Transitioning from Teaching to Nursing
By Concordia Portland ABSN | Published July 17, 2017
If you’re thinking about transitioning out of the education field, consider a switch to nursing. As all teachers know, succeeding as a teacher requires the right alignment of personal gifts and attributes, from the physical exertion required to teach an engaging class, to the creative problem solving required to maintain order in a rowdy classroom moments before recess. Most of all, teaching requires a big heart and a natural inclination toward caring.
Nursing requires the same constellation of outstanding qualities, and Concordia University – Portland specializes in helping students defined by those traits make the transition into nursing with our Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. With three start dates a year, we are able to enroll more high-quality students than similar programs with long waiting lists.
If it feels like it might be time to transition away from teaching, here are just a few reasons why teachers make outstanding nurses, and why you should consider pursuing your BSN.
Resourcefulness & Creative Problem Solving
No matter what age group you teach, you know that students’ attention is a fickle thing to hold onto, so teachers have to find new and engaging ways to talk to a room full of different kids with different home situations and bring them all into a lesson. You’ve probably thrown together a last-minute demonstration with items from your garage or your junk drawer, or tuned into pop culture to better communicate with your students.
Teachers come to nursing knowing how to find complex and unique solutions to a variety of problems. Your patients, like your students, will come to you with illnesses resulting from a variety of factors, and you will have the unique advantage of understanding that symptoms may have a host of causes. Human beings are complex, both physically, mentally and spiritually, and their illnesses may require treatment of all of those factors – something Concordia specializes in teaching. Teachers entering nursing may find that these creative problem-solving skills propel them to the front of their ABSN cohort.
Managing Stress & Emotions
Every teacher has been there: it’s late spring, the weather is warm, and the kids’ energy and emotions are the proverbial cats you have to herd. This is a particularly special skill afforded to teachers and one that becomes extremely useful when working in the emergency room or on high-risk rotations. Between patients in pain and their worried family members, being able to understand and redirect emotional energy helps your team treat patients much more effectively. Not to mention that keeping your patient as calm as possible could even help them heal faster, and leave the hospital sooner.
Nursing can also be emotionally challenging for you as well, and being able to regroup and refocus after a trying day will go a long way to having a long career in patient care.
Mentoring & Teaching
Nursing is an act of lifelong learning, and early in your career, you will rely on the knowledge of your Concordia nursing instructors who come directly from the field to guide you. The ability to pick up new skills and pass them along to peers is built into teachers, and this talent can help you guide your cohort while in the nursing program and become a valuable part of your future nursing team.
Should you discover that you still have a desire to teach and mentor others, you can become a nursing instructor and help form the next generation of nurses. BSN-holding graduates will have a much easier time getting into Masters programs should you decide later in life that you want to return to teaching within the nursing field. Your teaching experience becomes doubly valuable as a nursing instructor, since the nursing shortage is only projected to increase in the next decade.
Before we can fill the need, we will need more high-quality instructors who are skilled at sharing their knowledge. It’s just another way your BSN degree expands your future opportunities.
Communication & Leadership
Speaking with your patients and explaining their conditions and treatments is ultimately the key to treating patients, and no one listens and guides as well as those with teaching experience. Teachers have certainly dealt with having to communicate in an emotionally-charged scenario, and many elementary school teachers will have a much better window into how to communicate with very young patients. Especially when treating children, being able to establish a sense of trust and understanding can help you get to a diagnosis much faster than someone without that experience.
Your ability to lead and organize a group will be helpful in nursing as soon as you earn your RN license. From the moment you get on the clinical floor, you will be responsible not just for your own tasks but delegating various aspects of care to hospital support staff. As you gain more experience in the profession, you can employ those leadership skills and pay it forward to new nurses experiencing those first few scary weeks in a hospital.
A Generous Heart
The single most important character trait a prospective nurse can have is a generous heart and spirit, which goes without saying for educators and nurses alike. We know that former teachers have the heart for the work, and that they would go the extra mile for every student and every patient. It’s a spirit of giving combined with mental attentiveness – the innate ability to sense what is needed before it’s needed – that sets former teachers apart in their nursing career.
But what really makes teachers happy to make the switch is the patient gratitude. Of course, not every patient will be effusive in their thanks, but many patients know and appreciate the labor and kindness of their nursing team. The hours may be long, but you’re compensated for them, and when you clock out, work stays blissfully at work.
If you’re ready to keep your professional generosity streak going, apply to the Concordia Portland Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. Once you’ve completed your prerequisite classes, you’ll be just 16 months from a new career – on your terms, not the whims of a state education budget.
We’re ready to help you make the switch with high-quality, immersive instruction. If you’re ready to jump in, contact an enrollment specialist today.
Learn More About ABSN