5 Tips for Returning to Nursing School

Maybe nursing school has always been your goal. If so, that’s fantastic. But, if you’re like me, you’ve changed a lot throughout your life and have had to adjust. Many students return to nursing school after working in another career or studying something else.

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5 Tips for Returning to Nursing School

If you’re just beginning to consider nursing as an option and wonder how to move forward with determining the right plan for your second career as a nurse, here are some tips:

1. Know what you want.

If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you won’t find it. Make a list of what is important to you and why. What aspects of your current situation would you like to keep and what are you missing? Answering these questions will guide you.

2. Don’t say “wasted time.”

Your first career or degree will never be a waste. You will draw on what you learned from previous experiences in your time as a nursing student and nurse. Nursing is a career with diverse demands, so there will no doubt come a day when you will do your job better because of your seemingly unrelated background. Read my previous post on why second-time students do well in nursing school for more on this.

3. Research all options.

There are an array of nursing specialties and plenty of nursing degrees that nursing students can choose from. Refer to your list of what you want, but don’t be afraid to adjust it as you learn more about the profession. Knowing all the paths you can take gives you the ability to choose the one that leads you to the best nursing career for  you.

4. Be confident.

Making a change to your original plan can be scary, but remain true to yourself as you move forward. Make choices carefully, but don’t second guess your decision to change career paths at every turn. You know yourself better than anyone else does.

5. Build a support system.

Surround yourself with people who support your career change. Making a change is hard, nursing school is challenging and nursing isn’t always a walk in the park. You will need a network of great people who support your decision to remind you of why you made this choice and help you find your motivation and confidence in tough times.

Good luck as you pursue nursing as a second career! For more on planning your nursing career, download our free nursing career guide.