The reasons people go into nursing are as varied as the people themselves. An interest in health. A sense of purpose. In-demand skills. A desire to care for people when they need care the most.
None of those have vanished during the pandemic. But the stress of being a front-line worker during an extended public health crisis has forced many nurses to reconsider their calling to the profession: 6 in 10 medical personnel say the stress of COVID-19 has had a negative effect on their mental health, and only 35% of nurses in December 2020 said they felt like their jobs had meaning.1,2
Some of those nurses have switched tactics, opting for traveling positions that can pay $5,000 or more a week. Others are leaving altogether, burned out and yearning for a change.3 The question is what that change should be.
Nurses looking for a new path can redirect their devotion to health care toward a sales career as an Aflac insurance agent. Besides the interest in health care, insurance sales requires some of the qualities that make for great nurses: empathy, strong communication skills, dedication and a calling to help others. And knowledge of the healthcare industry can provide a major advantage as well.
Nursing skills can support an insurance agent career
Empathy. Nurses are the most trusted professionals in the United States.4 Part of that stems from their empathy: Nurses are trained to listen to patients’ concerns without judgment, and to share information in a way that helps patients feel cared for. As an Aflac agent, you’re not in the examination room, but when you’re helping a customer navigate their benefits or the claims process, you’re helping someone who is vulnerable and who needs an open ear.
Good communication. Nurses have to be excellent communicators—not only are nurses dealing with complex information their patients might not yet understand, it’s information with high stakes. In fact, poor communication during patient transfers contributes to 80% of serious medical errors.5 That skill is just as important for insurance agents, who need to communicate as effectively with business leaders as they do with policyholders.
Hardworking. As a nurse, you might be used to working 12-hour shifts. You can do that as an Aflac agent too—if it works for your schedule and your career objectives. That’s because Aflac agents work on commission, meaning they are paid according to how many policies they sell, and on policies that remain with Aflac over the years. That might sound intimidating at first, but for people used to putting in long hours, it’s actually an opportunity. You can scale your hours to your income goals, whether you’re looking to work fewer hours to spend more time with your family or you want to go “all in” and earn accordingly.
A calling to help others. We get that people might not be “called” to sell insurance in the same way they’re called to become a nurse. But the drive to help others can be satisfied in many ways. When you help people cover their health care costs, you’re helping them alleviate the #1 financial concern facing Americans today.6 It’s a different kind of calling than nursing—but important nonetheless.
The benefits of becoming an Aflac insurance agent for nursing career-changers
If you’ve ever wanted to be an entrepreneur or work for yourself but have been nervous about taking the plunge, consider that Aflac insurance agents are independent contractors—but with the support of a Fortune 500 company backing them up. Aflac trains and provides mentorship for new agents, giving them the education and resources they’ll need to thrive in a new career, no sales experience necessary. (In fact, new agents don’t even need experience in insurance—but your background makes it likely you have a grasp on several of the basics.)
You’ve served as a medical professional during the greatest public health crisis in memory. If you’re ready to embark on a new path where you can bring your strengths and apply them successfully to a new field, you might consider a path as an Aflac agent to extend your role as a helper and champion of everyday people in your community.
Aflac agents are independent agents of Aflac, and are not employees of Aflac.
1 Kaiser Family Foundation. “KFF/The Washington Post Frontline Health Care Workers Survey.” Published 4.6.2021. Accessed 9.14.2021.
2 CNN. “Traumatized and tired, nurses are quitting due to the pandemic.” Updated 2.25.2021. Accessed 9.14.2021.
3 NBC News. “U.S. hospitals hit with nursing staffing crisis as pandemic rages on.” Published 9.3.2021. Accessed 9.14.2021.
4 Stat. “Doctors need to regain patients’ trust. Nurses can help them do that.” Published 5.6.2019. Accessed 9.14.2021.
5 University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. “The Importance of Effective Communication in Nursing.” Published February 2020. Accessed 9.14.2021.
6 Gallup. “Healthcare Costs Top Financial Problem for U.S. Families.” Published 5.30.2019. Accessed 9.14.2021.
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Aflac agents are independent agents and are not employees of Aflac. Aflac includes Aflac and/or Aflac New York and/or Continental American Insurance Company (CAIC) and/or Continental American Life Insurance Company.
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