What To Consider When Returning To Nursing

Nursing is the kind of career that, even if you choose to leave for any reason, you may well feel you want to go back to at a later date. This could be because you took time out to raise a family, and they are now old enough to give you the chance to get back to work. Perhaps you thought another career path would be better for you, but in the end it was nursing you realized you loved the most. Maybe you had other responsibilities that made the shift work and long hours or nursing impossible to deal with, but now you have worked out a way to be able to do it. The reasons for leaving and returning aren’t as important as the things you will need to think carefully about if this is something you want to do.

There are many benefits to returning to nursing, and even if there are some potentially negative points, for those who really do want to have their careers back on track, the good will outweigh the bad. Yet it is still important to think everything through and ensure you are making the right choice for you.

A Big Change

Change happens in life; it is just something that we need to accept. Some people cope well with that change and make the most of it, even if it is something they wouldn’t normally have chosen for themselves. Others find change frightening and upsetting; it could even be a problem for their mental health.

Going back to nursing after taking time out to work elsewhere or be at home is a big change. Not only will your job be entirely different to what you are doing now, but the hours will change, you will have shifts to think about, and you will also need to study to ensure you are up to date with your qualifications. If you want to start at a higher level, you will need to take a course from RN to MSN, for example, and even if you do want to continue at the same level you were on, you will still need a refresher course.

This can all be extremely disruptive to your current life, and therefore a solid plan will need to be put in place before you make any changes, especially if those changes will affect other people too.


Although it may seem crass to think about it, money is important, and if you are thinking of returning to nursing you are going to need to consider this and factor it into any plans. If you have been working elsewhere, what is the difference in salary going to be? Will nursing pay you more or less? If less, how will you cover your bills?

Of course, if you haven’t been working or if your current position pays less than being a nurse would, then the question isn’t going to be such a hard one to answer; you’ll be earning more for your hard work and that can help you decide what to do. If you are going to be earning less and you still want to return to nursing, then you will have to put steps in place to ensure you will be able to cover all your expenses. It might not sound overly exciting, but getting this right and making a budget means you can go ahead with your plans without worrying, and without finding you have made a mistake when you can’t pay for something important. You wouldn’t want to have to leave the profession again after all your hard work to get back into it.

Will It Meet Your Expectations?

Nursing will have changed in the years since you were last carrying these tasks out, which is why a refresher course and potentially additional qualifications are going to be required. It is crucial that you research nursing as though you had never done it before, coming to it completely fresh and objectively, if you are going to have a true sense of what it is like now.

You will have an idea of what nursing is from your time doing it, but the longer you have been away, the more changes will have been made, and you may not like those changes; the profession might have altered to become something you don’t actually think you will like anymore.

This is why you need to look deeply into nursing and discover exactly what will be asked of you. If the job will still meet your expectations and you are still happy to go ahead, then this is what you should do.

Sophie Turton

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