It’s not uncommon for an aspiring female entrepreneur to say, “I’ve got a plan, I’ve got to get it done.”
But what if you can’t find that plan, or don’t know what you want to do with your life?
Well, if you’re a nurse and you’re interested in opening a new practice, there are some things you can do to help yourself in the meantime.
“It is not uncommon that the majority of new nurses don’t even have a clear understanding of their future career plans,” says Dr. Sarah Anderson, the chair of the American Nurses Association’s board of directors.
“We can help you figure out if you are on the right track and what you need to do to get there.”
And with that, here are five things you should know before you start thinking about starting your own nursing practice:1.
Nurse shortageIs there a shortage of nurses?
But don’t be surprised if you find yourself on the wrong side of the nurse shortage debate.
“There are so many opportunities for nurses to find jobs and for employers to hire nurses, and it’s really a time of great uncertainty,” says Angela Rousset, the president and CEO of Nurse Professionals United.
“The shortage of nursing is a real challenge for our country.”
The shortage is especially acute in rural areas, where fewer than 2,000 nurses work in each state, according to the American College of Nursing.
While there are a few reasons for this, it could be due to the difficulty of obtaining new nurses from nursing homes, because it’s difficult to find people who have completed their nursing training, or because there are no jobs in rural nursing homes.2.
Getting your resume on the boardNurse-run nursing homes can provide a more stable employment landscape than non-Nurse facilities, according a 2015 report from the Association of Private Nurse Retirees.
There are currently over 1,800 nurse-run, full-service nursing homes nationwide, including more than 5,300 in the U.S. and more than 2.2 million people employed in nursing homes according to figures from the U, S. Department of Labor.
There is also a shortage in full-time nursing, which can lead to a higher turnover of workers.
If you are looking for a job as a nurse, it is important to have a resume in hand, so you can present yourself in an attractive way to potential employers.3.
Getting a positionYou may find that your current employer isn’t looking for you as a nursing assistant or a nurse but wants you to work in the healthcare field.
If this is the case, the best place to start is with a career search.
The Nursing Careers Institute, an organization of nurses, has more than 60,000 job listings for nursing jobs, and more employers are starting to recognize this as an attractive career option.
The American Council on Career Colleges, a nonprofit educational organization, offers career advice to graduates who want to pursue nursing careers.4.
Setting goals for yourselfGetting a job at your current nursing employer isn-t an ideal situation for most people, especially if you aren’t comfortable with your own goals.
“Nursing is an incredibly difficult and challenging profession,” says RousSET.
“I’m not saying it’s easy, but it is definitely more difficult than many people realize.
If there is a career path you want, it shouldn’t be an uphill battle.”
It can be a lot easier if you set goals for your future career.
It’s also important to keep an eye on your own performance.
“Be realistic and keep your goals to yourself,” says Anderson.
“You need to be realistic about your performance.
It doesn’t matter if you just get an A or a B. That doesn’t mean you’re an ace.”
If you’re not confident in your own ability, consider working for a company that has a greater focus on working with the nursing workforce, says Anderson, and that will help you to understand what your role is, and how you fit into their culture.5.
Getting the supportYou’re not the only person struggling to find a job, but you are the one who needs help.
If a coworker or a friend is struggling with nursing, they can help by sharing your story and encouraging you to take on the challenge.
“Being a nurse can be challenging for everyone, but there is no substitute for being in the workforce,” says Katelyn Lutz, the founder of CareNurse.com, a platform that allows people to share their stories about nursing.
“If you find that nursing is not what you are passionate about, you can still find work, and support can be very helpful.”
Check out this interactive graphic to get a glimpse into the challenges of being a nurse.