How to Switch to Nursing As a Second Career

Numerous aspects need consideration if you're contemplating a career transition to nursing. Let's find out...

Nurse injecting a patient (Nursing as a career concept pic)
Representational Image | Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Frequently, the choice of your undergraduate degree is influenced by your personal interests, abilities, and the existing demand in the job market. As you advance through your education and begin your professional journey, these elements continue to evolve. Consequently, the relevance of your degree may diminish over time, or perhaps your interests have shifted, leaving you unsatisfied with your current job.

A career in nursing is a popular choice for many due to its inherent personal satisfaction. The necessity for empathetic nursing professionals is increasingly apparent in our ever-changing world. Numerous aspects need consideration if you’re contemplating a career transition to nursing. Continue reading to understand how more individuals switch to nursing as a second career.

How to Switch to Nursing As a Second Career

Finalize Your Nursing Coursework, Inclusive of the Clinical Sessions

The curriculum will differ depending on the school and the program, but anticipate acquiring practical skills and participating in simulation labs. It’s also essential for you to accumulate experience through clinical practice at nearby health services establishments.

The amount of required clinical hours you need to fulfill is contingent on both the program and the licensing prerequisites in the state where you’re studying. Generally, ABSN requirements fall within the range of 700 to 800 hours of practice and training, mirroring the hours necessitated for a distance accelerated BSN.

Maintain a Strong Network of Support

While 16 or 24 months might appear lengthy, many graduates are astonished by how swiftly time passes. Given the vast amount of knowledge to be acquired during this period, students must establish a robust support network when they enroll in a fast-track nursing program.

Ensure you are surrounded by a strong network of supporters who can assist you in maintaining a balance between academic responsibilities and life’s commitments. The journey to a second career in nursing can be demanding at times, but with the right individuals by your side, success is within your reach.

Complete Any Necessary Prerequisite Courses

Following your first admissions discussion, your adviser will require a copy of your unofficial college transcripts. They will thoroughly scrutinize these documents to ascertain your suitability for the program and identify any prerequisite courses you may need to finish before enrolling.

They will subsequently collaborate with you to devise a strategy for accomplishing these courses promptly. The necessity for taking any courses (if applicable) will be determined by factors such as your prior degree, the date you completed your previous courses, and your grades.

Obtain the Credentials

If your background is in a field somewhat akin to nursing, such as biology, you are already a step closer to earning your degree. Programs like the accelerated BSN allow students from diverse fields to fast-track their way to a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Several nursing schools provide these BSN programs online, specifically tailored for those who aren’t nurses yet. You could secure your degree in at least 16 months with the right credits. An advantage of online programs is their flexibility, enabling you to retain your current job. If you’re passionate about your current role and believe you still have contributions to make in your field, you can continue working while simultaneously pursuing your academic credentials.

Related » Labors of Love: The Magic of Doing What You Love


Regardless of what prompted your decision to switch careers, it’s always the right time to chase a fulfilling and promising career in nursing. With adequate preparation, determination, and a solid support network, your dream career can indeed become a reality.

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