Four Retirement Planning Tips for Nurses

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The healthcare career landscape is evolving, and that includes the nursing profession. Demand for The Modern School Nurse is strong and possibly growing, especially for experienced professionals. As you think about your retirement prospects in the coming years, here are four things to keep in mind.

1. Further Your Training

If you haven’t done it already, one key step to taking your nursing career to the next level is to obtain a master’s degree. A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) allows you to advance in your clinical practice or become a nurse manager. Topics taught for this degree include budgeting, management, organizational development, and healthcare economics. Many highly reputed online nurse practitioner programs are available as well.

2. Train Others

A master’s degree or doctorate will open doors for teaching, too. This job is in high demand. Advantages of teaching nursing include the ability to shape the future of medicine and the convenience of working only during the academic year. And, since nurse education focuses on hands-on learning, you don’t have to give up interacting with actual patients in order to teach. One disadvantage of teaching is that a starting salary can be lower than an experienced nurse’s salary, but in the long term, the academic salary rises and easily reaches the six figures.

3. Find a New Specialty

If you want to stay in clinical work, consider taking on an administrative role. The Head of Nursing at a hospital is the highest paid nursing position. Before you reach for the top, you may want to set your sights on Nursing Director, where you liaison between staff and hospital administration. Head Nurses are responsible for patient records, performance reports, inventory levels, etc. Some medical specialties can help nurses earn more than others, too, paving the way for earlier retirement. Nurse anesthetists can practice anywhere anesthesia is administered and can earn as much as $20,000 more than their peers. However, this specialty does require a two-year course for certification. Certified nurse midwives have also found theirs to be a lucrative specialty. And if you like research and data evaluation, consider a career as a clinical nurse specialist, to combine treating patients with evaluating hospital procedures.

4. Plan for a Post-Retirement Job

Once you have retired, there are a number of positions that you can fill on a part-time or full-time basis. You can work as a home nurse, doing shift work. This allows you to choose how many hours a week you want to work. Another option is to register as a substitute school nurse in your school district. Schools rely on these substitutes when their regular nurses are absent. Flu clinics generally need an infusion of staff at the beginning of the winter season, and retired nurses can easily fill this need. You can also become a traveling nurse, taking on medium-length assignments (usually three months) in different parts of the world. If you have family or friends you would like to visit, this can be an excellent solution.

Keep Earning for Now

If you are approaching retirement age, you may be physically and emotionally tired of your current job, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on nursing altogether. You may find that a new nursing specialty pays better and keeps you interested until you’re financially ready to retire.

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