A lot of the skills and traits you develop as a parent often translate wonderfully to a career in nursing. Nursing can be perfect for you if you were a stay-at-home parent and are looking for a great career opportunity after your kids have left the nest. If you need to get a new job to help support your family, nursing can be the best choice to get started.
There are various levels of nursing, each with its own education requirements. So you can get started working in a hospital in a nursing role, for example, with just a few weeks’ worth of training under your belt.
You won’t be working as an RN with that level of experience, of course, but you can start to bring an income while you continue to pursue further education to raise up through nursing ranks.
Top-level nurses often make six-figure salaries. As you raise in the ranks, you also expand your options. Nurses work almost everywhere people are, because their job is health. This means they can work in entertainment, in research, privately, publicly, locally, and even internationally.
There are so many reasons to become a nurse, and many excellent reasons why parents are a great fit:
Why Nursing is the Perfect Career for Parents
Nursing is an excellent career option for parents, especially if you are a single parent or if you spent time as a stay-at-home parent and don’t have a current career path. Nursing can even be a great choice if you are interested in a career change.
Caring for others is at the core of what parents do and what nurses do. If that compassion and care extends beyond just your own kids, then you likely have what it takes to make it as a nurse.
1. You Share Many of the Same Traits
Parents and nurses share many of the same traits. You need to be compassionate and caring. You need to be good at communicating. You need to be able to work through struggles. Taking care of a young child requires many of the same skills as caring for someone who is sick or injured, though your approach will be different and the tasks involved differ.
The good news is that your nursing education will cover everything that you need. So long as you have the right temperament and want to help others, you are likely a good fit.
Tip: There are many roles, both working with patients and without, that you can do as a nurse. This means that, as you work your way up the career ladder, you can work in an environment that is best for you.
2. You Have Become Good Under Pressure
Something that parents and nurses both need is to be good under pressure. You need to be able to hold back your panic in order to keep your kids calm and to get them the help that they need, when they need it. The same applies to nurses.
Parents have to keep parenting even when they are tired, even when they are sick, and even when times are hard. This doesn’t mean you don’t have support, or cannot be cared for, but the fact remains you will always be a parent through thick and thin.
Though you won’t be working as a nurse with the same perpetuity that you would be a parent, there is a similar expectation. When you are on the clock, you need to be there. You need to be able to work through your own rough days and tired days, though you absolutely should not work while you are sick, as this can negatively impact all of your patients.
3. You Aren’t Squeamish About the Gross Parts
Nurses see it all, and over time they become very desensitized to anything a body can throw at them. Parents are the same way, though those early days of infant-care do eventually end. The point is, both parents and nurses alike need to not be squeamish. Bodies do things that don’t always smell like roses, and being able to care for your child or patient without making them feel embarrassed is a key skill.
4. You Can Work, Study, and Parent
Though it seems like a huge juggle, you can be a working parent who is also studying to progress their career. This juggle will, of course, be easier the older your kids are. Taking care of a young child who needs to be watched is a lot of pressure to then add a degree into the mix. Studying and working while your children are in high school, however, can be very doable. Not only that, but you can actually help set a great example for them.
Knowing that they can change their mind about their career, and that hard work will help them get there, is something that all teens need to be reminded about. It’s very difficult to know what you want to do when you are a teenager, especially when you don’t know all of your options.
By showing them that it can be done – that you can start a new career later in life – you can take a lot of the pressure off, allowing your teens to focus on building skills and confidence.
5. You Can Build a Career for Yourself to Help Support Your Family
Nurses can be paid very, very well. The only issue with this statement is that you will need to work until you can become an APRN. APRNs are the highest level of nurse, and often earn well over $90,000 per year, with some roles earning closer to $150,000.
APRNs also have the greatest opportunities. They can work almost anywhere. Earn an MSN-FNP from Carson-Newman, for example, and you could potentially even open your own family health clinic (which is an option in 23 states currently).
6. You Can be a Better Parent
We’ve already discussed how you can and will be a better role model for your children, particularly if they are older. Another tip to remember is that, as a nurse, you will have the skills to better care for their health. They can go to you with their questions, with their concerns, and you, in turn, can teach them a variety of things relating to their health that can help them, take better care of themselves and others.
From first-aid to understanding symptoms, and especially when to go to a doctor for a professional diagnosis. Health is important for all, and if you can better care for your children’s health, and teach them how to take care of themselves in turn, then you will be setting your kids up for success.
7. Nursing Sets You Up for Excellent Career Options
There is a life after kids, even if you never stop being a parent. Your kids move out, they start their own lives. It happens to everyone, even though no one needs to share the same timeline.
When they do leave the nest, however, many parents feel unmoored. They need something new to fill the space that raising their children once took up. Nursing is a great way to do this, particularly as it opens up so many interesting, unique career opportunities:
The most obvious destination to work is in a hospital. Chances are this is where you have been working for the past while, as you were moving your way up the career ladder. Stay, and you can work as one of the most senior nurses, and even potentially work your way up to the Director of Nursing.
Clinics are an excellent place to work as a nurse, particularly since you are able to work more consistent hours. The real interest, however, is in opening up your own. Only certain kinds of nurses can, however, so be sure that your specialization qualifies you before you enroll.
You can work in research. This can either be in a strict research role, or it can be a supportive role. For example, you can be the nurse that cares for and takes readings for patients in a clinical trial.
You can work as a school nurse, and if you earn your Ed.D, you can even teach a future generation of nurses. Being on the faculty of a nursing school offers an excellent work/life balance, great for your post-kid career.
People need nurses to advocate for their health and their needs, which is why nurses can and absolutely should work in policy. This can be as a political leader, or it can be in advocacy. There are many, many opportunities to help others on a grand scale by working in policy.
Work as a nurse at a concert, on a movie set, on a TV show, at a racing event, and so much more. Any time there is a large group of people, particularly if stunts or danger is involved, you can work there as a nurse.
Travel as a nurse both nationally and internationally, and you can see the world and do great work as a nurse!
· And more
There are so many excellent places to work as a nurse, and the options are nearly limitless, making it an excellent career for everyone, and especially for parents who need a reset in their lives after their kids move away from home.