Considering a Career Change to Nursing? Here’s Your Guide

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Making a career change to nursing is an excellent idea. Not only does nursing offer a fulfilling career where you’ll get to make a difference, but you can begin quickly by choosing an accelerated nursing track. To start you new career, the first step is earning a BSN degree.

nurse in red scrubs sitting in chair

If you don’t feel fulfilled in your work and are considering becoming a nurse, now is the time to examine the benefits of a career change to nursing.

Starting a second career in nursing is simpler than you might think. The Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) track at the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) allows you to earn a nursing degree in as few as 16 months.

Before we discuss how to start nursing as a second career, we’ll first explain why the career switch to nursing is a great idea.

1. Nursing Is in High Demand and Earns a Good Living

UIW nursing student smiling leaning up against the wall

One reason to consider a career change to nursing is the nationwide nursing shortage, affecting the ability of employers to find qualified nurses. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects nursing jobs to grow 6% by 2032.

2. Nurses Earn a Good Living

Nursing offers competitive wages, with an average salary of $77,600 per year within the U.S., according to the BLS. Compensation can increase based on experience and specialty.

UIW ABSN student smiling

See six reasons why nursing school is worth it.

3. Opportunities to Grow

Nursing is a field overflowing with ways to advance professionally. By making a quick transition to nursing through the ABSN track, you’ll be positioned to take on leadership opportunities after gaining some experience and earning an advanced degree.

How to Make the Career Switch to Nursing

Now that you understand the benefits of a career change to nursing, let’s walk through making it happen. The first step is finding the right nursing program for you. If you have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree or preexisting non-nursing college credits, an accelerated nursing track may be right for you.

Wondering how to choose a nursing program? Here are 12 questions to ask nursing schools before applying.

woman sitting at desk holding a pen while working on laptop

1. Finish Prerequisites and Apply

Once you decide where you want to apply, talk with an admissions counselor and make an admissions plan to complete prerequisite courses before enrolling. Once you complete prerequisites, you can apply to nursing school.

2. Earn Your Degree

Earning a BSN in as few as 16 months takes a lot of grit and dedication, but we’ll provide you with the support and resources you need to succeed. UIW’s ABSN consists of online classes, skills and simulation labs and clinical rotations. You’ll need to balance many different responsibilities and manage your time well to ensure you get the most out of every learning experience.

2 nursing students working in a lab setting on a manikin

What is accelerated nursing school like? Here’s what to expect in the ABSN track.

3. Pass the NCLEX and Get Licensed

After graduating from nursing school, the last major hurdle to overcome is passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). This exam tests how you apply critical thinking skills to nursing concepts. Once you’ve passed the NCLEX and met any additional requirements from your state’s board of nursing, you’ll be eligible to receive your registered nurse license.

Start Your Second Career Nursing Journey at UIW

Transitioning to a nursing career later in life is possible. With the UIW ABSN track, you can earn your nursing degree in as few as 16 months. To learn more about the ABSN track and find out if it’s right for you, get in touch with our admissions counselors.