5 Reasons to Make a Career Change to Nursing

Making a career change to nursing is a great idea because you can leverage your past education and earn a degree quickly. Nursing also gives the ability to transition from a variety of backgrounds, use your life experience in a positive way, and feel fulfilled in your career.

Northeastern ABSN student in white scrubs smiling

Are you feeling burnt out by your current career and ready for a change? If so, it’s worth considering making the career change to nursing. As we’ll show you, there’s no better choice for a second career. By enrolling in our Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program, with locations in Burlington, MA, and Charlotte, NC, you can use your existing college credits to earn a BSN in as few as 16 months.

No matter your age or past career, it’s possible to make a professional shift to nursing a reality. Read on to see why choosing nursing as a second career is such a great decision.

1. You Can Leverage Your Prior Education

Whether you earned a prior degree in marketing or chemistry, all the hard work will not go to waste when you make a career change to nursing. You’ve likely taken several general education courses previously, and these can fulfill the general education requirements for your BSN degree.

With an accelerated nursing program, your past college experience will allow you to jump right into the nursing-specific curriculum when you begin the program.

It’s worth noting that there are a few specific courses you’ll need to have taken, no matter what your prior degree was in. How many of these prerequisites you’ll need to complete depends on what classes you took in your previous field of study.

Biology degree holders tend to have the biggest timing advantage of all science majors because they’ve already completed most of the prerequisite courses, which include microbiology, chemistry, and statistics. However, if you were a non-science major before, you may still need to complete more of the eight prerequisites.

No matter how many prerequisites you need to take, our admissions team will help you map out the fastest route for completing all the ABSN admissions requirements and prerequisites.

Northeastern BSN student standing by lockers smiling

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2. You Can Earn Your BSN Quickly

One of the top advantages of nursing as a second career is that you can make the transition quickly. If you are eligible for an accelerated program and you’ve completed the prerequisites, you can graduate with a BSN in less than a year and a half. That is a fast turn-around.

Northeastern ABSN student Megan

When you’re in your mid-forties, like me, it’s easy to get stuck thinking it’s too late to go back to school. But it’s not. My nursing school experience went by so fast — now I can spend my next 20-plus years in the workforce as a nurse

Megan B., Burlington ABSN graduate

In addition to that, you can also start the program sooner because we offer three start dates each year. That means there won’t be a long time lag between your last prerequisite course and your first day of nursing school. At both of our program locations, you’ll be able to choose from start dates in January, May, and September.

Earn your BSN quickly - Northeastern ABSN student studying

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As you know, for a career changer, time is of the essence. You’ve spent enough time in an unfulfilling career, and an ABSN program allows you to make the career change to nursing efficiently.

3. You Can Transition from a Variety of Backgrounds

While many ABSN students do come from a biology background, you shouldn’t let it bother you if you don’t. You’ll find the accelerated learning environment fosters camaraderie and team spirit among students. Everyone shares the same goal, which is to work hard and graduate with a BSN in 16 months.

At Northeastern, many of our students come from diverse educational backgrounds. A graduate from the Charlotte campus, Sarah M. made the transition to nursing from public health.

Northeastern ABSN student sarah

Before nursing school, I was a student athlete who majored in public health. I thought about becoming a physician assistant, but after shadowing someone, I discovered the profession wasn’t for me. I wanted more hands-on experience with patients, so I decided to become a nurse.

Sarah M., Charlotte ABSN graduate

Patti S., another Charlotte Northeastern graduate, took a different path to nursing.

Northeastern ABSN student Patti

Before nursing school, I was a biology undergraduate and communications graduate. I worked as a pharmaceutical rep and a college admission counselor. It was after the birth of my first child that I decided to become a labor and delivery nurse.

Patti S., Charlotte ABSN graduate

4. Your Prior Work and Life Experience Is an Asset

Not only is it possible to pursue nursing as a second career, it also is advantageous to go into nursing with prior life experience. That’s because many of the soft skills of nursing can be carried over from other areas.

For example, in your prior career, you probably developed skills like accountability, time management, and communication, key characteristics of the best nurses. If you’re a parent, you’ve developed skills like empathy, responsibility, and balance, which will all be useful as you pursue nursing.

ABSN graduate Megan B. recognizes the value of her prior experience as a mom and a volunteer for hospice care before becoming a nurse. “Having kids and working with hospice patients made me a different person,” says Megan. “I found it very gratifying to bring comfort to people facing the end of their lives.”

5. Nursing Is a Personally and Professionally Rewarding Career

If you’ve felt unsatisfied in your first career, nursing might be a much-appreciated reprieve. Not only does nursing offer a well-paying, stable career with lots of opportunity for growth, but it’s also personally fulfilling. That’s because you’ll get to care for patients every day, helping them recover from illnesses and injuries. You’ll form bonds with your patients, and they will remember your kindness and compassion for years to come.

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The career benefits of nursing are equally enticing. Nurses also earn an average salary of $77,600 per year, according to May 2021 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Nurses are in high demand right now, and this will continue to grow, according to the BLS, so you can count on job security.

Furthermore, nursing is a field bursting with opportunities to advance professionally, so whether you want to become a nurse practitioner or a nurse manager, earning a BSN is the perfect first step to take.

nurse speaking with her patient

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It’s Never Too Late to Become a Nurse!

Life is full of second chances; you just have to open your mind. Whether you went to college for accounting or zoology, our hybrid online ABSN program in Boston or Charlotte can help you make an accelerated career change to nursing.

Don’t let another minute go by doing something you don’t enjoy. Speak with a Northeastern admissions counselor today.

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