Monday, January 18, 2021

Which Careers Give Skills You Can Transfer to Nursing?

With the world in turmoil now and many jobs precarious, lots of people have chosen to switch directions in their career choices. Nursing is a profession that will always be in need. If you're considering switching to a career in nursing, here's some professions that you may already have that give skills crucial to nursing.

Becoming a nurse is a highly popular, rewarding, and lucrative career path. If you are considering a change of career, nursing is a field which may be worth considering. But what skills do you need to become a nurse?


Of course, there are usually qualifications needed to start a career in nursing. However, in many cases it is possible to gain these qualifications through on-the-job training as long as you have the skills and determination needed to make it in this career path. Registered Nurses need to be caring, helpful, able to work as a part of a team, and confident working under pressure. If you have these skills, you may already be off to a good start! Ultimately, having these personal skills is a much more important foundation than having experience in the medical field. 

Thankfully, there are many careers that can teach you these skills. You may think that your existing or previous career is so different from nursing that you would need to entirely start from scratch with your education. However, you may well have already learned some of the skills needed to start a second career in nursing in your working life so far! Career fields that teach skills that can be transferred to a career in nursing include (but are not limited to) the following:

Working in Care

Care workers include people who work in care homes and people who visit people in their own homes to provide support for a variety of conditions and in a variety of ways. Care includes working with elderly people, individuals with physical or mental disabilities, and those with medical conditions which make it difficult or impossible to live lives without assistance. Like care work, nursing also heavily involves looking after and helping people, such as carrying out personal care, providing emotional support, and dispensing medication.


You may think that administration has little to do with nursing. After all, sitting in an office looking at data and spreadsheets may seem a million miles away from carrying out medical procedures on a hospital ward. However, the skills that working in administration can help develop, such as attention to detail, organization, multi-tasking, and passing information between colleagues, are all important in nursing.

Teaching and Education

Like working in care, working in education often involves providing support and assistance to people. Whether it is teaching young children at an elementary school or kindergarten, teaching adults at a college or evening classes, or working as a private tutor, teaching helps you learn interpersonal skills that are also used in nursing.

Working as a Union Representative

Working as a union representative is a career that includes showing care and understanding to people and acting as an advocate for the needs of others who may be unable or unequipped to advocate for themselves. For example, advocating on behalf of a patient to make sure that they receive the specific care that they need can be similar to negotiating with an employer in order to make sure that an employee’s needs are met.


Nursing is not just about carrying out direct medical procedures such as treating injuries or administering medication—there is also a significant psychological component to the job and the skills needed to carry it out. Understanding psychology and human nature is extremely useful when it comes to caring for patients and making sure that their psychological health is looked after as well as their physical health.

Social Work

Like care work, being a social worker also involves working extensively with people who are in need of support and advocacy on their behalf. Social workers often work with people who suffer from mental health problems, substance abuse issues, or are victims of abuse or neglect, so the empathy taught by this field can translate to looking after patients in a medical setting. 

Emergency Services

Those who work in the emergency services, such as the fire service, the police, or mountain rescue, learn how to respond to urgent situations calmly and effectively in order to prevent disasters and even save lives. These skills can be invaluable to a nurse, especially a nurse working on an emergency ward.


Pharmacology, or the study of medicine, can be essential to nursing. While some nurses are not involved with administering medication, knowledge and understanding of drugs and how they work is certainly a valuable skill to have in a medical setting!

Charity Work and Fundraising 

Raising funds for charity, or even working directly as an aid provider, is bound to look good on the resume of somebody considering applying for nursing jobs! Not only does it show care and concern for others, but it also shows a high level of organization skills and the ability to communicate and co-operate effectively with others. 

Fitness and Personal Training

An understanding of physical fitness involves learning extensively about the human body and how it works. In both nursing and fitness training, the knowledge of how to prevent and recover from injuries is highly useful. Personal training also involves the use of communication and motivational skills, which play a large part in helping patients recover from injuries or illness.

Environmental Advocacy

Social work and union work are not the only fields in which the skill of being an effective advocate can be cultivated. Working in environmental advocacy, such as corporate social responsibility and conservation, teaches people how to protect the interests of those who may not be able to protect themselves. In environmental advocacy, this usually means wildlife, and in nursing it may mean patients with communications issues.

These are just some of the career paths that you may have experience in that may mean that you could be suitable for a successful career in nursing. If you are wondering whether your working history may indicate potential success in this field, think to yourself: have you had to care for people, be organized, work as part of a team, work under pressure, and use attention to detail in your career so far? If so, you may well be suited to a career in nursing.