As a nurse, the career progression opportunities that you will have are countless, with the option to move into a wide range of specialist roles such as pediatric, oncology, or acute care nursing, along with the change to move upwards into advanced clinical roles such as nurse practitioners or nurse educators, which are in just as high demand as registered nurses right now.
Further Education Opportunities
Nurses who are interested in progressing in their careers have a wide range of options when it comes to furthering their education. Once you have a BSN, you will be able to enroll on a huge range of advanced degree programs including master’s and doctoral degree programs that you can use to seriously boost your career prospects, take on more responsibility, and increase your salary. Marymount University offers a wide range of online advanced degree programs for nurses that can be taken with distance learning, making it easier for you to continue working as a registered nurse while you further your education and reach your overall career goals.
Various Work Environments
With various nursing work environments on offer, there are several choices when it comes to where you want to work as a nurse. Compared to many career options where there are very few opportunities to move around and work in different places, nursing could have you working in hospitals, clinics, doctor’s offices, within the community, in schools, prisons, and more. The role of a nurse is often very dynamic with different options to work in a range of different settings and get lots of different work experiences throughout your career.
While most nurses get into this career path to help others and due to the opportunities, it’s also worth noting that the earning potential for nurses is only getting higher as the demand for these healthcare professionals rises. Today, nurses might not do this job to get rich, but they do earn a very competitive average salary at around $80k per year, according to the Bureau for Labor Statistics. Moving up into the role of an advanced practice nurse such as a family nurse practitioner could see your salary increase by an average of $30k per year compared to working as a registered nurse.
High Satisfaction and Reward
One of the main reasons why people decide to change their career to nursing is due to the high levels of personal satisfaction and reward that comes with knowing the work you do is making a difference to the people that you work with. While nursing can be one of the most demanding career paths to get into both physically and mentally, the good you can do and the difference you can make to your patients will definitely make it all worthwhile.
Changing Your Career to Nursing
To change your career to nursing, you will need to get a nursing degree. You can get an associate’s degree in nursing to become a registered nurse. However, bear in mind that the associate’s degree is likely to be phased out in the future with more employers now looking to employ nurses who have a BSN, due to studies that show the BSN is a better option for nurses who are more likely to contribute to improved patient care. Research has found that when more BSN-educated nurses are in the workforce, there is a reduced rate of patient readmissions, reduced fatalities, and reduced hospital infections.
How to Get a BSN While Working
For many career changers, one of the biggest concerns is getting a degree qualification while they are working full-time in their current career. The good news for those who want to change their career to nursing is that there are now options available that make it easier than ever to do this. You can now study online for your BSN at a range of different nursing schools and colleges throughout the country. Studying online is an ideal choice when you are changing your career and are unable to leave your current career to focus on your education since you can find completely flexible programs that allow you to study in your own time. While you may need to make sure that you can get time off to sit exams and show up for clinical experience to prepare you to become a nurse, for the most part, you will be able to attend classes and lectures online during times of the day that are most convenient for you.
BSN Options for Career Changers
If you want to change your career and already have a bachelor’s degree in a different subject, you may be glad to hear that there is an option that allows you to avoid going to school and studying for four years all over again. The accelerated BSN is a specialist degree program that is designed for applicants that have already gained a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing subject. Rather than taking the full two years to complete, the ABSN will typically last for around two years, which means that students who want to change their career to nursing can do so faster and with fewer expenses.
Benefits of Studying Online for Nursing Career Changers
Online study has become more and more popular around the world over the past few years, with more online colleges and online degree programs now available than ever before. If you want to change your career to nursing, there are various great reasons to consider studying for your degree online. These include:
- Learn While You Earn
For many career changers, one of the most concerning prospects of getting a new degree to start their new career is that they might need to take time off work while studying. If you have expenses to pay and a family to look after, quitting your job to study might not always be a feasible option. With an online degree, you can enjoy a more flexible approach to learning that allows you to fit your studies around your life and commitments rather than the other way around. You’ll be able to study outside of working hours and put together a schedule that works best for you rather than having it dictated by the college.
- Save Money
Another huge benefit of getting your nursing degree online is that it can be an ideal money-saving strategy. This is especially useful for those who may have already gained a bachelor’s degree in a different subject and do not want to increase their student loan significantly while changing their career. Although tuition rates are typically set at the same for both online and offline degree programs, studying online will typically mean that students can avoid all or most of the associated costs that come with studying, along with having the opportunity to continue working full-time while studying and reduce the overall expense.
- College Options
Many students decide to start their career change by getting a nursing degree online as it offers them the opportunity to study at a range of colleges that might not have been available to them otherwise. If you are not in a position to relocate when studying for your nursing degree, then you may have to pass up on opportunities to study at better nursing schools in favor of one that is closer to home, even if it does not have as good of a reputation. However, with online degree programs, this is no longer a problem since you can study from home. While there are some benefits to choosing a college that has a campus you can physically get to, such as access to facilities such as the library or the option to attend in-person classes when you can, online learning also gives you the option to study at colleges and nursing schools that are located hundreds of miles away if you prefer.
- Reduce Stress
Overall, attending nursing school online can be less stressful for career changers. By studying online, you will be able to set your own schedule and decide on a study routine that works for you rather than having to reschedule all of your life and commitments to fit around your classes. If you are working, juggling the two can be much less stressful when you have more control over when and where you want to study; in fact, online study can be so flexible that you may not even have to mention it to your employer if you are working at the same time.
Choosing an Online School
If you want to change your career to nursing, online study is the best way to get there and get all the benefits that are associated with a nursing career. When looking for the best online school to enroll in, there are several factors you will need to consider. You should firstly make sure that the school is accredited along with the program since nursing employers will only hire nurses with degrees from an accredited nursing school. Check their experience in delivering online learning and opt for a school that’s been offering online degrees for some time, along with high levels of student support and other resources you will need to succeed.
If you’re tired of your career, nursing is a great new career option to consider, with online degrees offering a more accessible, flexible, and convenient option to achieve your goal.