Career AdviceNursing Inspiration

5 Reasons to Choose Nursing as a Second Career

Need a Change? - Woman thinking

Is it becoming more and more difficult for you to muster the motivation to go into work? Then it might be time for a career change. Have you ever considered nursing as a second career? If so, we’ve got five reasons why you should consider going back to school to enter this rewarding healthcare profession.

1. Accelerated Nursing Education

If you have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, our Accelerated Bachelor of Science (ABSN) program in Houston, Texas, makes it possible to earn a quality BSN in 12 months. And with three program start dates a year—January, May and August—you can begin your education as soon as you’re ready.

2. High-Demand Profession

Nursing is the largest occupation in healthcare, with nearly four million registered nurses practicing across the country. But even so, there’s not enough of these professionals to go around, resulting in a nationwide nursing shortage.

The Texas Center for Nursing Workforce Studies expects the supply of registered nurses, nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists and nurse-midwives to fall short by 2030, with approximately 60,000 open jobs.

What’s Driving The Nursing Shortage?

While the demand for nurses varies by state, several core factors are contributing to the shortage. On one hand, you’ve got an aging population that needs more healthcare services, and on the other, you have a significant number of working nurses reaching retirement age.

But that’s not all. Nursing schools are turning away thousands of qualified applicants every year. And it’s because a lot of schools don’t have the faculty, classroom space and/or clinical placements to accommodate these individuals. The good news, however, is that our 12-month ABSN program has the resources to be able to enroll a high number of qualified students annually.

3. Growing Occupation

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates registered nurse employment in this country to grow 12% from 2018 to 2028. As of May 2019, the Bureau listed Texas second on its list of the top five states with the highest employment levels for registered nurses. Not to mention, The Lone Star State is on track to experience a 24% employment growth for nurses from 2016 to 2026.

When looking at the employment numbers for registered nurses in Texas, these are the top five metro areas for those looking to work in this rewarding healthcare profession.

RankMetro AreaEmployment
1Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington60,620
2Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land54,780
3San Antonio-New Braunfels21,140
4Austin-Round Rock14,860
5El Paso5,950
Source: CareerOneStop.org, 2019 data
University of St. Thomas Houston nursing student working in skills lab

4. Diverse Work Settings

The nursing profession has evolved and expanded quite a bit (OK, a lot) over the past 60 years. If you graduated from nursing school in the 1960s, you would have more than likely worked in a hospital for your entire career.

While hospitals remain the largest employers of nurses, there are so many different ways you can practice the profession today. You can work in an outpatient clinic, a private practice, a military base, a school or all of the above as a travel nurse.

There are also countless specialty areas of nursing practice you can focus on, such as emergency nursing, forensic nursing, geriatric nursing and holistic nursing to name a few.

5. High Earning Potential

Much of your earning potential as a registered nurse depends on your employer, experience and the state you practice in. Overall, there’s good money in the nursing profession. Keep in mind, however, nursing is not the type of career you should go into for the money. To be a happy and successful nurse, you need to have a passion for the profession and consider the career a calling.

Here’s how nursing salaries in Texas compare to the rest of the country.

LocationMedian90%
United States$73,300$111,220
Texas$73,400$99,880
Houston$80,640$103,740
Dallas$75,440$101,660
San Antonio$72,210$96,330
Source: CareerOneStop.org, 2019 data

Who Goes Back To School For Nursing?

When it comes to accelerated nursing programs for non-nurses, including our 12-month ABSN program, you’ll often find a lot of student diversity within the cohorts. Individuals entering these programs have different educational and life experiences, from recent college graduates to mid-life career changers.

At our University, it doesn’t matter what you studied as an undergrad or where you worked in the past, you just need a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, a commitment to your nursing education and a passion for the profession to be a good fit for our ABSN program, which we also refer to as ABSN@UST.

How ABSN@UST Works

Our ABSN program in Houston builds on your non-nursing bachelor’s degree, making the 12-month transition into nursing possible. This rigorous, full-time program follows a blended learning model that prepares you to enter the profession as a practice-ready nurse.

  • Online courses teach you the fundamentals of the nursing profession anytime, anywhere. As long as you meet instructor deadlines, you can study at 10 am or 10 pm—and at your own pace.
  • Onsite nursing labs at our dedicated ABSN program site provide a contextual environment for you to practice your nursing skills and clinical judgment without the fear of putting patient safety at risk.
  • Clinical placements at top healthcare facilities within the greater Houston area provide you with valuable real-world experience caring for diverse patient populations.

As a graduate of our 12-month ABSN program, you’ll be prepared to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN®) with confidence.

ABSN students working in skills lab

Is A Career In Nursing Right For You?

If you’re thinking about nursing as a second career but aren’t entirely sure about the profession or an accelerated nursing education, feel free to contact our admissions team.

One of our dedicated ABSN admissions counselors will be more than happy to answer your questions and help you determine whether our accelerated nursing program is a good fit for you. Plus, you have nothing to lose. At no point during the admissions process are you obligated to attend our University.

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