When Nurses Exit: What Is the Most Common Career Change for Nurses?
A career as a nurse can be incredibly rewarding. These medical professionals see patients in their time of need, providing expert advice, services, and a reassuring spirit when they need them the most.
However, the long hours that this profession requires can also put workers at a high risk of stress, burnout, and fatigue. According to one survey, about two-thirds of nurses (62%) feel burnt out, with symptoms that include mental and physical exhaustion, cynicism, and reduced efficacy at work.
As a result, some nurses decide to enter a brand-new field. Today, we’re sharing the most common career change for nurses and how you can follow suit if you think it’s time for a switch.
Reasons Nurses Switch Careers
Burnout is one reason why nurses look into different fields. Some of the other factors that can influence their decision include:
- Seeking a higher salary
- Wanting to leave their medical facility
- Looking to learn new skills
Since becoming a nurse already requires a significant amount of academic and professional experience, the good news is that most nurses are well-positioned to segue into a new industry.
Let’s take a look at some of the best careers to consider when you’re ready to make a move.
Health Information Technician
When was the last time you saw a paper chart? Increasingly, medical facilities are transitioning to electronic health records (EHRs) to help them keep track of patient information. Today, more than 88% of office-based physicians have fully switched.
While it’s important for these records to be accurate and up-to-date, doctors and nurses don’t always have the time to manage them. As a health information technician, this is where you come in.
This expert analyzes computerized healthcare systems and EHRs at an organization, ensuring the information within the software is correct. In your work as a nurse, you’ve likely used an EHR system in the past, so these platforms should be familiar to you.
An associate’s degree is often all you need to get started in this field. However, you may want to brush up on your Data Analytics skills. This way, you’ll know exactly how to use and organize the information in front of you, optimizing and mining it for important insights.
Software engineers design, develop, test, and maintain different kinds of software and applications. In the medical realm, they create digital solutions for patients or clinicians to use, improving the healthcare experience.
As a nurse, you already understand both the patient and clinical perspective. This can help you design products, systems, and services that are user-friendly and intuitive. You also have problem-solving experience and project management expertise.
However, to stand out in this space, you’ll need to brush up on your tech skills, especially in the field of web/mobile design and user experience (UX) methodology. Future employers will also expect you to be well-versed in multiple coding languages, such as Python, HTML, and CSS, and will assess your familiarity with different tech stacks and frameworks.
Our Software Engineering Bootcamp is a great place to start this journey. In as little as 12 weeks, you’ll gain an in-depth understanding of industry-standard design practices, covering topics such as front-end and back-end development, database management, advanced programming techniques, and more.
While software engineers create solutions for computers and operating systems, web developers focus on creating websites and apps for the web.
Healthcare agencies need a robust online presence, and that includes a high-quality, responsive website. One recent study found that 80% of U.S. adults use the internet to perform a healthcare-related search each year. In addition, 63% of adults say that they’ve chosen one provider over another based on their web presence alone, prioritizing features such as:
- Relevant information
- Accurate data
- Compelling features
Web developers help healthcare teams develop websites that run smoothly and intuitively. In addition to fine-tuning the look and style of the site (front-end development), you’ll also code back-end features to enhance user interaction. This way, the final product will function as well as it looks.
Don’t have a degree in tech? No problem. With additional training in web development and programming, you can excel in this role.
Healthcare Cybersecurity Manager
Cybercrimes in the healthcare industry have increased in impact, type, and frequency over the past few years. This has led to negative effects that include:
- Violations of patient privacy
- Lower levels of physician care
- Weakened security at medical facilities
Nurses are on the front lines of patient care and healthcare technology. This makes you uniquely positioned to identify and report on cybercrime as they occur. Whether you’ve encountered these issues at work or not, you know the importance of staying diligent and monitoring tech systems for signs of misuse.
As a cybersecurity professional, you can parlay this diligence and attention to detail into a rewarding career. In this role, you’ll learn how to protect healthcare networks and data from all types of violations and unauthorized use.
Our Cybersecurity Bootcamp gives you the skills and expertise you need to begin this pathway. From incident response and risk management to application, cloud, and mobile security, you’ll learn how to protect and defend the systems that clinicians and patients depend on the most.
One of the best ways to break into the tech industry after a career as a nurse is to work in technical support. In this job, you’ll help manage a number of different issues, escalating them across varying priority levels.
Healthcare facilities often hire technical support specialists to help them troubleshoot issues with their on-site software and hardware. If you enjoy working with technology and like tackling different kinds of tasks each day, you’ll do well in this role!
Clinical Application Specialist
Your work as a nurse has exposed you to different kinds of healthcare settings, as well as many kinds of digital tools and technologies.
While these systems might be second nature to you, they aren’t always easy for others to learn and adopt. As a clinical application specialist, you will train medical workers on how to use the healthcare tech at their fingertips, from websites and software to advanced imaging systems.
Your communication and problem-solving skills will serve you well in this capacity, though you may require training on the specific systems you’re instructing on. Most facilities will also require you to maintain your nursing degree and license, and you may need to attend continuing education to make sure you’re up-to-date on the latest applications.
Do you enjoy the research side of healthcare? If you enjoy learning and are good with numbers, you may enjoy working as a business analyst.
In this role, you’ll work closely with a medical facility’s medical team to analyze information, understand issues and their causes, and develop strategies to make operations more efficient. You’ll also help create new reporting tools to streamline workflows and ensure compliance with state and federal regulations.
With experience as a nurse, your expertise in the healthcare industry could make you a valuable asset at a variety of locations, such as a hospital, health tech startup, or insurance agency. While a bachelor’s degree in nursing is usually all you need for an entry-level business analyst job, you may need additional training in economics, finance, or business administration to pursue more advanced roles.
Quality Assurance Specialist
In the healthcare realm, a quality assurance (QA) specialist makes sure a facility correctly interprets and applies certain policies, procedures, and guidelines. These include both industry-wide standards, as well as specific practices developed and implemented by the organization. As you evaluate nursing practices within each department, you’ll focus on maximizing efficiency and optimizing the patient experience.
In today’s Digital Age, there’s also a need for experts who can closely examine the healthcare software (including EHR) used in each facility, making sure it’s free of bugs, defects, and issues. High-quality software is required to ensure operations run as smoothly and accurately as possible within an organization, and that there are no problems that could impact physician performance or patient care.
As a Quality Assurance Specialist, you’ll design and execute software test plans, and then collaborate with development teams to resolve any problems you find.
The goal is to preserve the quality, efficacy, and usability of those software products and systems, benefiting medical teams and the clients they serve. In addition to manual testing techniques, you may also use automation to support and streamline your tasks. Our Quality Assurance Bootcamp can teach you the skills you need to get started!
Will You Pursue the Most Common Career Change for Nurses?
Deciding to exit the nursing field doesn’t mean you have to give up your clinical skills, healthcare knowledge, or love of helping others. There are many positions that will make excellent use of this knowledge and allow you to live life on your terms, without burnout.
These are only a few of the most common career change for nurses. You can use your professional network to learn about new openings and positions that will fit your talents and experience.
At Coding Temple, we’re here to help you learn new skills that can make you even more employable, especially if you’re considering a jump into the tech space. From software engineering to quality assurance, our courses will show you how to do it all.
Apply now to learn more and get started!