Saturday, August 28, 2010

Nursing as a second career?

This guest post is contributed by Maryanne Osberg.

It’s official – our country needs more people to join the nursing community. We already have a shortage of nursing staff, and with the rise in the aging population, there is an increasing need for more people in the primary care sector. So if you’re considering becoming a nurse, now is the best possible time. You’re assured of a job on graduation, you have options to climb up the career ladder and become a nurse practitioner (some nurse practitioners are the only doctors that people in rural and underserved areas know and trust – they’re allowed to treat patients and prescribe medication like primary care doctors would), and your pay packet is not too shabby.

However, before you go down the nursing route, you must be sure that you are suited to a career in this field. Most people know that it is demanding and that the hours are long, but they choose to become nurses because they love the nature of the work or because it is a stepping stone to something bigger. Nursing is a great career choice if you want to work in the field of medicine but do not want the responsibility that goes hand in hand with being a doctor, cannot afford the exorbitant fees that med schools charge, and don’t have the time (the many years) to go through med school before you’re a full-fledged doctor or specialist.

Today, a nurse is not just a nurse – you can choose to specialize in any niche of medicine; some nurses opt to work with children, others with geriatrics, and yet others with cancer patients. Some go on to become nurse practitioners and increase their responsibilities while others choose to switch to a non-clinical career and go into administration or teaching. Yet others specialize in fields like surgery, anesthetics, midwifery, and even forensics. The point is, nursing is not a routine or regular job and each day brings something new.

If your record speaks for you and you’re willing to travel, nursing could become a glamorous and exciting position – you could seek employment as a travel nurse, you could find work overseas, you could choose to work with rescue teams and in war zones, or you could become personal nurses for people who are rich and famous. With the wide variety of roles that are available today, nursing does not have to be confined to a hospital and regular healthcare facilities – if you want to broaden your horizons, all you have to do is find the right direction in which to travel. 

This guest post is contributed by Maryanne Osberg, who writes on the topic of RN to MSN Online Programs. She can be reached at mary.anne579(AT)gmail(DOT)com.

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