9 Reasons to Choose Nursing as a Second Career

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nurse helping older patient in chair

Are you considering make a career change to nursing? If so, good for you! Nursing is a career where your work truly matters, and with an accelerated nursing track, you can make the change faster than you may have realized.

Whether you were bored in your prior career, you’re seeking better pay, or you want to make a difference in people’s lives, seeking nursing as a second career is a smart move. With the University of the Incarnate Word’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) track, eligible students can make the career change to nursing faster and earn their nursing degree in as few as 16 months.

Nursing is a career with abundant benefits, including stability and impact along with advancement opportunity. Let’s explore why going back to school for nursing is worth it for you. Here are nine reasons to choose a second career in nursing.

1. Job Security

Nurses are in high demand, especially considering the nursing shortage our country is currently experiencing. As baby boomers approach retirement age, more nurses will be retiring in the coming years, and new nurses will need to take their place. Add to that the aging-related healthcare needs of the baby boomer generation, along with a nationwide increase in chronic conditions like obesity and diabetes, and the growing need for new nurses becomes clear.

This demand for nurses can be seen on a national and state level by the increase in job openings expected in the coming years. Nationally, the number of nursing positions is expected to increase by 9 percent from 2020 to 2030. However, the demand in Texas will be even higher, as the state is on track to experience a 17 percent growth in employment for nurses from 2018 to 2028.

a UIW nursing student smiling at the camera

2. Choice of Settings

Another reason many choose nursing as a second career is because of the myriad specialty and workplace setting options available. Nursing offers diverse work experiences and settings, which means you can truly make your career your own. You can find a career that brings you joy and fulfillment. All it takes is a BSN to have a variety of options at your fingertips.

Those earning a BSN degree can elect to work in a wide variety of settings such as:

  • Hospitals
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Senior care facilities
  • School systems
  • Military bases
  • Travel nursing

Furthermore, nurses can choose from a wide array of specialty areas of nursing practice, including:

  • Pediatrics
  • Labor and delivery
  • Psychiatric care
  • Oncology
  • Emergency medicine
  • Forensic nursing

3. Meaningful Work

When you choose nursing, you’re starting more than a career. Nurses help save lives and better the human experience daily. You’ll get to care for people in their most vulnerable times and in times of crisis.

Nursing is also a well-respected and trusted profession within the community. For the 20th year in a row, it has been named the foremost ethical and honest occupation, according to a Gallup poll. If you’re looking for a career change to nursing because you want to give to others and start a career with meaning, nursing surely will not disappoint.

4. Daily Variety

Many people choose nursing as a second career because they are tired of the monotony of their prior career. Variety is the name of the game with healthcare, so every day as a nurse is different. No two patients are alike, and each day presents a unique set of challenges.

This variety in your daily work helps you stay engaged and interested in the work you’re doing. The day-to-day tasks of a nurse can vary widely depending on the patient. Some key duties you’ll have range from performing physical exams and talking with patients about their medical history to providing patient care and treatments and assisting with procedures.

5. Upward Mobility

A second career in nursing provides an excellent career trajectory. With a BSN, you’ll have the opportunity to grow into leadership roles. If you desire career growth, your nursing degree offers an abundance of ways to develop professionally.

BSN programs can prepare you to take on the role of a clinical leader or nurse manager, and you can also take your career into healthcare administration.

You could also earn a master’s degree in nursing and become a nurse educator, teaching the next generation of nurses. If you desire professional growth within bedside nursing, you can seek certifications and gain expertise in advanced nursing specialties, such as critical care or neonatal intensive care.

If you desire even more growth, those with a BSN can choose to further advance their careers by pursuing a graduate degree to become a nurse practitioner or nurse anesthetist, for example. These roles come with a significant pay boost as well a greater scope of practice, so they’re an ideal way to take on more responsibility in patient care.

UIW nursing student in a simulation lab with peers

6. Flexible Scheduling

Nursing offers a variety of scheduling options depending on what specialty you choose. Some hospital or inpatient care nurses work 12-hour shifts, which allows for several days off per week. Other nurses prefer a traditional work schedule, opting for a clinic environment with 9 to 5 weekday hours.

Nurses may choose a position that allows them to work full-time, part-time or on an as-needed basis. And they can opt to work day, evening or night shifts. It’s worth noting that nurses who work the night or weekend shift often earn increased pay.

7. Geographic Mobility

Another reason to choose nursing as a second career is that a nursing degree allows you to be mobile. You can find a nursing job nearly anywhere in the U.S. because every community needs nurses, and even more so in recent years because of the nursing shortage affecting the country.

Many nurses also have the ability to work within multiple states, opening the door to travel nursing or telehealth nursing. The Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), adopted across the majority of U.S. states (including Texas), allows a nurse to hold one multi-state license. This means they can practice in their home state as well as other compact states.

8. Competitive Pay

Nursing as a second career is a smart decision because being a nurse not only provides intrinsic value, but it also offers great compensation. Nursing can give you a stable career that enables you to provide for your family.

The median annual salary for a nurse in Texas is $75,320. And the median salary of a registered nurse in the U.S. is $77,320. This is much higher than the median annual salary for all occupations, which is $58,260.

UIW nursing student posing in front of hospital bed with arms crossed

9. Team Environment

Pursuing nursing as a second career means you’ll get to build valuable relationships with your coworkers. Unlike most careers that stress independence, nursing is a collaborative career where you’ll work alongside other nurses as well as other healthcare professionals. This interactive, team-focused approach offers a dynamic and enjoyable work atmosphere. In addition, you’ll always have people to go to for support and assistance as you care for patients.

Earn Your Nursing Degree at UIW

These are all great reasons to consider nursing as a second career, but why should you choose the UIW Accelerated BSN track?

If you meet the admissions requirements, you can complete our 62-credit ABSN track in as few as 16 months. There are a few prerequisites to complete, but the ABSN track at UIW allows you to start where you are — giving you credit for your previous education so you can focus exclusively on your online nursing coursework and hands-on learning. With three start dates per year — in January, May and August — you can begin sooner.

The UIW ABSN track focuses on treating the whole patient: body, mind and spirit. It is comprised of three components:

One of our dedicated ABSN admissions counselors will be happy to answer your questions and help you determine whether nursing as a second career is right for you.

Take the First Steps to Become a Nurse

No matter what your reason is for wanting to pursue nursing as a second career, the UIW ABSN track can help you get there sooner.

Contact us today by filling out our online form, and our admissions counselors will reach out to you. Now is the time to start your path toward a career in nursing.