A new career or even a career change can be beneficial, no matter how old or young you feel. Being in a rewarding position and having an impact on the lives of others can leave you feeling amazing – even if it was a grueling 12-hour shift. Caring for others and having a direct impact on the care they receive may have been something you have been interested in doing for a while, or it may have been a triggered career change (as in something changing in your life and prompting this move). The reasons that lie behind a career change will be the reasons that push you and drive your career every day. If you do not know why you want to become a nurse, then you need to establish what is pushing you because you will need to draw on this to give you strength.
Why You Need to Step into the Healthcare Industry
The healthcare industry is an industry that is evolving and developing, and it is also an industry that requires new staff to keep it going. The healthcare industry offers stability, and it provides you with a chance to pursue a rewarding and long-lasting career. The stability and the potential for career growth can be rarely seen in other industries. As the healthcare industry progresses, you can expect to as well, especially if you take up all of the training and development on offer. Opportunities to study and opportunities to learn and enhance your skills are things that are always on offer in the healthcare industry. Being part of an industry that invests in you just as much as you invest in it can leave you feeling fulfilled in your new role. As the healthcare industry is predicted to grow year on year, it is also vital that you see what potential is on offer too. You can progress within a new nursing career quite quickly, especially if you are committed and dedicated. Having this window of opportunity and knowing that you can take your career to the next level will give you further reassurance and security.
What You Can Contribute to the Industry
Now that you know what you can get from the healthcare industry, you have to think about what you can give to the industry. For example, can you give a compassionate attitude? Or can you give motivation, dedication, and perseverance? When you know what you can give to the healthcare industry, you will then know what role you can play both now and moving forwards. Writing down what value you can add to the healthcare industry is beneficial because by doing this, you can remind yourself just how much you have to offer. This is especially helpful on those days when nothing seems to go (or work out) the way you want it to. Remembering what you can bring in terms of value and knowledge is also crucial for your career goals and targets. It is much easier to set targets and goals and then work towards them if you know what you are adding to the healthcare pot.
Why Become a Nurse?
There are, of course, lots of careers you can pursue in the healthcare industry, so why become a nurse? When answering this question, you will have your own reasons and motivations. However, you will also have other reasons that you can see and feel. For example, nurses are the backbone of the industry, they hold teams together, and they certainly hold wards and units together (especially in busy times). Nurses have a passion to change the care for others and the lives of others too, and if this sounds like you, then good because this is another reason to start a new career. Ultimately, you should become a nurse because you want to, because you want to make a difference, and because you want to see the impact you are having. If you do not want to help others, then you are entering the industry for the wrong reasons, and this will mean that you will never get a high level of job or career satisfaction.
What Does a Good Nurse Look Like?
Once you have the reasons and motivation as to why you should become a nurse, you then have to begin putting your thoughts and dreams into action. However, just before you do this, you have to think about what a good nurse looks like. Having an exemplary nurse to look up to or having model nurses to base your work and standards on is important. If you do not know what a good nurse looks like, then how can you expect to be one? Having a physical example to refer to and having standards to follow will ensure you can realize your full potential at every step of the way.
So, with this in mind, what skills and attributes do good nurses have? Here are four of the top ones:
- Compassion – A good nurse has to be compassionate about patients and about those they are treating. If a nurse is not compassionate, how can they share the experience with the patient, how can they learn, and how can they grow?
- Excellent Communication– As a successful nurse, you will be part of a team, so this means you will have to communicate clearly and openly all of the time. As well as being able to communicate effectively within your team, you also have to be able to communicate with patients and those in your care. Patients need reassurance, and if you cannot provide this through communication, then you may leave patients with additional doubts, stress, and worry.
- Problem-solving Skills – Nurses often have to think quickly, and they have to think on their toes. Solving problems on the go and having to find the best treatment or plan of care is what you will have to focus on. Being able to solve complex patient needs and problems is something you will be tackling head-on every day. When you are a nurse, you cannot turn away from problems, or else you may find that they quickly escalate.
- Self-awareness– Knowing what you are capable of, knowing who you are, and knowing what value you add are top qualities that all nurses should possess. When you are self-aware, you are aware of your strengths, but you are also aware of your weaknesses. You are not afraid to grow, and you are not afraid to focus on self-development and self-progression.
What Qualifications Do Nurses Need?
Once you know what qualities you need, you then have to focus on gaining the relevant qualifications necessary to get into nursing. As the nursing industry has high standards, it is only right that you have to have a degree in nursing. Along with a degree, you also have to have a license to practice. When it comes to gaining your degree, this is something that you can do online, and it is something you can achieve within just a few years (especially if you already hold a degree). As well as gaining a relevant degree, a lot of nurses also focus on gaining additional qualifications as their career takes off and progresses. For example, you may find that after a few years in the role, you decide to get your doctorate in nursing online, allowing you further career progression and development. Qualifications that nurses need in order to practice can vary, but as a minimum, you will need a relevant degree, and you will certainly need this alongside a state license.
Embarking on Studying and Training
Any career within the healthcare industry requires a level of commitment when it comes to studying and training, and of course, nursing is no different. Being prepared to focus your efforts and time on studying and training is necessary because these efforts will ensure that you are the best at nursing as you can be. Embracing constant studying and training is what you need to do. When you are training to become a nurse, you have to develop a love for learning and development. Doing this early on in your career will put you in good stead for your future.
Dedication and Commitment
When you train and study to become a nurse, you will soon see what is expected of you in a professional manner. Three key areas you can focus on that will help you meet those expectations are dedication, motivation, and persistence. There will be times and occasions when you have to be dedicated, and it is important that you demonstrate this at every opportunity possible, perhaps through your dedication to your self-development or through your dedication to patients in your care. As well as dedication, you have to up your level of commitment. Being committed to having an impact and being committed to nursing (even on the bad days) is crucial. If you are not committed to the role and everything that it entails, you may struggle to succeed as a nurse.
Finding Your First Role – Persistence Is Required
Finding that first role as a nurse can require a great deal of persistence. You may see lots of opportunities close to home when you are studying; however, these may not be around when you are licensed and ready to go. Finding that first role that is right for you and right for your circumstances will require a little bit of persistence on your part. Being persistent and being prepared to cast your net a little bit wider is essential. Looking for roles that fall outside of your ideal location may be necessary, especially when it comes to getting your foot through the door.
Succeeding in Nursing – Have You Got What It Takes?
Once you have found that first role, you then have to start looking at success and what it means to you. Succeeding in any nursing role might not be as easy as you first anticipated. It may require you to grow or develop more than you initially thought. You have to have the right approach and attitude;to succeed in nursing requires determination, direction, and focus. If you are not focused on what you can bring to the healthcare industry and to the lives of others, then how can you expect to succeed in any role? Your mindset plays a huge part in how successful you can be, so to ensure you have what it takes, focus on your mental wellbeing and health just as much as you are doing with other areas. Be committed to having what it takes to succeed, and be prepared to change, improve, and develop.
Finding a Mentor or Role Model
When you enter the healthcare industry as a nurse, you may find it difficult to find your position and find your feet. Having a mentor on your side could really help you achieve more. It could also ensure that you do not fall foul to any beginner’s mistakes. Having a mentor can help you build your awareness and your skillset, but it can help you build your confidence too. All nurses have to be confident in the care they are providing to others, and sometimes getting somebody else’s valuable experience can help you build yours. A mentor can be there in times when you need reassurance or when you need guidance or direction.
Planning Out a Future and a Career
Even though you may just be starting out in your career as a nurse, there is nothing wrong with looking ahead and planning your future. Setting goals and creating a future plan for your career and for your professional growth could be beneficial to you. When you have a career plan in place, you have a clear plan that you can follow and directly apply. If you do not have a future plan for your career, you may struggle to realize your ambitions, and this may mean you never get the opportunity to realize your true and full potential.