It’s easy to only think about your future when you decide to switch careers. Once you realize how unsatisfied you are in your current job, you daydream about working in a setting where you’re appreciated, you love the people you see every day and you know everything you do is important.
But once you’ve decided you want to go to school to become a registered nurse and started researching accelerated nursing programs, but before nursing school starts, you must also consider the other people in your life who will be affected by the change. Here are three conversations you should have before you go to nursing school.
Nursing school requires dedication. You need time to study, you have to attend classes (whether online or in person) and you have to go to clinicals and labs to practice your nursing skills. You’ll need plenty of support from your spouse or significant other during this time.
Before you spring this news on your spouse, make sure he or she understands why you want to go back to school. Are you unsatisfied in your career? Do you feel unappreciated? Are you looking for a career that offers employees a bright future? Your significant other will most likely already know how you are feeling about your current position.
When you explain you are going back to school for nursing, make sure he or she understands the reasons behind choosing nursing. What inspired you to look at this field? What are the benefits for you and for both of you as a couple? Was is the job outlook? Annual salary? There are a lot of good reasons why nursing is a smart career choice.
Don’t let the age of your children deter you from going back to school. With the online ABSN program at Marian University, you can take your online classes while you are at home. Whether you have toddlers or teenagers, you can fit your education into your daily schedule. But it’s important that your children understand the changes they should expect during the in-person portion of the programs and when you graduate.
When you explain to your children that you are returning to school, make sure they understand why. Younger children don’t need too many details, but they will need to know that you will be taking some more personal time to study. Older children and teenagers will be easier to explain to. Be frank with them: you aren’t happy where you are working and want to work as a nurse. Explain that this will give you a more flexible schedule once you start working where you can be home three or four days of the week instead of just on weekends. While you are taking classes, be sure to set aside designated times so you can study. Ask your spouse to take the kids to see a movie or have their grandma, grandpa, uncles or aunts babysit. Keeping the kids on a set schedule will also help them with the transition.
This one could be the most nerve-wracking conversation you have. However, it is also a vital one. Before you let your boss know that you are leaving, make sure you have discussed your education timeline with your admissions advisor and have been accepted into the nursing program. You don’t want to tell your boss you are leaving in a month when you won’t be starting classes for six months.
Once your class start date has been decided, have a private conversation with your employer, either in his or her office or in a meeting room. If you already have a friendly relationship with him or her, let them know about your thought process while you are researching schools and the nursing field. However, if you don’t want to risk a toxic work environment, wait to tell your boss until you know exactly when you will be starting classes.
Because accelerated programs require absolute dedication, few students work full time as well as take classes and go to labs and clinicals. However, if you are unable to attend classes without bringing in some extra income, ask your boss if you can move to a part-time schedule or become freelance. Although this will require more organization on your part, your boss won’t feel left in the lurch and you can bring in some money.
Let your boss know when you will leave. Give plenty of time to transition projects you are currently working on to coworkers. You may also be asked to find and train a replacement. Make sure your boss knows that you are completely willing to do so. Even if you plan on leaving the current field you work in, you don’t want to burn bridges.
If you are ready to start a new life, ask about how you can enroll in Marian University’s accredited ABSN program in Indianapolis or accredited nursing program in Nashville, where you can earn a degree in as few as 16 months.