Going back to school can be a daunting thought, particularly when you have a family to think about. It’s not uncommon for parents to worry about the prospect of being able to afford to study while bringing up their young family, or whether or not they will need to sacrifice precious time with their kids in order to study. But, if you are in need of a career change or want to advance your career further, earning a degree is one of the best ways to improve your employment prospects, earn more money, and enjoy more fulfillment.

If you’re considering earning a degree, why not choose an area in which you already have mastered quite a lot of the required skills as a parent? Caring for others is something that parents do naturally on a day-to-day basis and as a mom or dad, you’ll already be quite skilled when it comes to monitoring fevers, dressing wounds, and treating little headaches. Many parental skills can easily translate into key nursing qualities, and parents who work as nurses are often some of the most caring and empathetic ones around. Here are some of the main reasons why parents make excellent nurses:

You’re a Good Communicator:

You know that communication is more than just talking. Since the moment that you had your first baby, you had to quickly figure out what they were trying to tell you before they even knew how to speak. Parents are often skilled at listening and recognizing non-verbal cues since they need to know what their kids are trying to say to them, even if they can’t put it into words. And, think of everybody that you communicate with on behalf of your child:

  • Teachers
  • Childminders
  • Coaches
  • Doctors
  • Neighbors

By now, you’ve probably become adept at naturally adjusting your communication style based on the person that you’re speaking with, which is a key nursing skill to have since the job requires you to clearly and effectively communicate with a wide range of different people on a day-to-day basis.

Organization and Planning:

There’s no doubt that nurses have a lot to do on every shift and as a result, good organization and planning skills really are crucial. Before you became a mom or dad, you might not have had to plan everything as finely as you do right now. It was easier to just go somewhere on a whim or meet up with friends spontaneously, but now that you are a parent, even the simplest of tasks can sometimes feel like a military-level operation. You make plans for both the short- and long-term and everything from upcoming family vacations to what’s going in the kids’ lunchboxes tomorrow is a part of your schedule.

The point being, nurses need to have these excellent planning skills in order to prioritize patient care and make sure that everything gets done. Some of the tasks that a nurse might have to do include:

  • Taking a patient’s blood pressure
  • Recording patient’s vital signs
  • Administering medications
  • Sterilizing equipment

And, all these tasks can’t be done at once, so a good plan is needed. Nurses are often also responsible for making plans for their patients to follow upon their release in order to ensure that they make a speedy recovery at home.

You’re Caring:

Parents make some of the best pediatric nurses because they are naturally caring towards children and can have a lot of empathy for the parents of the kids in their care, simply because they can imagine themselves in that position much more clearly compared to a nurse who doesn’t have kids. That’s not to say that nurses who don’t have kids aren’t empathetic and caring because many are, but nurses who have kids of their own can often relate on a much deeper level.

You can become a pediatric nurse practitioner with the online programs from Baylor University, a course that allows you to specialize in working with children and young people. You might also be able to further specialize, such as working with young people suffering from specific ailments or working with children or babies of a certain age. The opportunities really are endless when it comes to what you can do and the patients that you can work with as a nurse.

You’re a Good Team Player:

You might picture a sports team that you played at high school when you picture teamwork but think to your family life – your family is also a team, and as a mom or dad, you play a key role in ensuring that everybody in your household is working together and collaborating to accomplish goals and effectively communicate with each other.

Parenting can often make you become very skilled at choosing your battles; you’re forced to take a moment sometimes and decide which fights are actually worth it. Sometimes you might just let your toddler wear her outfit back to front or spend the day in odd shoes because it’s not harming anybody and it’s just not worth getting stressed over. You will have learned to work together with your kids to evade any disasters and reach outcomes that work well for everybody.

As a nurse, you’ll be using these strong teamwork skills every day you are on the job. Most nurses work with teams or units that are made up of:

  • Registered nurses
  • Licensed practical nurses
  • Nursing assistants
  • Healthcare secretaries

You will also be working closely alongside teams of other healthcare professionals, which can include:

  • Doctors
  • Specialists
  • Surgeons
  • Physiotherapists
  • Mental health counselors
  • Psychiatrists

Knowing how to compromise when needed, how to effectively communicate with everybody on your team, and when to stand your ground can make you a strong team member and a very valuable nurse. When you’ve learned not to sweat the small stuff as a parent, encountering issues like staff shortages, difficult patients, or having to multitask all the time at work can be easier than you think.

These are just some of the basic skills that you’ve had to pick up very quickly to be a good parent, and if you’re looking for a new, meaningful career where your skills will easily fit in, nursing is an excellent choice.