Why Family Caregivers Should Consider a Nursing Career

Many family caregivers leave their jobs to care for a sick parent or child. By the time that they get back on the job hunt their skills can be outdated and it can be difficult to find work. Worse, since many caregivers today are part of the “sandwich generation”, and have both parents and children relying on them, they can’t take four years to change tracks and start over. Fortunately the growing demand for nurses in the U.S. provides a perfect avenue for present and former caregivers to find work.

The U.S. needs Nurses

Improvements in medicine over the last century have drastically reduced the number of premature deaths all over the world. As a result the population gets older and suffers from more age-related illnesses that aren’t easily curable, like heart-disease, diabetes, or cancer. Because of this the demand for nurses is expected to increase. By 2018, the United States will need to train at least 580,000 nurses to handle the rising number of patients.

Caregivers Have the Right Skills

Most new college students that decide to enter the field of nursing aren’t aware of the amount of physical effort that’s required to bathe, dress, or move a patient. It’s not uncommon for students to enter nursing school only to drop out when they discover how intense the actual work can be. Many family caregivers already know how to keep a disabled patient comfortable and come into the field with years of exposure to the practical realities of the job. That makes caregivers more desirable as nurses because they need less training and they won’t be as likely to leave the field, since they knew what they were getting themselves into.

Certification is Quick and the Pay is Good

Most caregivers don’t have time to go back to college to get a degree in a new field. Luckily a one year certification course or two year associate’s degree is enough to qualify someone to be an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) or RN (Registered Nurse) respectively. Even better, the wages compare well to jobs that require four-year degrees, and it’s easy to find work in an economy that’s otherwise full of unemployed college graduates.

It’s Reliable

Nursing jobs aren’t going away anytime soon. The high demand for different types of nurses and other medical professionals means that people living in the sandwich generation can reliably get a job and make up for the relatively short time spent getting into the nursing field. This means that besides getting to work as quickly as possible, caregivers-turned-nurses have job security and more time to build their finances for retirement than other job-seekers of their generation.

Samantha Stauf

Samantha Stauf graduated from the University of Idaho with a degree in technical writing. In the last year and a half, she has been working in the marketing department at a local start-up

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