ABSN Grad Advocates for Changing Careers at 40

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ABSN grad advocates for changing careers at 40

While changing careers at 40 may seem crazy or scary to some, Megan, a 2017 Northeastern ABSN program graduate, will tell you it’s one of the best decisions she’s ever made.

Before nursing school, Megan, now in her forties, spent 10 years raising her kids and volunteering for hospice—two roles she claims shifted her perspective on life. So much so that when it came time for her to rejoin the workforce, she didn’t want to go back to her career as a grants manager.

“Having kids and working with hospice patients made me a different person. I no longer wanted to sit behind a desk working with numbers. I wanted a career that was more fulfilling—a career where I didn’t just go to work,” she said. I was going to do something I loved.”

Once Megan decided nursing was the profession for her, she wanted to get started on a degree right away. When researching different nursing school options, our Accelerated BSN program near Boston piqued her interest. “I was looking for a school with a good reputation and a program that would fit into my lifestyle as a mom,” she said.


Thanks to our ABSN program’s three start dates a year, we were able to quickly put Megan’s nursing education in motion. By letting her build on her existing bachelor’s degree, we also made it possible for her to graduate from nursing school in 16 months.

If you find yourself inspired by Megan’s story and want to change careers at 40, here’s what you can expect from the ABSN program at Northeastern University.

Admissions Process

Megan Says...

Having someone calling and checking in on me was a big part of why I chose Northeastern.

After your first call with a Northeastern admissions counselor, he or she will become your designated guide for the entire ABSN program admissions process. Your counselor’s job will be to help streamline your entry into nursing school, so expect to be supported every step of the way.

Our admissions counselors take what’s typically an overwhelming process and make it as straightforward and personalized as possible. Once we receive your nursing school application, you’ll receive an admissions decision from us within just a few weeks.

Online Nursing Courses

Megan says...

I was able to earn most of my degree at home. It was perfect.

nursing student studying online

Covering the fundamentals of nursing, from ethics to pharmacology to research, our online courses bring a level of convenience to the rigors of nursing school.

Delivered through an intuitive e-Learning platform, you’ll find the coursework to be nicely organized and easily accessible 24/7.

Online nursing courses include:

  • Video and podcast content
  • Interactive learning activities
  • Discussion forums
  • Simulated case studies
  • Worksheet assignments

While instructor deadlines still apply, online courses allow you to learn at your own pace.

You can go back and review content as many times as you want. And, even though you’re not on campus, it’s easy for you to connect with faculty.

Nursing Skills and Simulation Labs

Megan Says...

Simulations are great. They give you a chance to make mistakes and learn from them without hurting anybody.

Replicating the hospital environment, our nursing skills lab features advanced equipment, medical supplies, and lifelike manikins so you can practice your skills in a realistic setting where patient safety isn’t at risk. It’s a place where our faculty will tell you it’s OK to make and learn from mistakes.

Labs teach you how to safely and effectively apply core nursing skills, such as:

  • Catheterization
  • Intramuscular injections
  • NG tube insertion
  • Tracheotomy care
  • Wound care

Our nursing simulation labs also provide a realistic platform for you to intervene in diverse nursing scenarios without the fear of harming an actual patient. Challenging you to problem-solve, collaborate, and think critically, these learning activities teach you how to apply your skills within the context of broad clinical practice.

Clinical Rotations

Megan Says...

I learned a lot during my preceptorship. I worked a dozen 12-hour shifts and took patients by myself.

Starting first semester of our ABSN program, clinical rotations are where you experience various areas of nursing practice, helping to care for diverse patient populations. Furthermore, our university’s reputation for nursing excellence has enabled us to develop a robust network of clinical partners that gives you access to some of the best healthcare facilities and teams in the world.

During your fourth and final semester in the ABSN program, you’ll gain concentrated clinical experience under the guidance of a trained preceptor (licensed RN.) You’ll work the same shifts as your preceptor and play an active, maybe even a primary role, in patient care.

Our clinical rotations, when combined with our rigorous theory courses and nursing labs, help prepare you to sit for the NCLEX-RN® licensure exam with confidence. These experiences also do a good job of priming you for your first nursing position.

Words of Wisdom

Megan Says...

Nursing school went by so fast. I now have 25 years of a new career ahead of me.

If you have doubts about changing careers at 40, let Megan be your inspiration. She disagrees with anyone who thinks it’s too late to go back to school. She plans to use her Northeastern nursing degree to become a hospice nurse for the elderly.

While you can expect to put lot of time and energy into our ABSN program, Megan considers it a challenge that’s well worth the reward. “You get to be a registered nurse and go out and help people,” she concluded.

Want to follow in Megan’s footsteps and change your career to nursing? Contact our admissions team to find out how you can earn a BSN in as few as 16 months.

Get Your Free ABSN Program Guide

Our ABSN program guide includes everything you need to know about the accelerated path to nursing.

Northeastern University ABSN program guide