Change is not usually easy. Nurses who have made nursing their second (or third or fourth…) career deserve much recognition and respect. Imagine being an expert accountant, someone who people seek out to answer their financial questions and meet their needs, and then starting over from scratch in a new environment, with new people, learning new skills and knowledge. Imagine returning to the novice role after already having travelled that path of novice to expert. Remember those days of care plans and clinicals, searching for a job, and then starting work in an unfamiliar unit or facility. Now imagine doing it all over again. A bit overwhelming, isn’t it?
In the January/February issue of Nursing Made Incredible Easy, Sally Jo Borrello, MSN, RN, CTTS, takes a closer look at the second-career nurse. She reminds us that while individuals pursuing nursing as a second career are usually adult learners who are more serious and confident than their younger counterparts, they still face the same long hours of studying and class preparation. Many are also sacrificing personal and family time to obtain their degree.
The author goes on to share tips for experienced nurses to mentor second-career nurses. Building a mutually respectful and trusting relationship is key. Remember that this mentee is bringing his or her background and knowledge to the relationship also, so be open to learning quite a bit yourself. Use positive feedback to support and guide this student or new nurse.
Are you a second-career RN or currently pursuing nursing as a second career? Please chime in with your thoughts and experiences!