Kickstarting Your Nursing Career After a Break


Some people leave school, get a job, and then work until they retire, only ever taking short vacations or time off in emergencies. However, most of us do take a break at some point. Sometimes, this break is to travel, to gain different experiences, and to enjoy life with a bit of freedom and flexibility. Sometimes, it’s to raise a family or to enjoy time with loved ones. Many people leave jobs with the intention of trying something new, only to return when things don’t work out, or they have a change of heart.

There are many different reasons why we take an extended break from our careers. Some by choice, others forced. Nursing is a profession in which staff are likely to take a break at some point, often to raise a family or to try something different. Whatever your reasons for taking a break, the choice can be tough. Deciding to put your career on hold, even for the most fulfilling of reasons is a big deal. You have to think about your future plans, how healthcare might change while you are gone, and how it might affect your long-term goals.

At some point, you may make the decision to go back to work. This can be even harder than deciding to take a break in the first place. After a long career break, you might worry that things have moved on, you aren’t ready to get back into things, you’ll find it hard to adapt back into your routine, and that you won’t be able to hit the ground running and get your career back on track. You might also worry that you won’t have the same relationships anymore and perhaps that you’ll no longer love your job.

The good news is, a career break doesn’t have to be the end of your career. It can actually be a bonus that helps to set you apart. A career break can be the very thing that kickstarts your working career. Here are some tips to help you to leap back into your nursing career.

Write a List of Everything You’ve Learned on Your Break

Chances are, if you’ve been away from work for an extended time, you won’t just be able to walk back into your old job. It won’t have been kept open for you, and your workplace will have moved on.

The first thing that you might need to do is find a job to go back to. If you are lucky, there might be a position available in your previous workplace, but you might still have to apply for it. Most people take time to find and apply for the right positions before they can get started.

Most employers will want to know about your career break. They’ll ask why you decided to take time off, as well as why you think it’s time to return.

You can use this to your advantage. Think about all the things that you’ve learned while you’ve been away from the workplace. The experiences that you’ve had will have changed you in a way that could benefit your career. You might be more empathetic, more organized, and better at managing your time. You might also be more confident and comfortable meeting new people.

Before you start looking for work, brainstorm everything that you’ve learned, and any skills that you’ve gained. Put what you can onto your resume, and think about how you’ll sell your break to prospective employers.

Consider Studying

Healthcare is an industry that changes all of the time. Advancements come thick and fast and everything from record-keeping to the way we speak to patients changes. If you’ve been away for a while, you may feel as though your knowledge is out of date, and even if it isn’t, you might struggle with confidence.

Studying an online course at Marymount University gives you options. It means that you can return confident in your abilities, with something extra on your resume, and even shows that you are ready to push forward with your career rather than being happy to pick up where you left off.

Make Sure You are Emotionally Ready to Return

Going back to work after a break is a big step. If you want your return to be successful, you need to be ready for it. There’s bound to be a period of adjustment, and you might find the first few weeks stressful and emotional. Just make sure that you are prepared for it, and that your reasons for returning are valid.

Work Out Your Why

Knowing why you want to get back to work will help you to avoid stress and sadness, but it will also help you to make sure your career is on the right path. So, ask yourself what you are looking for. Do you want a new challenge? Are you returning for financial reasons? Are you desperate to spend more time out of the house? Or eager to put yourself first?

Knowing why you want to go back to work will help you to figure out what you want from your career and give you a chance to find a position that will help you to achieve your goals.

Practice Your Routines

Getting back into a routine, or to a different routine, can be hard. While a period of adjustment is normal, struggling to get into a routine can mean that you can’t hit the ground running. It can hold you back. So, practice. Start setting your alarm, practice the school run or anything else that you might have to do before work, and try to get used to being out of the house early again.

Consider Volunteer Work

If you’ve had a long break, even with a positive spin and study, getting back into good habits, and finding a job can be tough. Volunteer work can help you to gain valuable experience, and when it comes to healthcare, there are usually plenty of positions available.

A career break is perfectly normal, and it certainly doesn’t have to mean that you can’t have the career that you want. In most cases, it can actually be an advantage if you make the most of it.