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This image depicts a student who could be taking classes in pursuit of her second career as a nurse.

4 Reasons to Consider a Career Change to Nursing

Nursing

Making a career change can be daunting. After investing so much time and education into one path, changing courses might seem like the last thing you want to do. But, for one reason or another, you’re beginning to realize that your current career trajectory is no longer what you’re looking for.

Maybe it’s lacking in advancement opportunities, you no longer feel challenged, you were recently laid off, or you simply want something that allows you to make a bigger impact on the world around you. A career change to nursing could fulfill all your current career needs.

But it’s also true that nursing school is a major commitment, so you’ll want to be sure it’s the right path for you before you dive in. That’s why we’ve outlined four of the most compelling reasons to become a nurse.  

4 Reasons to become a second-career nurse

Did you know that fewer than 50 percent of Americans are happy in their current job path? As potential career-changers like you research options, it’s important to carefully evaluate the benefits of branching into a new field – this can help ensure that the elements you dislike about your current path won’t follow you into your new professional endeavors. 

As you weigh the pros and cons of making a career change to nursing, consider the following:

1. Job opportunities are growing

It’s true that healthcare jobs in general are booming in the wake of COVID-19, but nursing positions were in high demand long before the pandemic swept in. In fact, the U.S. has been dealing with a national nursing shortage for years. 

As American life expectancy increases, aging Baby Boomers will inevitably see a greater need for healthcare services. A growing number of practicing nurses are also reaching retirement age, which means we’ll need more up-and-coming healthcare professionals to fill their shoes. 

And it’s not just the most highly qualified nurses with advanced degrees that are sought after. Nursing positions of all levels are projected to increase through 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Take a look at the expected growth rates:

Compare these percentages to the national average for all occupations, which sits at 5 percent, and it’s clear that the nursing profession has a promising future.

2. There are ample opportunities for advancement

Nursing is an incredibly multifaceted career path. Not only are there a number of different departments and specializations to work within, but there are also several different levels in the nursing profession. 

With as little as a high school diploma and a certificate from a one-year LPN program, you can begin your career as a nurse. If you choose to level up, there are a few different options. An Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) can qualify you to become an RN. Meanwhile, RNs with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) are further prepared to work in a variety of different settings, ranging from home care to case management. 

A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) can pave the way toward positions as an APRN or a nurse educator. Finally, a terminal degree in the field – the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) – enables stand-out nurses to take on leadership roles, such as nurse executive or clinical research positions. This goes to show that regardless of where you start your nursing career, there will always be room to grow.

3. No two days on the job are the same

Many people end up craving a career change simply due to the fact that they’ve become bored with their current job. When you do the same work day after day it becomes easy to lose the sense of passion that drove you to pursue that profession in the first place. 

Nursing is not one of those career paths. Not only do nurses spend most of their workdays on their feet moving around, but many nurses will also tell you that no two days on the job are alike. That means the best nurses are adaptable, are able to think on their feet, and have no trouble keeping up with the fast-paced work environment. For many, this translates to an exciting career path that constantly keeps them on their toes. 

Plus, in an industry that boasts more than 100 different specializations, there is always an opportunity to learn about a different facet of nursing. It’s not uncommon for newly graduated nurses to try out different specialties as they learn more about what might best suit their skill sets and interests. It’s equally common for mid- and even late-career nurses to head in a new direction by switching specializations. 

4. You get to make an impact in the lives of others

There are a multitude of industries out there in which you can make a sizable difference in the lives of your clients, consumers, or patients. But you don’t always get to see that impact firsthand. 

Nursing is a helping profession, which means it’s an occupation that provides health and education services to individuals. In a direct patient care setting, this means you’d get to be on the frontlines of helping people overcome their ailments, caring for and educating them along the way, tracking progress and more. 

In taking a holistic approach to healthcare, nurses consider their patients’ physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual well-being in everything they do with the goal of healing the whole person. This comprehensive approach to patient care allows nurses to remain knowledgeable about the many different ways injury and illness can impact a patient’s life. 

As a result, you can go beyond just treating a patient’s physical symptoms to also focus on the effects the ailment can have on their mind, emotions, personal relationships, and whole life. As a nurse, you’ll have the opportunity to step in and help care for people who, in those moments, are unable to adequately care for themselves. 

There’s no better time for a career change to nursing

As you consider a career change to nursing, you now know a handful of benefits this multifaceted path can offer. From the in-demand job opportunities and potential for career advancement to the fast-paced environment and the opportunity to truly help others, there are numerous reasons becoming a nurse could be the right move for you. 

And if you’ve already earned a bachelor’s degree in a different field, you may actually be able to suit up in your first pair of scrubs sooner than you think. Bellarmine University offers a BSN program designed especially for second-career nurses like you. 

To learn more about how you could earn your baccalaureate nursing degree in as little as one year, head to Bellarmine’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing page

Tags: career change , Nursing

About Bellarmine University

Bellarmine University is a vibrant community of educational excellence and ethical awareness that consistently ranks among the nation’s best colleges and universities. Our students pursue an education based in the liberal arts – and in the distinguished, inclusive Catholic tradition of educational excellence, the oldest and most rewarding in the western world. It is a lifelong education, worthy of the university’s namesake, Saint Robert Bellarmine, and of his invitation to each of us to learn and live In Veritatis Amore – in the love of all that is beautiful, true and good in life.