Taking Nursing as a Second Career
If you already have a degree, there are a variety of accelerated nursing programs. You can also go for second or post-baccalaureate nursing program. There are worth the effort even if you find them intense because they help you to qualify as a nurse by studying for just two years. Most of these programs are part-time customized to meet the schedule of working students.
If you do not have a degree, many standard nursing programs assist you to get the proper training.
Find a suitable nursing school
Educational cost and time commitments are of particular importance considerations when you decide to change careers. When searching for the right nursing school, it is important to begin by researching whether you meet the credit requirements and other prerequisites.
When you look at most programs for training to become a registered nurse, you will find that most of them have similar requirements. It involves having an above average score in basic college courses such as physiology, anatomy, psychology and chemistry. It is also requirement to have a high score in math and English or the main language in the country if you intend to move to a foreign country. Some nursing programs may take a biology course or an extra mathematics course.
For those who make a career change later in their lives, it is essential to note that majority of nursing programs will only recognize coursework of the last ten years. If you already have a robust academic experience, it is still possible to fulfill most of the nursing school prerequisites without a need to study additional courses.
Prepare well for entrance exam
An integral part of a nursing school application is to pass the entrance exam. Most schools require applicants to pass Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS). Standard tests can keep your of practice if you do not hit high scores. You have to learn effective methods of study again when preparing for entrance exam after a long period out of school. Study for about a month from online resources, the material at the local library and work through review books before you take the entrance exam.
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Explore various job options
When you complete your nursing program, look out for different career options as nursing is not all about working in a hospital. There are various alternative careers to pursue including travel, paralegal or forensic nursing through temporary contracts with different hospitals. Such contracts give you flexibility and benefit to gain experience in different hospitals. Other options include providing home care nursing, working at a school, wound clinic or long-term nursing care facilities.
The average age of licensed registered nurses is around 45-47 years. A good number is over 50. It is therefore not too late to pursue your interest in nursing if you are within this age group even if you do not have a degree that qualifies you to enroll in an accelerated program. Nonetheless, you must be ready for physical and emotionally demanding roles. It might require you to work long shifts, work on weekends and holidays.
There is no cause to worry that you may not find a right job. Nursing is a profession facing a shortage in many countries hence there many vacant positions to fill.
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