Advice for anyone considering switching careers to nursing

Sometimes when we are young, we don’t really know what we want to do with our lives. We train for jobs because we don’t know what else to do or because we are forced into careers that our parents find suitable.

As we age, though, we may find that those jobs don’t satisfy, and some decide that making a difference is what they really want to do with their lives. In many cases, this means that many older students turn to nursing as a second career.

However, you don’t want to make the same mistake twice. In that line, it is important to know what you are getting in to. Follow this advice to make sure you know all you can about nursing before making the plunge into a new career.

Research, Research, Research

The internet is full of information about nursing, and you should definitely look into the various aspects of the profession before making any decision. Don’t just read articles that are put out by schools, either.

You should go to places where nurses are interacting with each other, like message boards, Facebook, or Twitter. It helps to know what real nurses are saying about their real experiences on the job.

You also need to know the general educational requirements and what will be expected of you as a student and as a nurse. In other words, research as many aspects of nursing as you can before you sign up for that first class.

Shadow a nurse

One of the most important and eye opening things you can do is to shadow a nurse. Call the education department at your nearest hospital and explain that you are thinking about becoming a nurse.

You should be able to shadow a nurse for a shift and find out exactly what they do. This will give you firsthand knowledge of what it is like to be a nurse and the ebb and flow of a nursing shift.

When you follow a nurse as they go about their job, you get to see if it is really something you want to do. This one action could save you a great deal of trouble, because you may see that it is too much for you . . . or you may see that it is the caring profession you are looking for.

For the love of nursing

Nursing is a hard job, and any nurse who is not lying will tell you that. You have to decide through your research, through your shadowing, and through soul searching if you can love nursing.

Really, at some time in your career, that will be the only thing that will get you through when the going gets tough. Don’t go into nursing unless you feel as if you love the profession and taking care of patients.

Nurses burnout, and the way to hold this off is to have a strong sense of love for what you do. Search your motives and be sure you have this love, because it may help you along the way when everything seems dark.

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