How to get into tech as a nurse | ZDNet

The booming technology industry needs professionals with different abilities. And nurses add in-demand skills to the technology field. With technical and non-technical vacancies, the technology sector has something for everyone.

Curious about how to get into tech as a nurse? Start by considering your strengths and the roles that overlap with your knowledge and interests. Then research the requirements for your career path. Finally, create a strong application and work on your interview skills.

Our guide provides a step-by-step resource for nurses who are into technology.

Transferable competence from nursing to technology

Nurses have many in-demand skills that are useful for technical careers, for example:

  • The ability to communicate complex information in simple terms
  • Attention to detail
  • Strong ability to work together

While many of the difficult skills in nursing may not seem transferable, analytical and human skills can help your technical application stand out.

When considering a transition to technology, make a list of your strengths with workplace examples for each. This research can help you identify career paths and build strong job applications.

Technical roles for former nurses in tech

This section introduces technical roles that play for nurses’ strengths. Eligibility for these jobs depends on your education, skills and previous experience.

Nurse computer scientist

Minimum degree required: Bachelor’s degree
Alternative job titles: Clinical analyst; nurse informatics; healthcare informatics
Important properties:

  • Strong analytical ability
  • Nursing and technology education
  • A clinical background
  • The ability to evaluate complex data

Nurse computer scientists use data to create new processes that improve patient care, healthcare outcomes and nursing practices. They use healthcare data to recommend computerized methods of healthcare delivery. A background in nursing helps computer scientists to enter the field.

Data analyst

Minimum degree required: Bachelor’s degree
Alternative job titles: Analysis Consultant; computer scientists; computer engineer
Important properties:

  • Strong analytical ability
  • Knowledge of data processing software
  • An attention to detail
  • Ability to draw conclusions from data analysis

Data analysts process large amounts of data and help organizations make data-driven decisions. A healthcare background helps data analysts work in medical or healthcare technology organizations. Data science bootcamps exist to help people gain skills for data analyst jobs.

Junior web developer

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Minimum degree required: Bachelor’s degree
Alternative job titles: Front-end web developers; full-stack web developers; web developers
Important properties:

  • Experience of programming in HTML, CSS and JavaScript
  • A strong attention to detail
  • The ability to solve problems and identify bugs

Junior web developers build websites that work smoothly. They create the visual appearance and style of websites while encoding interactivity features. This position is considered one of the best coding jobs at the beginner level.

Web developers usually need a college degree and some programming education. Full-stack web development bootcamps and web development certificates can help people break in.

Non-technical roles for former tech nurses

If you are curious about how to get into technology as a nurse and technical roles seem out of reach, consider some of the following non-technical jobs. Try applying for computer science jobs without coding as well.

Occupational health nurse

Minimum degree required: Bachelor’s degree
Alternative job titles: Occupational Nurse; RN occupational health; certified nurse professional
Important properties:

  • Strong skills in health assessment and treatment
  • An ability to communicate information to patients
  • A background in occupational health care

Occupational health nurses specialize in health issues that arise in the workplace. Some large technology companies employ occupational health nurses to treat common problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

A care background with experience in occupational or environmental health prepares nurses for this role.

Technical sales

Minimum degree required: Bachelor’s degree
Alternative job titles: Sales Consultant; SaaS sales; account manager
Important properties:

  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • The ability to explain complex information in simple terms
  • Good networking ability

Technical salespeople discuss technical services and products with potential customers. They meet customers, discuss their needs and explain how to use different technologies. Professionals build strong relationships with customers, making these fantastic technical jobs for extroverts.

Product Manager

Minimum degree required: Bachelor’s degree
Alternative job titles: Junior Product Manager; solution manager; product lead
Important properties:

  • Strong attention to detail
  • Good organizational and leadership qualities
  • An ability to work as part of a team

Product managers monitor a product’s life cycle from planning to development, production and marketing.

They collect data on customer demand, create timelines to bring a product to market and coordinate with manufacturing and engineering team members to complete a product.

Tips on how to get into technology from nursing

Going from nursing to technology requires several steps. Before applying for a job, you need to have a clear idea of ​​your target roles and the skills required.

Our tips go through the process of how to get into technology as a nurse.

1. Make clear what type of technical role you want.

Before investing in a career change, carefully consider the type of role you want. Does your knowledge fit better with a technical or non-technical role? Which industry would you prefer to work in? How important is the balance between work and private life?

When exploring computer science careers, you can also consider the number of job growth, computer science salaries and jobs.

2. Skill

For most career changes, you need to expand your skills. Fortunately, a nursing degree meets the training requirement for many IT careers as long as you also have the technical skills required.

Consider information technology certifications or coding bootcamps to expand your knowledge. Online courses can also help you develop.

Some career paths, such as computer scientists or computer scientists, may require a degree such as a master’s degree in computer science. However, most technology companies employ candidates with a university degree and the skills specified in the job description.

Maximize the quality of your application and portfolio.

Your application and portfolio must make a positive first impression. So make sure to customize your application and highlight the required skills.

Most technical applications include a resume and personal letter. Your CV should include technical skills, personal knowledge and relevant nursing knowledge that you will bring with you to the role. Use examples that show your communication, leadership and problem-solving ability.

The cover letter offers another opportunity to stand out. Customize the cover letter for each role, using key phrases in the job advertisement.

Many technical roles also require a portfolio that demonstrates your coding skills. Include projects that show your abilities and that fit the job description.

Show your expertise, self-awareness and passion throughout the interview process.

The interview process allows you to showcase your expertise and passion. And your nursing background will help you stand out from other applicants.

Like nursing, many technology companies rely on recruiters and interviews on several occasions. Expect a phone screener at the beginning of the process, followed by a second interview that may include technical issues.

Check out our telephone interview tips and our resource on computer science interview questions to increase your interview skills.

In summary

Changing fields can feel daunting. By researching how to switch careers to technology, you will be able to choose the right career path, acquire the necessary skills and stand out during the interviews.

Changing careers can be a long process, but it is often worth the investment.

This article was reviewed by Sarah Holliday, MS

Sarah Holliday, a black woman wearing a purple top, smiles.

Sarah Holliday has many years of experience working with non-traditional and traditional students in career coaching and education and development.

Holliday holds a BA in English from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and an MS in Instructional Design and Technology (Education and Performance Improvement) from Walden University. Holliday is currently working on her doctoral degree and looks forward to defending her dissertation in the near future.

Sarah Holliday is a paid member of Red Ventures Education’s Freelance Review Network.

Last reviewed 31 March 2022.

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