Mums already have a lot on their plates, but that doesn't stop them from wanting to take on more. Creating positive social change can be hard with so much to do — It's vital to make professional choices that offer as many opportunities as possible. Although nursing isn't what most people think of when they picture a low-stress career, going into the field might actually be the ideal way to broaden your impact on the world and regain a sense of control.
How can mums juggle the demands of nursing without succumbing to the pressure? Taking a nursing course online might be a good start. Here are four ideas for achieving balance and furthering your career.
1. Take Advantage of Oz's Current Nursing Shortage
Australia has been struggling with a nursing crisis for some time. While the system hasn't outright collapsed, the demand for skilled professionals remains intense.
Mums who want to break into the field may find it easier to get their footing in the current climate. Of course, they'll still need to live up to the high professional standards that govern registered nurses and midwives, but those who buckle down and study shouldn't have much trouble finding careers.
What does this mean for your stress levels as a nursing mum? In short, perhaps you shouldn't feel quite as anxious about career stability. Although no employment prospect is guaranteed, the Australian Government predicted that the health care and social assistance field would remain one of the leading job-growth industries from 2018 to 2023.
2. Specialise in a Discipline That You're Passionate About
Picking a career specialisation that you love is a smart way to keep yourself motivated. While your interest in nursing already indicates that you're passionate about caring for others, mums may be particularly well-suited to solving the current labour deficiency.
The NSW Nurses & Midwives' Association revealed that labour demands are particularly high in the maternity domain. Due to staff shortages, these hospital units feel the need to discharge patients earlier, and some even limit maternity stays to around 48 hours. Some current nurses claim that these conditions are putting mums and babies at risk of tragic outcomes.
As a registered nurse or registered midwife, you'll have a firsthand opportunity to enact change. Although you won't immediately be responsible for overarching changes at the policy level, becoming a member of the workforce will empower you to uphold the welfare of new mums directly. In other words, it could be a great opportunity to pay your blessings forward.
3. Master the Time Management Skills Early
As much of a trailblazer as you might be, it's important to remember that you're not the first Aussie mum to pursue a fulfilling career in nursing. Countless others have trod the path before you, and this means that you have plenty of inspiration to draw from.
Nursing positions and timetables vary widely. As professionals point out, you don't have to settle for constant nighttime work that will prevent you from ever seeing your tykes until they graduate high school — Many single-parent nurses favour a blend of working in hospitals, aged-care settings and clinics part-time so that they can pick their ideal shifts. Also, remember that before- and after-school care are your allies.
Being a mum already puts you head and shoulders above the competition in terms of managing your time wisely, but working as an RN or RM will demand you gain even more self-directed scheduling proficiency. Taking a nursing course online in pursuit of your graduate certificate is a good way to hone these skills in a low-stress environment. By giving you the chance to pick your specialisation and unique career path, these courses force you to reestablish control over your life — which can be extremely self-affirming when it feels like parenthood has sent you into a tailspin.
4. Do Your Homework
We don't mean this literally, although you definitely shouldn't skip your take-home assignments. Make your degree program seem like less of an obstacle by learning what it entails before you start.
Your graduate online nursing course might require that you complete an AQF Level 7 Bachelor of Nursing before enrolling, but many programs also accept equivalent credentials. You'll also likely have to register with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency or a comparable body as an RN or RM — as well as complete a year's worth of clinical experience and pass an English-language proficiency test.
How can anticipating these prerequisites make your career path more rewarding? Being caught off-guard or delayed by requirements when you're trying to reach the next stage of your professional development will only add to your stress. Checking out the lay of the land in advance gives you more time to plan so that the hurdles won't get the better of you.