The nursing profession has always been demanding - both physically and mentally. Long hours and the emotional weight of the past two years had caused some nurse staff to look for opportunities elsewhere. Well, we think it’s the right time for nurses to put their passion for helping others and experience toward a career in tech. But how? And, more importantly, why?
Why should I switch to tech?
For one, technology is an ever-growing field, meaning there are plenty of opportunities for growth and advancement. Additionally, a tech career can be more financially rewarding than a nursing one. A median salary of a nursing assistant in the U.S. is $30,720 while quality assurance engineers earn $76,700 annually. (The gap is remarkable!)
Take it from Practicum grad Jenn Foskett who worked in the U.S. healthcare system as an administrator. With her shift to data analytics, she not only increased her paycheck but also committed to work that had a greater influence on the whole sector.
“The U.S. healthcare system needs to know how to use the plethora of data to gain insight into what the future of the U.S. healthcare system looks like. For example: how the poverty-stricken areas of the U.S. impact diseases like diabetes and heart failure," says Jenn.
Instead of a daily routine with high-stress levels and risks, people like Jenn can switch to a more flexible work schedule and re-focus on operating with numbers and digital services.
Can I make a switch to tech?
As a nurse, you’ve probably asked yourself: can I do this? Can I make the switch to tech? The answer is yes. As a nurse, you’ve likely already had experience with technology, so transitioning to a tech career may not be as difficult as you think.
There are plenty of examples of innovative tech nurses use to improve patient care. Some are portable devices and mobile apps that allow 24/7 monitoring and instant notifications on patient health changes. Others are telehealth apps providing online consultations between doctors and patients. You can already come up with a list of companies that would be interested in hiring you, given your domain expertise and experience.
“Being a nurse, you already know biotech or pharmaceutical companies, so you know where to look for a new job,” says Practicum Career Product Lead Ana Mineeva. “Knowing the market, you can move forward to biotech startups, DNA tests, and other online companies. Then you can contact employees with a similar background and ask for a referral.”
What if I don’t want to give up medicine?
There is a symbiosis of technology and the medical domain called MedTech that you can consider when switching to a new career. MedTech is an area of technology focused on developing new products and services that help improve patient care, increase efficiency in medical facilities, and enhance the overall quality of healthcare delivery.
Examples of growing medical technology initiatives include:
Wearable devices. Wearable devices have many applications from health management and treatment support to commercial wellness tracking.
Telehealth. Patients can receive medical care remotely by conferencing with their medical providers. This allows for ongoing tracking of advanced treatments, confidential communications between providers and patients, and easy portability of interacting with medical professionals through mobile devices.
Robotic surgery. Once the subject of sci-fi stories, robotic technology has now been refined to perform surgeries, though the human hand is still needed to guide this innovation.
Artificial intelligence. Artificial Intelligence has been incorporated into medical technology, allowing medical providers to maintain patient records, track information and improve medical diagnosis.
If you're interested in a career in MedTech, there are a few different job options. Here are some of the best tech jobs for nurses looking to switch careers:
- Data Analyst for Med. As a data analyst, you'll be responsible for collecting, analyzing, and interpreting large amounts of data to help medical professionals make informed decisions about patient care. This job requires strong analytical and technical skills.
- Software Engineer for MedTech. As a software engineer, you'll be responsible for designing and developing software applications that are used in the medical field. This job requires strong programming skills.
- Qualitative Analysis Engineer for MedTech. As a QA engineer, you'll be responsible for testing and validating software applications and medical devices to ensure they meet industry standards and regulatory requirements. This job requires strong attention to detail.
And, of course, all of these tech jobs require a deep understanding of the medical field.
A tech career: where should I start?
If you're interested in transitioning to a tech career, there are a few things you can do to make the process easier.
Attend Practicum bootcamps
Practicum bootcamps can be a great way to gain practical experience in technology. These programs typically last a few months and offer hands-on experience with the latest technologies and tools used in the field. Getting a personal consultation from the Career Team will help you highlight your domain expertise in medicine and make the most of your past experience when applying for a job in IT.
Network with other professionals
Networking with other professionals in the MedTech industry can help you learn about job opportunities, gain new skills, and get advice from people who have already made the transition.
Switching careers is never easy, but it can be a rewarding experience. With the right education, training, and networking, you can make the transition from being a nurse to a job in MedTech. So, if you're interested in a career in technology and want to make a difference in the healthcare industry, consider pursuing this exciting path.