There is a huge – and growing – the need for nurses all around the world. The entire medical profession relies on nurses of all kinds and at all levels, and the reason for this is simple; whereas doctors and surgeons might be able to fix a body, it is the nurses who are there for the patients on a much more meaningful level. They are the ones who take care of them in a human way, and this can help the healing process and make any injury or illness seem much less traumatic. Nurses are, in a word, vital.
The good news is that, even if you have been working in another profession for many years, or if you were a nurse but stopped to raise a family, join a family business, or try something else entirely, there is always room for you if you want to start nursing or start nursing again. In fact, older nurses are extremely valuable and can make a big difference in someone’s life, including their own. Read on to find out what the world needs older nurses – you might just realize that the world needs you too.
More Free Time
What does it mean when we say older nurses have more free time? It’s a generalization, but it does tend to be true in many cases. The fact is that older people, particularly those over the age of 50, do have more time than those who are in their 20s or 30s. This is because they are settled, they have accomplished much of what they set out to do, they no longer have childcare to think about, and they are much more comfortable with themselves. With this in mind, they know that they have the time to study to become a nurse (or retrain to update their skills if they were a nurse in the past), and they know that they can dedicate the time needed to do this with no disruptions to their new career path.
Having enough time to study when you want to be a nurse is something that some people find difficult, and yet it’s a crucial part of taking on this all-important career. There is a lot to learn, and distractions and disruptions during the study will not be helpful. It will be easier for you when you don’t have to think about anything other than what you’re doing because you’re older and you’ve already organized everything.
As we’ve said, knowledge is something that all nurses must-have, and there are many things to learn. However, experience is also important – the two skills go hand in hand to create the ideal nurse. It is clear that an older person will have a lot more experience than someone in their younger years, simply because they’ve lived for longer and done more things.
This is why employing an older nurse in a hospital or clinic, or another setting is a good idea. They can use their life experience as well as the knowledge they have learned through their studies to make their work extremely valuable and do an excellent job for the patients. If you are an older nurse or are hoping to become one, always keep this fact in mind; it will keep you focused on finding a new job once your studies are complete.
Different Working Options
It should be obvious by now that being an older nurse is something that many people will be grateful for because they are so beneficial to any medical setting, they might be working in. Yet, there are benefits to the nurse, which means this career choice is an appealing one for those who might otherwise be thinking about retirement or at least slowing down a little in their working lives.
Nursing is a good option if you aren’t looking for a full-in, full-time career because the work can be highly flexible. However, part-time working is certainly something that can be offered; many hospitals and other clinics and so on are happy to have good nurses, and therefore will accommodate their requests for flexible hours and part-time work. This means that the work-life balance can be achieved, and that’s ideal for many people, allowing them time to make a difference in their working lives and enjoy time with family and friends or to take up – or continue with – a hobby.
You certainly don’t have to have been a nurse in the past to become one later in your life – if it’s a calling you’ve always had but never been able to act on, or it’s something that has just started to become an idea, perhaps because you have seen how important nurses are lately, maybe even through personal experience and you’re now thinking about becoming an FNP, then there is no reason not to go ahead and make the difference in your life and the lives of very many other people.
In the past, if you wanted to be a nurse (at any age), you would have had to attend college. This would have meant going to a school for regular lectures at specific times and learning in that way, in a room full of other people. However, times have changed, and advances in technology mean that you can now learn online. This can be useful for those who might feel self-conscious as an older person in a room full of 20-year-olds, but there are other reasons it’s a good idea as well.
Online learning means that you can work from the comfort of your own home, making it much more convenient for everyone who wants to do it. It’s accessible to everyone. If you are still working in another job but want to study to be a nurse at the same time, that’s perfectly possible with online classes; you don’t have to take time off work and risk your job because you can study in the mornings or the evenings or even during lunch. That’s because online learning can be done at your own pace, ensuring that you don’t have to sacrifice anything to become a nurse in your older years. You can have and do it all.
Stay In The Job
Not everyone remains as a nurse for their whole lives. Sometimes, nurses might prefer to do something else after going through the training and maybe working for a short while. However, these people might realize that nursing was the right thing for them after all and want to return when they are older and understand that being happy is the most important thing in life.
Interestingly, a nurse who trains or retrains in their late 40s, 50s, or even 60s, usually doesn’t have this problem. In most cases, once they are qualified nurses, and they begin to work in whatever field of nursing interests them the most, that’s what they will do until they retire. There are many reasons why this might be, but one of the biggest is that they have already tried other things and done other jobs, and by the time they have become nurses at a later stage, they know that it’s what they truly do want.
Plus, knowing what mistakes can be made, older people tend to be much more careful when they are making big life decisions. So, they won’t choose to become a nurse on a whim; they will have thought long and hard about it.
This is beneficial to the medical world and its patients because losing nurses is a problem but having new nurses who will stay for many years is a major plus.
Good For The Nurse
Of course, we have so far only discussed the benefits of older nurses to the nursing profession, but what about the benefits of becoming a nurse later in life to the person going through the studying and taking on the career choice? Remarkably, there are benefits for the nurse too.
To begin with, you are keeping your brain in good condition by taking on interesting and varied work such as nursing as you get older. You’ll be faced with opportunities, challenges, and decisions every day – and no two days will ever be the same. This means that you can keep your brain active and healthy, reducing (although not eliminating, unfortunately) the risk of cognitive decline.
On top of this, once you have completed your training, you’ll know that there is a job for you. This is not something that everyone can say, especially in more competitive fields such as IT and finance. Yet when you have qualified as a nurse, you will easily be able to find a job. You might have to compromise a little – perhaps you’ll work in a different hospital to the one you intended, or you’ll be in a different department – to begin with, but you can rectify this over time.
Finally, nurses receive a number of excellent benefits, including:
- A pension or 401(k)
- Life insurance
- Vacation days
- Time to study to enhance your career