November 25, 2015, by D.M. McCauley – For veteran and active duty service members in the healthcare field, there are a myriad of career options post-service. You are knowledgeable and already accustomed to hard work and rigorous discipline. These are vital to succeeding in the fast-paced environment of the civilian medical world. Doctors, nurses, Hospital Corpsman, and medics will find the transition a rewarding process. That service has taught valuable skills in emergency medicine and urgent care, helping to build a solid foundation for the future. These are the top five reasons why you should choose to continue your healthcare career.
1. Healthcare is Hiring
The past ten years have been kind to the healthcare industry, leading simultaneously to record growth and a nursing shortage. Many experienced nursing professionals are aging and leaving the field toward a deserved retirement, and this is leaving a staffing gap. As the American population ages, demand for healthcare professionals has correspondingly risen. Nurse Practitioner licenses increased by 99,000 in 2014 as more Americans sought to fill that demand. There are many paths and positions to take, with plenty of room for advancement in nursing.
2. Real World Experience is Valuable
Military medical professionals have firsthand experience that lends itself well to advanced medical degrees. Depending on your area of pursuit, you may already have residency and internships to further bolster your cause. Experience in a military facility or on the battlefield adds a level of credibility to an otherwise young career and can provide the perfect pathway toward becoming a physician or physician’s assistant.
3. The Highest-paying Jobs Are In Healthcare
Despite an increased focus on tech careers, the need for humans to help heal other humans will not be going away anytime soon. Surgeons, psychiatrists, physicians, and pharmacists all rank in the top ten for highest paying jobs of 2015.
Specialist knowledge is the most lucrative and can command premium salaries. Upcoming doctors and nurses need to be trained with these specialized skills, and have a firm grasp on leading and training others. As more senior healthcare leaders retire, this will be particularly sought after.
4. Nurse Practitioners Have The Best Work-Life Balance
If you’re looking to cut back on stress after a tumultuous military career, look no further than pursuing a role as a Nurse Practitioner. It is an advanced form of registered nurse that blends with the traditional roles of a doctor. As a Nurse Practitioner, you have the responsibility of interpreting test results for patients, prescribing medications based upon those results, and are the first point of full care for a patient. A nursing graduate degree is necessary for this role, yet the increased salary and purposeful career make this a particularly attractive option.
5. You Are On The Cutting Edge of Technology
The lines between healthcare and technology are blurring. Many returning veterans have suffered injuries while serving abroad, and need support and rehabilitation. Technology has improved the way we help those veterans and other civilians recover. Advanced prosthetics and heart regenerative therapies lead the way, with levels of involvement possible in many roles. You could be a researcher, a nurse attending the patient, the doctor overseeing the course of treatment, or even the physical therapist. This is a great way to continue your service by offering support to recovering veterans while keeping ahead of the technology curve.
About the Author: D.M. McCauley is a former U.S. Navy sailor who worked in Intel. After the service he has dedicated his time to writing and traveling with his significant other.