If you haven’t researched the background to a nursing career yet, you might not be quite aware of the growing need for nurses all over the world. Every country has a shortage, and therefore nurses are needed globally. Nurses are a crucial part of the healthcare system, and it would be impossible for patients to get the care they need without nurses there to help them. It’s true that doctors and surgeons, and other healthcare professionals are also important, but it’s the nurses who care for the patients in all ways, including their emotional needs, and this is absolutely vital.
The fact that nurses are so important and needed everywhere means that if you are an older nurse who has left the profession and now wants to come back to it, you can. If you have been working in an entirely different area for many years and now want a change before you retire, the opportunities will be there for you. In fact, older nurses are sought after since they have many attributes that are extremely helpful. Read on to find out why more senior nurses are so important in healthcare, as it might help you make a very important decision about becoming a nurse (or returning to nursing) later in life.
More Free Time
When we are younger, we all have much less free time. This could be because we are focused on climbing the career ladder, we are much more social, we have a young family to care for, or just that it feels as though being busy is expected of us, so we push harder and harder all the time.
Older people don’t always feel like that. It is something of a generalization, but the fact is that when you are older – perhaps over 50 or so – you will have done most of what you want to do. You’ll be happy in your life, or you’ll be ready to make a change, but in either case, you’ll have the time to do what you want to do. Any children will be able to take care of themselves, for example, meaning that there is more time to dedicate to relearning, or learning for the first time, what it takes to be a nurse.
Knowledge is clearly an important part of nursing. The more knowledge someone has, the better – this is why there are degree courses dedicated to nursing, including the accelerated nursing program online that will be required in many cases. However, experience is also important, and when you are older, you have a lot of experience. You might not have experience in nursing (this can come later, once you start working), but you will have plenty of experience in life in general, which will all come in useful when you decide to become a nurse in later life.
This additional experience that a younger nurse won’t have simply because they have not lived for as long and done as many things as an older person is why hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare settings will be keen to look at older nurses. There are many incredibly useful soft skills that you will pick up in life, from good communication to negotiating to compassion and so much more – all of these make for an excellent nurse, so when you have this already and add it to the knowledge you can gain through training, you have everything you need, and you’ll be everything an employer needs too.
Different Working Options
So clearly, older nurses are very valuable, and it’s crucial that more and more people choose to switch to a nursing career later in life. Alternatively, people who were nurses before but who stopped to raise a family or commit to other projects, or for any other reason, can now return to nursing thanks to the excellent training options available.
No matter which side you are on, it’s useful to know that there are many different working options for nurses. You might think that if you go into nursing, you’ll have to work full-time, or you’ll have to work weekends, or you’ll have to do this, or the other that makes the job a little less interesting or even possible for you. However, the truth is that you can really have your say on the working options you want to follow. If you want to be a part-time nurse, that’s not a problem. If you want to work in a private clinic and not worry about shifts or weekends, that’s fine. If you want to work in a hospital full-time at night, that’s perfect. Whatever you want to do, there will be a position that allows you to do it.
Because you are older, you might not have as many responsibilities in terms of finances, so you can afford to work less and enjoy it more. Or maybe you’ve realized that a good work-life balance is crucial, which is why weekend working when you could be seeing your friends and family is not something you want to commit to. This is the beauty of choosing to nurse later in life; the choice is always yours.
Good for the Nurse
Finally, going into nursing at an older age is actually good for the nurse too. So far we have only talked about how good it is for employers and patients, but the nurse themselves will benefit greatly.
When you are working in a demanding job like nursing, your brain will stay active, and that’s hugely beneficial. The more active your brain can be, the less chance there is of developing conditions such as dementia and other cognitive impairment problems. As well as this, nursing is often a physical job, so you will be able to stay fit and healthy too.
Then there are the actual benefits, which include a pension, life and health insurance, vacation days, and the chance to move forward in your career in any way you want to. All of this makes nursing a very attractive option to someone who wants to make the most out of their lives and careers, no matter what age they might happen to be.