The Advantage of Becoming a Second Career Nurse

A second career nurse caring for a mother and her baby
A second career nurse caring for a mother and her baby

An employment transition from one career to another can play a major role in job satisfaction and experiencing contentment in life. If you have ever wondered whether nursing as a second career may be a fulfilling decision, this blog is for you. 

Work opportunities for registered nurses (RNs) are currently anticipated to grow by approximately 6%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a rate that is substantially higher than average compared to other careers. This favorable job outlook accounts for a projected increase in employment for RNs of approximately 177,400 between 2022 and 2032. 

Is nursing a good career? For those with a strong desire to step into a calling with meaningful and purposeful work, the answer is likely a resounding “yes.” The professional role of a nurse is filled with countless ways to help others every single day. Compassionate health care is a chance for nurses to foster supportive, human connections with patients and families. Making a difference is just one of the many advantages of becoming a second career nurse.


Is Nursing Right for You?

As you consider a potential career change to the nursing field, many factors are important to assess when determining whether nursing is right for you. The transition will require the completion of a nursing education program, and your decision may hinge on the pros and cons of returning to school for additional training. 

You can become a nurse with a bachelor’s in another field as the starting point for your nursing education. There are online accelerated nursing programs for those with a prior bachelor’s degree to enable you to enter the field in under two years. Other questions to consider when determining if nursing is right for you include:

  • Are you a patient listener?
  • Do you enjoy taking care of others?
  • Would you like the potential for career advancement?
  • Can you appreciate variety and unpredictability in your work days?

If these characteristics apply to you, nursing may be a fulfilling profession for your future.


Transferable Skills for Nursing as a Second Career

One of the biggest advantages of being a second degree nurse is the ability to bring the life experience and transferable skills from your previous role into your new career. Many useful skills can be gained in other careers besides nursing that transfer well. Examples include:

  • Organization and time management
  • Effective communication and teamwork
  • Science and technology
  • Critical thinking

You can become a nurse at any stage of life. Your unique gifts and talents may contribute to excellence in nursing in ways that are advantageous because of your background. As you get to know patients and families in a nursing role, your personality and life can also be shared professionally and therapeutically to develop meaningful connections and help uplift and encourage others in their time of need.


Advantages of Nursing as a Second Career

When choosing a second career, you have a fresh opportunity to align your personal goals and values with your professional work, thereby creating real potential for greater fulfillment than your current career. Some considerations for personal and professional alignment include:

  • What type of work schedule do you desire?
  • Are you more interested in a clinical or non-clinical workplace?
  • Do you like fast paced or more consistent work?
  • Is there a particular patient population you are passionate about?

With a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, you can become a second career nurse with options. Some nurses choose to specialize in a particular population, such as psychiatric-mental health nursing or caring for infants and children. Others may choose to move forward with career advancement and specialize in fields like health informatics or forensic nursing, where the clinical skills serve as a foundation for a more non-clinical work environment. 

Careers for BSN-prepared nurses are plentiful and diverse. Next, let’s explore the fastest way to earn a BSN and some important distinctions between traditional and accelerated programs.


Types of BSN Programs for Future Nurses

It is possible to complete nursing school in a relatively short time frame. You can become a nurse in under two years if you leverage your existing bachelor’s degree for admission to a program designed for second career nurses. Accelerated BSN (ABSN) programs are created specifically for individuals with a prior bachelor’s degree and build upon this foundation for an efficient transition into the nursing workforce. 

Unlike traditional BSN programs that typically take around four years to complete and include many in-person classes, ABSN programs are much faster and provide an effective way to become a nurse online. The BSN degree is earned at the end of an ABSN program, making it a favorable alternative to an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) program which also is relatively short and takes around two years to complete.

When researching potential ABSN programs, you will find many have exciting features such as:

  • Online coursework 
  • In-person clinical rotations
  • Simulation and lab opportunities 
  • Complimentary placement support 

The bachelor’s degree prerequisite means a shorter time to graduation and the fast track to becoming a second career nurse.


Why Choose Holy Family University to Pursue Your BSN?

Holy Family University is a solid choice where you can pursue your BSN degree if you already hold a bachelor’s in another field. The program is rigorous and rewarding with opportunities to network with colleagues and learn directly from experienced faculty.

The ABSN program at Holy Family University is more affordable than other comparable programs and requires fewer prerequisites for admission. Clinical placement services are included, and there is one, on-campus residency in the program. In just 14 months, you can complete your BSN education and be ready to transform lives through the delivery of competent nursing care. 

Download your free program guide today to learn more about Holy Family’s Second Degree Distance Hybrid BSN.