Statistics say that the average person changes their job between five and seven times in their lives. As we grow older, although the frequency of these changes slows, the importance of them grows. No longer do we have to live up to someone else’s expectations and fulfill someone else’s dreams. No longer do we have time to waste wondering whether we’re capable of doing what we always wanted to do.
Around 7.5 million people over the age of 25 go back to some form of schooling to gain the qualifications they need to change their careers entirely. One of the qualifications on offer is nursing, and it’s a popular one. But what is it about nursing that makes it such an excellent choice for those in their later years who want a change of career? There are many different reasons, and although each individual will have their personal ideas of what it means to them to become a nurse, read on to find out more about the most common ones.
Nursing requires a good amount of knowledge. It requires an education and the right qualifications – at the very least it requires an RN. But what it also needs is experience.
This is not just the nursing experience that will be gained over many years of helping patients and dealing with doctors. The very best nurses also have plenty of life experience, and if they are coming to the profession late, this is experience they will no doubt already have.
They will know exactly how a decision can make all the difference, and how to cope with disappointment, how to solve a challenge that others might not have an idea what to do about.
With this experience, and the ability and willingness to learn, older nurses have a definite advantage over those who are turning to the profession directly from high school, which accounts for the vast majority of trainee nurses.
Age isn’t going to matter to any medical facility that needs nurses. With a nursing shortage, anyone who is willing to work and who has the right qualifications stands just as much chance of getting a job as anyone else, with age being the lowest barrier to entry. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there will be 371,000 new nursing jobs available by 2028; this equates to a 12 percent growth forecast for the profession.