Nursing as a Second Career: 5 Questions to Consider

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If you need more clarification on pursuing a BSN, consider these questions. Why do you want to pursue nursing? Are you prepared to commit to nursing school? What can you do with your nursing degree? Where do you start with your nursing degree? How quickly can you make the career change?

nurse sitting at table using digital tablet

Is it worth changing your path to pursue nursing as a second career? If you’ve found this blog post, this is probably a question you’ve been wrestling with.

We understand that switching careers isn’t something you do on a whim. It takes a lot of research and forethought. One consideration may be that if you already have a degree, you may not want to spend additional years in school for your new nursing career. That’s why the University of St. Thomas Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program empowers qualified applicants with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university to earn a BSN and enter the nursing field in as few as 12 months.

We think a career change to nursing is worth it — but the real question is, is it right for you?
To help you understand everything involved in shifting lanes to pursue a nursing education and career, we have compiled five questions you should consider when considering nursing as a second career.

#1: Why do I want to make a career change to nursing?

Nursing school is a big commitment, so it’s essential to ensure you’re in it for the right reasons. The University of St. Thomas ABSN program emphasizes holistic care — treating the entire person, mind, body and soul. This kind of nursing requires care and compassion for individuals from all walks of life. As a nurse, you are devoted to advocating for patients, so if care and empathy aren’t your top drivers, you may want to reconsider nursing as a second career.

UST nursing student standing in sim lab

Consider why UST ABSN alumnus Arnesha Jones decided to become a nurse. She experienced a nurse who took extra steps to ensure she received quality care and felt safe as a child. As a nursing student, Arnesha utilizes those skills of consideration and care in her practice.

“I was hospitalized as a child, and the kindness of the nurse taking care of me made a big impact. That’s why I want to become a nurse, to establish that same rapport with my patients, so they can trust me.”

Are you still trying to decide if nursing is the right career for you? Hear Daneka’s story about why she became a nurse.

#2: Am I ready to commit to nursing school?

Because the University of St. Thomas ABSN program compresses a full comprehensive BSN program curriculum into as few as 12 months, you’ll need to be dedicated, organized and motivated to succeed.

This means the ABSN program will be your primary focus. You may miss out on social events and spending time with family, and we do not recommend holding a full-time job while studying to become a nurse.

If you are passionate about becoming a nurse and ready to commit the proper amount of time to studying and assignments, a second career as a nurse may be right around the corner. Our students say the St. Thomas ABSN program is rigorous, but studying and completing coursework, labs, and clinical rotations is worth it to change lives as a nurse.

#3: What can I do with my nursing degree?

One of the perks of earning your BSN is that once you finish your education, your chances of finding a job are high. Due in part to an aging population and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses are and will continue to be in high demand. You may even be helping to close the gap in the national nursing shortage and be able to provide much-needed quality care to patients.

Another benefit of earning a nursing degree is that diverse career options become available to you. Although working in a hospital is an option, you’ll also be able to consider other positions, like a focus on pediatrics or even as a travel nurse. Nurses enjoy flexibility not only in the work environment but also in where they choose to live.

#4: How do I start the process of pursuing nursing as a second career?

Your path to nursing begins with our team of admissions counselors, who will tell you precisely what you need to get into our program, answer any outstanding questions you have, walk you through the admissions process, let you know what prerequisites you’ll need to complete and more.

Our admissions counselors will be with you every step of the way. If you’ve always wanted to become a nurse, we can help you achieve your dream.

#5: How quickly can I make the career change to nursing?

If you’re planning to make a career change to nursing, you may want to lessen the time it takes to make the jump. Switching career paths can already be scary, especially if you are becoming a nurse later in life, and earning a traditional four-year degree may be a more significant time commitment than you want to make when your calling is to enter the healthcare field.

UST nursing students studying at table

Luckily, UST’s ABSN program offers three start dates each year: January, May and August. So, you can take the first step on your nursing journey at any of our locations throughout Houston – The Woodlands, Downtown or Sugar Land – when it works for you.

Start Your Second Career in Nursing

Now that you know how to jump into a second career for nurses, it’s time to connect with one of our admissions counselors.

At the University of St. Thomas in Houston, we’ll discuss your questions about our ABSN program and how to switch careers to become a nurse through our 12-month second-degree ABSN program. The nursing field inspires us every day, and we are excited to educate the next generation of life-saving nurses.

Contact us today if you want to learn more about how to begin your nursing journey.