I Want to Switch My Career to Nursing: How Do I Do That?
Changing careers can be intimidating especially if you’ve already been in the workforce. With these five steps, you can pursue a new career in nursing!
Changing careers can be intimidating, especially if you’ve been in the workforce for a decade or more. Nursing can be an ideal choice for a new career because the demand for nursing is high, and your experience and academic work can help you get a head start in your studies.
Making the transition has several benefits:
You can complete your degree quickly. Nursing is one of a few careers that can be completed quickly depending on your program. Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), for example, can start their career in as little as 12 months by enrolling in our LPN program.
There’s variety. No two days are the same for a nurse. For example, in a hospital, you’ll likely interact with patients, their families and other medical staff daily.
There is a rising demand for nurses. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there is a predicted 12%1 growth in the field due to the aging population. Also, many registered nurses are 50 years old or older and close to retirement age.
It’s a rewarding career. Nurses make a difference every single day – you have the opportunity to help people get better and improve their quality of life.
There’s a lot of career options. You’re not limited to working strictly in a hospital or nursing home. You could work within many nursing specialties in clinics, schools, in the military or as a travel nurse.
With hard work, dedication and these five steps, you can pursue a career change to nursing:
1. Do your research
Making a career jump to nursing is a big decision and should not be made overnight. Conduct proper research before you decide to adjust career paths. Talk with your family and friends to evaluate your options and see if changing your career is feasible and makes sense for you.
2. Determine which nursing degree is best for you
There are several different types of nursing degrees from which to choose, and the degree you decide to pursue depends on your career goals and your level of education. For example, if you’re looking to become a nurse sooner, one of the fastest pathways to a career in nursing is to earn your diploma in practical nursing, which can lead to a career as an LPN.
If you already have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university in a non-nursing program, Herzing’s accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program may be right for you. Depending on transfer credits, students enrolled in the program can become RNs in as few as 20 months. Other nursing degree programs include:
3. Figure out how long it will take to complete your degree
Depending on which degree you choose, it could take anywhere from 12 months to three years to complete. It’s important to consider transfer credits when choosing a nursing school. Some schools will accept transfer credits and previous work experience and apply it to your nursing degree or general education requirements to help you reach your goals faster.
4. Know the program requirements
Once you find the program that best suits you, make sure you know all the requirements for applying and completing your program. For example, to be considered for admission into Herzing’s ASN program, you must hold a high school diploma or equivalent and meet certain GPA requirements. You should also be sure to check your state’s licensing requirements as they vary from state to state.
5. Prepare for standardized testing
Some schools may require you to take the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) to place you in a program. If you haven’t taken a standardized test in a while, make sure you take time to practice beforehand. Brush up on some study tips to better prepare for the exam.
* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2020. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.