The world is in dire need of nurses right now, and this is nothing new. The US has been dealing with nurse shortages for the last few years, and recent events have only exacerbated some of the issues the system has been dealing with for a long time. Thankfully, many people are considering the option of a nursing career right now. Salaries are competitive and it’s a chance for them to do their part. It can also be a very fulfilling career, but it isn’t for everyone. There are also some challenges that people thinking of making the shift have to be prepared for. Let’s take a look at a few things you should know before transitioning to a nursing career.
Know the Traits and Aptitudes Needed
The first thing you have to do is make sure that you have what it takes to make it as a nurse. It takes a very special type of person to be a great nurse, and unless you possess the qualities needed, you will always struggle. One of the most important traits to have is the ability to separate life from work. People who are too sensitive will often have a lot of difficulties letting go and might be scarred by certain situations. It’s important to be empathetic and compassionate as a nurse, but you also need to have the mental fortitude needed to deal with grief and tragedy and move on for the sake of your next patients.
You also have to be able to work with others. Nurses need to work as a unit and when they don’t, things can get catastrophic fast. You also have to be respectful of authority, as you’ll have to follow strict orders and instructions and be ready to be accountable for your actions.
Nurses also need to be able to perform well under pressure. This will be very important if you’re working in a high-stress environment like the trauma unit. Your decisions could mean life or death for patients, and you have to be calm in the eye of the storm. You also have to have a good sense of organization at all times.
Nurses also need to be great communicators. You have to be able to ask for information and answer people’s questions. Often, these people will have no idea what you’re talking about, and you will need to be able to vulgarize certain concepts. You might also have to reassure people or deliver difficult news.
Last, but not least, you need to be in good mental and physical health. The job of a nurse can be physically demanding. Nurses routinely have to walk miles on their shifts which can extend way beyond 8 hours, so unless you have the physical strength and endurance, you will struggle in most level entry positions.
Take Inventory of Your Skills
Next, you have to look at what you have to bring to the table. Look at the skills you have now and how they could help. This could help give direction to your career. You could start by getting your bachelor’s degree and then specializing in a field that complements your expertise. There is great demand for administrators with a background in business, for instance. There is also a great need for IT professionals who understand the field. If you have these qualifications, you could become a valuable asset and access positions with high demand but few people with the credentials needed.
Look at Online Options
We would also suggest that you look at online options. These have many benefits, especially for professionals wanting to get into healthcare. For one, online classes allow you to get your qualifications while you keep your current job. This will also allow you to know if you have the skills and a genuine interest in the field.
Another benefit of online classes is the high number of accelerated courses that you can find. If you want to look at a list, we suggest you check out https://onlineabsnprograms.com/. These programs will allow you to get your degree much faster than usual and use your current credits to fast-track you through the program. Some of these programs will allow you to get your bachelor’s in as little as 16 months as long as you have the prerequisites.
Another reason why you should consider online classes is that getting into a traditional nursing school is not easy, and even qualified nurses with experience are getting turned down at the moment. This means that you might not be able to find one near you where you can get accepted. But, with online classes, you can start looking at options outside your town, city, or state.
You could also find a program that allows you to follow classes at your own pace. These are referred to as asynchronous classes, and they allow students to watch lectures at times that work best for them, as long as it’s done within a certain timeframe. These could be a great option for busy professionals trying to juggle multiple responsibilities.
Look at the Job Possibilities and Needs
While ERs around the country are always in need of nurses, we would also suggest that you broaden your horizons and look at other opportunities in nursing. Did you know that there was a great need for psychiatric nurses at the moment? There are plenty of areas like this with pressing needs but not enough applicants. What this means is that employers will go out of their way to make jobs as attractive as possible.
You might be able to get better benefits packages or better pay structures, or additional perks like having some of your tuition costs covered. These are all things that could make things easier for you. If you feel you could help in certain fields, don’t hesitate to look at what these positions require.
These are all things you will have to be aware of when deciding to embark on a nursing career. Most importantly, make sure that you know what the job entails and decide whether you’re cut out for it.