Second-Career Tips and Tricks for Future Star Nurses

Second-Career Tips and Tricks for Future Star Nurses



Maneuvering into a second career can be daunting, scary, but very, very rewarding. Second-career professionals are typically happier, more focussed, and certainly have a better grasp on what they want to do and how they want to go about doing it.

Getting it right when you are still a teenager is lucky. Finding your way is often about making the best decisions for yourself that you have available, but if you find that you have backed yourself into a corner you don’t want to be in, then the best way forward is to relocate entirely.

Some career changes require a meandering approach and a lot of effort. For those who were recently inspired, are carers, or who had always wanted to go into healthcare but thought it too daunting when they were young, nursing is a perfect choice. Thanks to the qualification requirements and the nursing shortage, not only is it easy to transition into a new career as a nurse, but you are also almost guaranteed to get a job soon after you graduate and pass the exam.

It can be a big step to become a nurse, but with these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to get started with confidence:

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Your Options Into Nursing

There are multiple different levels of nursing, but the role that will really allow you to help others the way that you want to help is that of the Registered Nurse. RNs make up the bulk of healthcare and are also the group that is experiencing the largest demographic around the country. This shortage will be felt even more keenly in the coming decade when over one million current RNs retire or move on towards an APRN role (and also out of healthcare).

While technically you can start as a Certified Nursing Assistant, this is not necessary. If you are already transitioning into healthcare as a career, you can find and complete the necessary education you need to become an RN while continuing to work at your current job. Alternatively, if you want to become a certified RN faster, you could take on that BSN full-time.

If you already have a bachelor’s degree, then chances are you won’t need to take on the full BSN as well. The prerequisite courses cover both humanities and science subjects, meaning you can and should use your existing degree to fast-track through the BSN.

You will need to look for a top non nursing degree to BSN online in order to fast-track your efforts. If you don’t have all the prerequisite courses, just get in touch with the admissions advisor and learn how you can complete those prerequisite courses or add them to your degree.

If you don’t have an undergraduate degree at all, then you will need to find a full BSN that will cover everything that you need. You can even opt for an option that includes an integrated MSN, though do be aware that the MSN in question won’t prepare you to become an APRN. To become an APRN you will need a specific type of MSN and also to have so many hours of experience working as an RN first.


How to Find the Right Fit For You

Becoming an RN is a great first step, but once you have that certification, you have the rest of your career to consider. Knowing how to learn where your place as a nurse should be is one of the best ways to get the most out of your career, and with these tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a future star nurse, regardless of where you work.


Right State

If you love where you live right now and could never imagine moving, ever, then don’t worry. When you train and certify as a nurse, you will be licensed to work in that state and have plenty of options available to you.


If you have wanted to travel, or have wanted to change states, or simply get away from where you currently live, then you have a few things to consider. The first is whether you currently live in a state that is part of the enhanced nurse licensure compact (eNLC). If you are a resident in one of these states, then you will earn a multi-state license that you can easily use in any other participating eNLC state.

If you don’t and want to live in an eNLC state, or live within the eNLC and have always wanted to move to a state not currently within the eNLC, then you should consider relocating before you get started with your nursing education.

Right Workplace

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Nurses can do so much with their degree, and you aren’t forced to work in a strictly traditional healthcare working environment. Not everyone thrives working in a hospital or clinic, but the good news is that you can actually work anywhere (so long as you are licensed). You can work as a school nurse, you can work as a set nurse, and you can work as part of a healthcare team wherever healthcare teams are being hired.

If you really want the freedom to work in a massive variety of locations as a nurse, however, you will want to specialize.

Right Speciality


Specializing as a nurse means becoming an APRN. To become and work as an APRN, you will need at least an MSN, though, in this day and age, it can actually be very beneficial to also earn your doctorate in nursing practice. These degrees can open up your career and help you earn six-figure salaries, and can also help you work wherever you want. From healthcare settings to even your own business (as a practitioner or consultant), the doors are wide open and ready for you to make your own path forward. Investing further in your education in this way can be daunting, yes, but you owe it to yourself to develop your skillset and really find your way.

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