Exploring Options

Career Planning

As the number and variety of nursing career opportunities continue to grow, it's important to keep up with these changes.

If you're interested in changing your career path or wish to explore different options in nursing, you need to know where to look for this information.

Try the following research activity to test what you know about where to look and who to contact.

Activity: Specialties

To find out more about a nursing specialty, you must do some research.

  1. List where you will look for information on nursing specialties.
  2. Make a note of who you will talk to about specialty nursing.

Horizon Scanning

Undertaking a PEST analysis can help to assess how trends and developments in an employment sector can affect your career. A PEST analysis considers the following factors:

  • Political
  • Economic
  • Social
  • Technological

Political factors involve looking at the present government’s vision for health care. Policy documents provide an insight into political developments and their impact on health care.

Economic factors are those which influence wealth and its distribution. For example, if you work in the private sector you may want to consider how the pension market will affect you.

Social trends involve looking at how the culture of health care and society in general affects you. For example, the aging population creates a range of opportunities for working with older people. Is this an opportunity you could take advantage of?

Technological considerations reflect how important IT skills are for nurses working in all settings. Do you need to undertake training to use the new information management and other tools available? How will technological advances in health care impact your future career options?

Try the PEST activity to conduct your own PEST analysis.

Visit your portfolio and record what you have learned.

Activity: PEST Analysis

It's important to consider how trends and developments in the health-care sector can affect your career. Consider your own responses to the following PEST – Political, Economic, Social, Technological – factors.

  • What political factors might affect your career?
  • What are the economic factors that may affect your career?
  • Are there social trends that impact on your career?

How will technological advances in health care impact on your future career options?