There are many reasons why you may only just now, or at least recently, be looking for a new career as a parent. Perhaps you or your partner lost their job, perhaps you were a stay-at-home parent, but now it’s the best option for everyone for you to get back into the working world. Regardless of whether you are restarting your career, kickstarting a new career, or looking for a career change that you find more engaging and exciting, a great option to consider is nursing.
Nursing does require a substantial amount of studying, yes, but as you can work and study at all levels of your career, it is actually one of the most accessible options. Add on to that the potential of telehealth and the decentralization of healthcare, meaning more investment is being put into rural areas, and there are new opportunities within nursing that you can take advantage of.
Nurses are one of the most respected and trusted positions, and you can work both within the NHS or privately, expanding your options even further.There are so many career options available to nurses and so many different reasons why you should consider a career in nursing. Not only is it a great career, but it can also actually help your family stay healthier while simultaneously working to provide better support.
Though every parent looking to make a career change should consider nursing, not everyone will be a good fit. Use this guide to help you understand whether nursing is right for you, as well as how to get started:
Nursing in 2021
Nursing in the UK is facing the same shortage issues as many countries around the world, with a Health Foundation Report determining that England will need more than its goal of 50,000 new nurses by 2024/2025 in order to help the NHS recover from the damages wrought by the pandemic.
What this means is that you are changing careers to be a nurse will play the biggest impact on society as a whole. Currently, around 80% of nurses state that they believe patient safety is compromised due to staff shortages.
Though these numbers are high, there is good news on the horizon. Increasingly new technology is being used to verify the credentials of professionals around the world, including nurses and doctors. Bringing in new medical staff, however, isn’t going to be enough. More UK residents need to train and become nurses to better support people throughout the country.
Many have been inspired to become nurses in recent years, either because of the care that they received or because of the care that a loved one received. If you are one of those who were inspired and are considering becoming a nurse, take the plunge. It is by far one of the best means to make a difference in the world and a difference in the lives around you.
Is Nursing Right for You?
Of course, it is important to know if nursing is right for you. There is still a large shortage, and though reducing that shortage is a top priority, it can still be several years before workloads ease. This is on top of the issue of high covid hospitalizations. There are still thousands hospitalized every day and just under a thousand placed into intensive care, though vaccinations have helped significantly.
One thing that is important to note is that studying to become a nurse does take a few years, so you won’t immediately be thrust into the situation as it is today.
That being said, you do want to know if nursing is a good fit, and a good place to start is making sure that you have the traits that make up some of the best nurses:
Compassion and Empathy
Parents make excellent nurses simply because the same compassion and empathy that makes for a great parent is transferable to other areas of care. Some people aren’t able to care for many people, so if you feel like you have reached the limit of your ability to care for others at your own family, then keep what you currently have. If you are a natural carer and have been supporting others and caring for their health for as long as you can remember, then you can easily transfer into nursing.
Nurses often suffer from what is known as compassion fatigue. It can be hard to care for others who are often at their worst. You will have patients who die, others who receive heart-breaking news, and families who have to suffer loss and deal with fear and worry. It’s a lot to ask for, which is why only those who are emotionally stable and who are able to put distance between the bad parts of the job are a perfect fit.If you have been described as an emotional wrong, or a strong support, then you are likely a good fit to be a nurse. Being emotionally stable does not mean you don’t feel or are unaffected, but that you can protect yourself and manage your emotions and still get the job done.
Strong Communication Skills
Strong communication skills are a must as a nurse, for the same reasons why they are important for doctors and all medical staff. You need to be able to explain scientific and medical conditions to patients in a way that is easy to understand, and clear. Nurses, in particular, are involved with aftercare and providing families with advice on how to continue the recovery process at home. Not being able to explain and walk through the steps can lead to disaster.
Critical Thinking and Attention to Detail
Nursing is not a job where you perform the same action over and over. It is not a job that does not require creative problem solving or a keen eye. If you are fascinated by science or medicine and have good attention to detail, then you likely have what it takes to put medical knowledge to practice.
Time Management and Delegation
Being able to manage your time and being able to delegate are two very important skills that all nurses need to succeed.
You need to be flexible. Nurse job roles are inherently flexible, and what you do will depend on what you are trained for, and what is needed. It can be hard to predict what will go on in your day, because everyone’s health is different, and while yesterday may be a slow day, today may be fast-paced and stressful, and being able to adapt is a key skill you will need to succeed in this job role.
Nurses don’t work alone! Being able to work alongside others means communicating well, pulling your weight, and delegating. The good news is that you likely already have this experience. Families are team units, and the same skills that help you raise your kids can be transferred to working within a nursing team.
Nurse Roles and Opportunities
Nursing all the way up until Registered Nurses is fairly straightforward, but after that, the sky is almost the limit. There are so many nurse roles and job opportunities both within and outside of healthcare institutions. In the UK, you can also work both publicly and privately.
You can work as a family nurse practitioner, a nurse educator, a midwife, a clinical nurse specialist, and even as an anaesthetist. There are so many specific specializations available as well, meaning you can work with families, with women, with children, the elderly, and more. You can even specialize in an area of medicine, like oncology or mental health, or you can train to become a nurse leader.
There are so many options when it comes to where you can take your nursing career, so if you are unsure of what you can do or what you would want to do as a nurse, explore these options in advance.
Why Parents Should Consider a Career in Nursing
There are so many great reasons why parents should consider a role in nursing, including:
- Help give back and make the UK a better place for all.
- Learn key health skills and gain essential knowledge you can use to help your family.
- Support your family with your thriving career.
- Change careers with a multitude of online degrees.
You will also be setting a great example for your children, especially if you show them that you, too, are studying and learning just as they are. You can spend time together working on your respective educations, for example, and bond while progressing through your homework or tasks.
Being a nurse means leading by example, and it also means helping and supporting your family. With such a great need for more nurses, you won’t just be helping your family, but every family in the UK. There are so many ways that you can customize your career and make it your own as well, so if you are looking to make a career change, consider nursing.
Why Parents Should Consider a Career in Nursing is a feature post