Published Jul 5, 2009
Do anyone agree with this theory that second career nurses are promoted faster and earlier in their nursing career because they have more understanding of the real world and not have been spoiled by nursing?
llg, PhD, RN
"not have been spoiled by nursing" ??? That's an odd thing to say.
As your your basic theory ... It really depends on the individual person and circumstances. Some 2nd career nurses adapt well to the nursing well and can use their previous work experience to help advance their careers. But other 2nd degree nurses struggle adapting to a new career and culture. Sometimes, their previous experience gets in the way.
"not have been spoiled by nursing" ??? That's an odd thing to say.As your your basic theory ... It really depends on the individual person and circumstances. Some 2nd career nurses adapt well to the nursing well and can use their previous work experience to help advance their careers. But other 2nd degree nurses struggle adapting to a new career and culture. Sometimes, their previous experience gets in the way.
I agree. I think that nurses who show competence and initiative at work and are (appropriately) assertive about wanting to advance in their careers get "promoted faster," regardless of the path they took to get to that point.
CrufflerJJ, BSN, RN, EMT-P
I'm a second career newbie nurse. After 22 years as an engineer, I got tired/dissatisfied with life in the real world, and decided to ditch it all for the carefree "unreal" life of a nurse. Yes, I'm kidding about that second part.
I'd ask you to consider two possible oopsies in your question. The first is that by working in nursing, a person becomes "spoiled", and secondly, that nursing is not the "real world."
Although I'm admittedly a newbie in terms of nursing, I have absolutely zero doubt that it's as "real world" as any other career path. Healthcare, as in automotive sub-supplier production, is challenged by decreasing profits, highly variable income, and demanding customers. That sounds pretty real world to me.
Yes, the challenges/opportunities in nursing are bound to be different than my previous engineering career. Note that I said "different" - not "less significant", or "easier."
I wonder also if second career nurses have less DESIRE to be promoted faster/earlier, or promoted at all. I had all the "glory" in my first career - promotions, bonuses, pretty decent annual raises, international travel,... I also had a deep desire to do something more meaningful with my life, other than making "goop" for automotive assembly plants.
I expect nursing to challenge me, while offering me tremendous opportunities for personal growth. Should I decide to pursue specialty certification or advanced practice licensure, that will be because it's something I want for me (out of a desire to learn), or to better enable me to care for my patients. Not out of any deep burning desire for a promotion. Promotions are overrated.
I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "not have been spoiled by nursing".
I went from HS to a 4-year college, wanting to be a marine biologist and swim with Shamu. After realizing that that dream might be far fetched and wanting to go back to my home town and leave the college I was at, I needed a scheme in order to sell my parents on the "coming home to school" idea. I looked up a local university and they happened to be advertising nursing school. Bingo! That would be my ticket to convince my parents. Little did I know they would hold me to it. I hated nursing school until my very last year when I found critical care and ED nursing.
So long story short, I graduate when I was 22 years old. I went from a new grad in an ED to a interventional cardiology/vascular lab, to being almost finished with my MSN in education and being a clinical educator. As a clinical educator in an emergency department I also am able to work on special projects inside the hospital and find I am often looked to first as a resource.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I have been promoted a couple times over and I'm 26 years old. I work very hard, continuing my education, and participate in many service activites.
I strongly believe promotion has nothing to do with first or second career, but that it has more to do with heart, passion, work ethic, interests, and institutions.
I don't know if being a second career nurse is fast tracking me or not. I have actively pursued development and additional responsibility because I want to advance. I worked psych before I became a nurse so I am able to use my previous experience to advance my career. I was stuck in a dead end job before I became a nurse so I am ecstatic at the opportunities I have to develop my career.
I think it is all a matter of ambition and talents along with being in the right place.
Thank you all for replying to my post. I guess I had some flaws in my theory. Thanks for all of your different perspectives.
I might suggest that most folks who are leaving another, established position to pursue a new career-whatever that may be- will often have a clearer, more focused view of what they are pursueing. It would not be far fatched then to hypothesize that second career nurses might in reality get promoted faster or "easier" and it has to do with them having maturity, life experiance, and their eye on the prize.
Now, I might upset some people for saying this, but as a nursing student I often feel that I get a certain degree of respect or social credit with the staff nurses because I am more of a peer (age wise) than do some of my younger counterparts. We can connect on a 40yr old level on things like school in the 70's, raising children, to health care policy and how that relates to caring for our aging parents. I doubt that it gives me any distinct advnatage, but it can make clinicals less intimidating.
Like in any other job you have to be competent in your field of work and demostrate that you can advance in the work place. I do not agree with you on the second career nursing people advance faster, then first career nurses. It solely depends on that particular individual my mom is nurse educator and L&D nurse . She is more then able to Nurse Manager but declined offers because she considers herself a better teacher then management. She is a first career nurse BTW .
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