Can I Change Careers from Teacher to Nurse?

How to Change Careers from Teacher to Nurse

If you find yourself contemplating a career change, you are not alone. Many question their life’s path and wish to change directions. Perhaps you chose a degree and career path you were once passionate about, but now find yourself with new career goals. Changing careers is a common pathway for many. In fact, according to recent research, it’s estimated that 30% of workers – nearly 50 million in the U.S. – were switching jobs in 2022.

Within this familiar story, we’ve noticed a trend in recent years (perhaps in wake of the pandemic) with many teachers changing careers to nursing. Quite often, nursing is a career pathway pursued later in one’s educational journey, and recently, many teachers have expressed a growing interest in this in-demand job market.

The expectations and reality of teaching are often at odds, and teachers find they can still make a difference in the lives of their patients, find ways to teach, and inspire others through a second exciting career as a nurse.

So, why are teachers changing careers to nursing? And how can you change from teacher to nurse through advanced and accelerated nursing programs? Let’s dive in.

What is a Nurse?

While a familiar job title, it often goes undefined. So, let’s get specific. Nurses, or registered nurses (RNs), are licensed healthcare professionals who care for patients in need and educate both patients and the public on disease prevention, medical conditions, preventive care, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Nurses work in hospitals, healthcare clinics, doctors’ offices, and school health clinics, handling all aspects of patient care and working alongside and supporting doctors, physicians, and nurse practitioners.

Registered nurses typically have the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Assess patients’ conditions
  • Record patients’ medical histories and symptoms
  • Administer patients’ medicines and treatments
  • Operate and monitor medical equipment
  • Help perform diagnostic tests and analyze the results
  • Explain what to do at home after treatment

Individuals looking to become a registered nurse must earn their degree and become licensed in their field. Examples of degrees include an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), or, for those looking to change careers, like a teacher-to-nurse career change, an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) degree.

4 Reasons to Change Careers From Teaching to Nursing

1. High Salary Potential

Though teachers can make good salaries, depending on their location, credentials, and position, others look to careers like nursing due to their high salary potential and financial security.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), registered nurses make a median annual wage of $77,660, with the highest ten percent earning more than $120,250. This significantly contrasts with the median yearly salary of $61,400 for elementary school teachers and the median annual salary of $61,820 for high school teachers.

Nurses can also earn even more money by picking up extra shifts, working overtime, and even working shifts like weekends or nights, which result in higher pay overall.

2. In-Demand Field

Similar to teaching, the nursing field is in high demand. There is always a need for nurses. An average of about 203,300 openings for registered nurses are projected each year to 2031, due to the need to replace workers exiting the labor force and the large number of older people needing medical care.

Furthermore, the U.S. is still experiencing a nursing shortage due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the aging baby boomer population, and the increasing importance and focus individuals place on healthcare and caring for their bodies.

3. Make an Impact Many Ways

Many teachers pursue teaching to make a long-lasting impact on the lives of others, especially children. For this reason, many switch from teacher to nurse to continue to help others and make a difference in their lives. Many former teachers choose to work with children in a pediatric or obstetric setting as a nurse. Some even return to schools as school nurses later in life.

Individuals find that their honed lesson planning skills and ability to note students’ educational and developmental progress transfer effortlessly to devising treatment plans and monitoring a patient’s health status in nursing. Not to mention that nurses get to focus on personalized care for each patient rather than trying to accommodate twenty children at once in the classroom. One-to-one attention—it’s a teacher’s dream!

4. Nursing and Teaching Utilize Similar Skills

While teachers and nurses do not share the same tasks and duties, they share many soft skills that enable them to do their jobs successfully.

Communication, teamwork, and critical thinking are instrumental skills for a successful nursing career. Furthermore, if you are looking to change careers, chances are you have a mature sense of yourself, identity, and values, which gives you much-needed confidence in yourself and your abilities when embarking upon a new career path.

Other impactful soft skills teachers bring into their new careers as nurses include problem-solving, stress management, and their ability to educate effectively.

How To Change from Teacher to Nurse Quickly

If you are a current teacher looking to become a nurse, you can do so quickly through an accelerated nursing program.

Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) programs are specifically designed for candidates with a bachelor’s degree in another field, such as education. ABSN programs provide students with both the fundamentals of nursing and the wellness continuum and the advanced knowledge that Bachelor’s in Nursing programs are known for, like courses in:

  • Anatomy and Physiology I and II
  • Microbiology
  • Health Assessment
  • Pharmacology
  • Pathophysiology
  • Mental Health Nursing

Even more important, especially for teachers looking to change careers, accelerated nursing programs enable students to earn their degrees without spending four more years in school. In fact, most Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees take between twelve to twenty-four months, and ours at Goodwin University can be completed in about sixteen months if enrolled full-time.

At Goodwin University, our nursing students find even more flexibility with classes offered days and evenings, Monday through Friday. Their clinical practicum can be scheduled day or evening between Monday and Sunday.


Interested in learning more about Goodwin’s ABSN program? Download our ABSN Get Started Guide today to find out if it’s the right fit for your future!


There is no better time than now. If you are a teacher looking to change careers from teaching to nursing, especially with the ease and flexibility of Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs and the ability to continue to make an impact and difference in the lives of others.

Plus, at Goodwin University, we make enrollment hassle-free and easy to start and provide comprehensive support services to ensure you get through college and into your next great career.

Find out more information or contact us today to get on the fast track to becoming a registered nurse.

We’re ready when you are!