8 Reasons Why to Choose Nursing as a Second Career

If you are interested in nursing as a second career, there are many reasons why this would be an excellent choice. By making the career switch to nursing, you will not only be making a smart career choice, but you will also find it to be a fulfilling, meaningful job.

nurse in workplace with stethoscope

If you are considering making the major life change to pursue nursing as a second career, you are not alone. In fact, many are discovering the numerous benefits of a career switch to nursing. Working in nursing is a fulfilling and rewarding way to contribute to society and care for individuals on a daily basis.

If you are still on the fence about whether nursing is right for you, we are here to help. Discover these eight reasons why nursing is an excellent option for a second career and how you can take the first step.

1. Job Outlook

The field of nursing is an ever-growing field with a strong need for nurses. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of nurses in the field is projected to increase by 6% between 2022 and 2032. This is partly due to the nursing shortage that was exasperated by the Covid-19 epidemic. Additionally, the size of the aging population is disproportionally growing, demanding more quality health care workers. These issues only make fresh nurses more needed and desirable in the workplace.

2. Excellent Pay

In addition to solid job security and outlook, the high pay for registered nurses is a factor that motivates many who consider becoming a nurse. In 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that RNs made an average of $89,010, or about $42.80 hourly.

Even nurses in the lower percentiles still make an average of over $60,000 per year. Registered nurses in the higher percentiles can make as much as nearly $130,000 annually. This value doesn’t even consider advanced degrees and certifications that can boost earning opportunities.

3. Rewarding and Fulfilling Work

Nursing is a field full of joy and celebratory moments. However, working in health care can also be very hard. Nurses often must witness painful moments and work with families to make difficult decisions. But this is the part many nurses cherish most in their work. They have the most face-to-face time with patients of all health care workers and build relationships with those patients. Nurses can step up and advocate for patient needs, share in celebration, and provide support in sadness. This ultimately gives many nurses a sense of purpose and meaning in what they do.

nurse walking to clinicals

4. Job Flexibility

In a typical hospital setting, nursing shifts are split into three options so that you can fit your schedule to your lifestyle. These are typically day, night, and swing shifts. While it is unlikely you will be able to choose early on, once you are settled and prove yourself in the hospital, you can be more selective.

In addition, nurses can choose from many specialties when it comes to where and with whom they want to work. RNs may work in different hospital areas such as pediatrics, labor and delivery, the intensive care unit, etc. Additional certifications can help nurses become more knowledgeable and qualified for their specialty area.

American flag with stethoscope

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5. Applying Previous Job Experience

Nurses must embody a variety of character traits, such as:

  • Compassionate
  • Hard-working
  • Resilient
  • Good with time management

These traits and many more are ones you likely developed in your previous career experiences. Even if you come from a field that seemingly has nothing to do with nursing, there is value in what you bring to the table. Nursing is a multifaceted field and needs individuals with a broad variety of work experiences.

6. Room for Career Growth

Perhaps you realized that your previous career had no opportunity for upward movement, or you simply didn’t want to continue moving up in that profession. In nursing, you decide in what direction you want to progress. The best part is the endless opportunities.

nurse using electronic equipment in hospital

Once you earn your BSN, you may not only pursue certain specialties but also an advanced degree that enables you to work in positions such as nurse midwife, nurse leader, nurse educator, and nurse anesthetist. You may also become a nurse practitioner and diagnose, create treatment plans, prescribe medication, and even open your own independent practice.

7. Utilizing Previous Education

If you have already earned a previous degree in a non-nursing field, you can apply it toward a degree in nursing. Many nursing programs, such as Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) programs and Direct-Entry Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs, are ideal since they consider your previous credits.

Selecting a program that utilizes your previous credits can ensure that you don’t need to retake gen-ed classes or have overlap in your nursing prerequisite courses. Regardless of whether you studied anything from science to the humanities, there are options for you to invest in your nursing education using your previous learning experiences.

nursing students in classroom

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8. Transitioning to Nursing Fast

By applying previous credits toward your nursing education, these Accelerated BSN and MSN programs allow students to graduate much earlier than a traditional nursing program. Since the need for nurses has increased significantly, schools are recognizing this and encouraging individuals to pursue nursing and getting them into the field faster. Many ABSN and Accelerated MSN programs prepare you with coursework, labs, and clinicals in less than two years, whereas a traditional bachelor’s program will span four years.

Get Connected with Nursing Schools

If you are ready to explore nursing programs, fill out our online form to discover programs that fit your needs, lifestyle, and location. You will be contacted by schools and have the opportunity to learn more about their programs. This is a free service, and you are under no obligation to any schools who contact you.

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Ready to start your nursing journey?