As the New Year kicks off, many of us find ourselves engaging in personal reflection or re-evaluating the paths we’re on. Job and career questions in particular often bubble up to the surface: Am I happy in my current field? Am I moving toward my long-term goals? Is it time to look for something more/different/new from my professional life?
If you’ve been contemplating a new career in nursing but aren’t quite sure if it’s time, here are 5 signs that you’re leaning in that direction:
Your current role feels more like a job than a career.
Take a close look at how you feel about what you do every day. Do you enjoy it? All jobs include some mundane responsibilities, but if you’re in the right role, those should be exceptions rather than the rule. Can you see yourself with the same organization, or at least in the same type of role, five or ten years from now? A career path should be just that: a path. It should lead somewhere. It should offer you opportunities to take off in different directions. If you feel like you’re stuck in a job with unclear prospects, this might be the perfect time to consider nursing—especially since few other fields offer as many diverse employment opportunities.
Your work provides little emotional fulfillment.
Earning a paycheck is one thing, but what really keeps people passionate about their jobs is the feeling of being needed and appreciated. If that’s important to you, ask yourself, “What did I do today that made a difference?” and see if you like the answer. Most nurses enter the profession because they have a strong desire to change others’ lives for the better. If a sense of emotional satisfaction is missing from your work, or if you feel like you’re just going through the motions, that’s another sign that you’re ready for a bigger change.
You already have an idea what kind of nursing program would meet your needs.
Have you already started thinking about what you want from a nursing degree program? If you’re an adult learner who already has a bachelor’s degree and is used to earning a steady income, a traditional four-year nursing school may not be in the cards. But there are many non-traditional options to choose from that could give you a jump start on your nursing career and minimize your time away from the workforce. Utica College’s accelerated nursing program in central New York, for instance, prepares you to pass the NCLEX and earn your RN license in just 16 months. If you find yourself researching different types of nursing programs, you’re ready to take the next step and talk to an admissions advisor about nursing school.
A particular nursing specialty has sparked your interest.
Nursing is one of those career fields that can take you in completely different directions depending on the specialty you choose. Certainly, many nurses still work in traditional hospital settings or ERs, but these days, just as many work in home care settings, rehabilitation facilities, long-term care facilities and other non-hospital settings. If you’re already giving some thought to the kind of patients you’d like to work with and where you’d like to work, you’ve taken an important first mental step in your nursing journey.
Your family, friends and co-workers are telling you it’s time!
Change can be hard, and sometimes you need outside encouragement to take the plunge. As a nursing student—especially if you choose an accelerated nursing program—you’ll rely heavily on the support of those closest to you to help you juggle multiple demands. So if they think you can do it, and they’re supportive and excited about your decision, that’s already half the battle! We can all come up with reasons not to pursue our dreams, but often, the voices telling you to go for it are the ones with your best interests at heart. Click here to read about five common fears that shouldn’t keep you from going back to nursing school.
Starting a new career is always daunting. But when that career is nursing, you know you’re making a wise investment—not only in your own future, but in the futures of all the patients you’ll help along the way. Why wait? Contact us today by requesting more information online.