Changing careers is an exciting, but also intimidating, decision. It means taking the reins on your future and pursuing a profession that inspires you. Sometimes, this also means going back to school. Although this can be difficult, changing career paths is actually very common. According to one study, 70 percent of today’s workforce is actively looking for a career change. As of 2020, about 60 percent of job seekers are considering changing their fields completely.
Perhaps that is why you are here. You are considering a career change to nursing. You may feel called to the nursing field, or inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic to help people in need. More than likely, you have an inherent desire to make a difference, and your current career isn’t giving you what you need.
However, you already have a bachelor’s degree – in a different major. You do not have a history of medical training or patient care. So, how can you change paths completely? Should you invest the added time, and money, into nursing school?
This is a deeply personal decision, but as many nurses will tell you, there is great satisfaction in what they do. Below, we outline the top three reasons why so many people make a career change to nursing.
- Nursing is ranked as one of the top professions in healthcare.
Registered Nurses (RNs) consistently earn top ranks in U.S. News’ annual list of best healthcare jobs. As of 2021, still amid a global health pandemic, Registered Nurses are ranked #14 on this career list, above surgeons, pediatricians, and even OB/GYNs. This is due to the job satisfaction, salary potential, work-life balance, and career opportunities that nurses can often expect.
As Business Insider states, nursing is considered to be “one of the most satisfying, in-demand, secure, and overall best jobs in healthcare.” A study from AMN Healthcare supports this, finding that 83 percent of nurses are satisfied with their choice of nursing as a career.
It’s no wonder why. The field of nursing brings both personal and professional benefits. On the professional side, RNs earn a median salary of over $73,000 annually – and in Connecticut, this figure exceeds $84,000 per year. Registered Nurses also can expect great opportunity, with job openings in nursing growing faster than average in the United States.
Additionally, RNs benefit from great flexibility in their role. Depending on where you work, you can work three, 12-hour shifts per week (meaning more time off), or five days a week during regular office hours. You may also work nights, evenings, or weekends depending on your role.
- You do not have to spend four more years in school.
Making a career change to nursing can be a bit scary, but it can also be very straightforward for those who already have a college degree under their belts. If you have a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing major, there are nursing programs specially designed for you! Aspiring nurses with a bachelor’s degree can pursue an Accelerated BSN (ABSN) program, sometimes called a second-degree nursing program.
ABSN programs are geared towards people making a career change to nursing, who do not have prior education within the nursing field. These programs take your prior college education and count it towards the new, secondary degree. At Goodwin’s nursing school, for example, ABSN students are awarded 38 credits automatically when entering the program. These are designed to “credit” students for their prior academic investment, and can help shorten the time commitment for their BSN degree.
At Goodwin University, the accelerated BSN program can be completed in as few as 16 months full-time, in an online/on-campus hybrid format. This flexibility will allow you to finish your Bachelor’s in Nursing (BSN) degree in less than two years’ time, and start making a difference in the nursing field.
- You will find meaningful, fulfilling work.
Perhaps the reason you are here, or the thing that inspired it all, is that you wish to make a difference with the work you do. You may have a desire to help other people, and to make an impact in their lives. You may desire a career with meaning, gratification, and a feeling of personal success. For many people, making a career change to nursing checks off all those boxes.
Registered Nurses care for patients who are sick, injured, and disabled. They help people through some of the most vulnerable moments of their lives. They work closely with patients, and patients’ families, to make their healthcare experience the best possible. For this reason, nurses find great satisfaction in their work. As one nurse explained to the American Holistic Nurses Association, “Nurses help people and in doing so, we receive the unmatched satisfaction of knowing that we have made a difference to patients and their families.”
Although you may feel hesitant to make a major career move, there are many notable reasons to pursue a nursing career today. And, quite frankly, there are very few reasons not to. If you feel in your heart that nursing is the right vocation for you, follow that feeling. This is your life. This is your future. There are no rules saying you have to stick to one career or one major. There are no policies saying how or when you should become a nurse. Becoming a nurse, and changing your career path altogether, is always an option for you.
With healthcare workers in such high demand, and with the growing need for health services, there is no better time to make a career change to nursing. If you are interested in learning about the accelerated BSN program – also called a second degree nursing program – at Goodwin, please do not hesitate to reach out. You may call 800-889-3282 to learn more, or request more information online.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.