Nursing as a Second Career: 5 Questions to Consider

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Is it worth it to change 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 career as a nurse. That’s why the University of St. Thomas Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (2nd Degree) program empowers qualified applicants to earn a BSN and enter the nursing field in as few as 12 months.

We think a career change to nursing is absolutely 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 put together five questions you should reflect upon 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 very important to ensure you’re in it for right reasons. The University of St. Thomas ABSN program emphasizes holistic care — or 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.

Consider why current St. Thomas ABSN student Arnesha Jones decided to become a nurse. She experienced a nurse who took extra steps to make sure she received quality care and felt safe as a child. As a nursing student, Arnesha is sure to utilize 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.”

If you are called to help others, nursing may be the right fit for you. Do you have the other skills needed to be a great nurse? Let’s see.

#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 be successful in the program.

This means the ABSN program will be your main point of focus — you may miss out on social events, spending time with family, and we do not recommend you hold a full-time job while studying to become a nurse.

If you are passionate about becoming a nurse and you are 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 the time spent studying, completing coursework, labs and clinical rotations is worth it to change lives as a nurse.

“If you are looking at an ABSN program, understand what you’re getting into. Look at the coursework that is assigned and prioritize that. If you do that, the University of St. Thomas is one of the best places to go, in my experience. They really want to see you succeed and thrive,” -says recent ABSN graduate Michael Kramer.

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

One of the perks of earning your B.S. in Nursing is once you finish your nursing education, your chances of finding a job are high. Due in part to an aging population as well as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses are and will continue to be in high demand. In fact, 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 to 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 in pediatrics, or even as a travel nurse. Nurses enjoy flexibility not only in the work environment, but where they choose to live, as well.

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

Your path to nursing begins with our team of admissions advisors, 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.

“After I applied to ABSN@UST, I got a phone call from one of the admissions advisors. It wasn’t necessarily an interview, but I really got a sense that they really wanted to know more about me. I said, ’Wow, they’re taking all these steps and I’m not even admitted yet. I’m not even a student.’ That really made an impact on me," Michael says.

Our admissions advisors will be there with you every step of the way. If it’s your calling to become a nurse, we can help you get there.

#5: How quickly can I switch to nursing as a second career?

If you’re planning to make a career change to nursing, you may want to lessen the amount of time it takes to make the jump. Switching career paths can already be scary, and earning a traditional four-year degree may be a bigger time commitment than you want to make when your calling is to enter the healthcare field.

Luckily, ABSN@UST offers three start dates each year in January, May and August, so you’re able to take the first step on your nursing journey 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 advisors.

At ABSN@UST in Houston, we’ll talk through any questions you have about our ABSN program and how to switch careers to become a nurse through our 12-month second-degree ABSN program. The field of nursing 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.