The 7 Challenges Nurses Face When Changing Careers

Undoubtedly, nurses play a crucial role in delivering the utmost care to patients. The need to stay alert and always show a positive attitude towards patients makes this profession a demanding job. With a high tolerance to serving in extended shifts, nurses are prone to develop many health issues in traditional medical settings. Many nurses prefer to transition to other careers where they can be involved in less physically and mentally demanding work. But to change a career is not as easy as it seems. You have to take care of many factors. 

Here are the seven challenges nurses face when they decide to change their careers. 

The Need for Advanced Nursing Degree

Like any other medical profession, nursing requires relevant qualifications to deliver in various healthcare settings. Nurses who wish to switch their careers to non-traditional roles like researchers, and educators, must obtain a Ph.D. degree in nursing. Similarly, a terminal degree such as a DNP must work in more advanced and specialized career positions. Nurses can work as family nurse practitioners, neonatal nurses, psychiatric mental health nurses, etc. In addition, you can also avail high-paying career opportunities while continuing your education. In such cases, online education programs such as wpunj nursing programs can prove helpful for registered nurses who want to change careers. 

Demand of Licensure 

After becoming a registered nurse, you must hold valid licensure if you want to switch your career to a more diverse range of options. For instance, the registered health information technician certification or tumor registrar certification can help you land a job as a health information technician more easily. Similarly, speech-language therapists and nutritionists also require licensure to operate. The requirements in each state vary for licensure. The struggle to renew your license according to your practice area is also a common nursing challenge. You must act vigilantly to obtain the required certification and licensure if you are interested in changing your career shortly. It will help you save time and energy and make a smooth transition.  

Maintenance of Physical Health 

The physical health of nurses is always at risk when dealing with patients and serving extended shifts. When you stand for so long and lift and move heavy objects, the chances of back pain, muscle cramps, and injuries are higher. According to statistics, registered nurses cite workplace injuries as one of the hazards of their careers. Back injuries, being the leading cause of career change, rank highest among nurses serving in traditional hospital settings. Nurses must be in good shape when they switch to other careers like physical therapy. Otherwise, the demand for the job does not fit well with their weak and ill-managed bodies. 

Embracing the Shift in Technology

Technology is making breakthroughs in the medical sciences that result in a more diverse and patient-centric approach to treatment. You may feel left out if you don’t participate in relevant workshops and training. Nurses who stay connected with updates and know how to learn the digital tools for emerging careers are better positioned to switch jobs. Embracing the technological shift and adapting to the changing work environment can be challenging. But to excel in your career, you must get along with technology and impose new skills in your work area. Keeping up with the latest trends entails you to get yourself registered with nursing associations and registered bodies that organize workshops and seminars. 

Coping with a Stressful Environment

The job nature of nursing is associated with mental stress and psychological draining. Many nurses struggle to balance work and family with long shifts and overtime duties. In addition, burn-out and exhaustion while dealing with patients burden the mentally stressed nurses. The research indicated that 82% of nurses experience workplace stress. The common challenge nurses face is coping with a stressful environment. Suppose you want to transition to mentally demanding careers like forensic and psychiatric mental health nursing. In that case, you must be able to handle stress. Careers like these require you to deal with patients suffering from abuse, emotional trauma, and psychological issues. Your mental health and emotional stability can help you to stay focused and deliver high-quality services to mentally challenged patients.

The Art of Documentation 

Many nurses are experts in providing quality care to patients, but they lack information about data handling and filing procedures. The art of documentation plays a vital role in many nursing-related careers, such as legal nurse consultants, social healthcare workers, and health insurance agents. Suppose you fail to file documents with necessary protocols and keep the data relevant to applicable laws. In that case, you may look out for other career options. When you can’t comply with regulations, you have the potential to become a risk for customers and employers. Ensure to understand and follow the relevant laws and procedures before opting for these careers. If you’re not good at documentation, avoiding such professions is better. 

Lack of Interpersonal Skills 

Though education helps a person navigate the career map, interpersonal skills pave the way for success in the long run. Listening and communication skills can help you opt for diverse career opportunities, such as a telehealth nurse. The various responsibilities of this job require conducting patient triage, crisis intervention, assessments, and counseling remotely. If you’re a critical thinker with a strong grip on verbal communication, you can make your way in remote jobs. With the understanding of patient care protocols, you can also transition to a travel nurse when necessary. In this role, you must be good at handling long-distance traveling and adjusting to different environments. Your interpersonal skills help you understand different environments’ dynamics and work accordingly. 

Final Thoughts 

Nursing is an overall daunting job that comes with many responsibilities. However, you can explore different career options that align with your interest. In this way, you don’t only stay out of the rat race but also attain work satisfaction. First, you need to know what works best for you and how you can alter that career in the coming future. The key to success lies in leveraging your skills in navigating the medical landscape and moving forward. 

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