Becoming a Second Career Nurse
More now than ever, the nursing industry is seeing many people starting later in life as a second career nurse. Reasons why nursing is becoming such a popular second career are
- Nursing offers more job stability than many other careers. There has been an ever-growing need for nurses and this need is expected to continue to grow.
- Nursing offers more career flexibility than many others. The field of nursing offers vast specialization choices, work environment choices, and opportunities to work any schedule desired.
- Most nursing careers’ pay rates are competitive or higher than other careers.
Getting a Job as a Second Career Nurse
Employers are more open in this industry to individuals entering this field as a second career than many other industries. This is partially because there is a growing demand for nurses that can’t be filled just by those becoming nurses earlier in life. Additionally, employers are finding that more mature nurses bring levels of decision-making and dedication to the field than is common in younger entry-level nurses. Many positions in the nursing industry benefit from skills such as management, accounting, and research that have been learned from other career paths. A reflection of the increase in second career nurses can be seen in the data from a National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses performed by the Health Resource and Services Administration’s Bureau of Health Professions which shows the median age for nurses has steadily been rising. As of 2008, the median age for nurses was 46.
Your First Step to Entering Nursing as a Second Career
If you’re considering nursing as a second career, the first step in your journey will be returning to school. There are two common paths to getting the nursing education you need if you already have some higher education in your background: an Accelerated BSN or an Entry Level MSN. Both degrees are designed to provide a quicker path to entering the nursing workforce for those who already have a baccalaureate degree in a non-nursing field of study.
BSN stands for Bachelors of Science in nursing. A standard Bachelors of Science in nursing will take up to five years to complete if you have no prior educational background. An accelerated BSN can take as little as a year and a half. Some accelerated BSN courses have an online component to them and some of these programs are geared to work with individuals who have to work while going to school.
For more information about accelerated BSN degrees, visit these schools online:
- Arizona State University Post-Baccalaureate Clinical Nursing Program
- Johns Hopkins School of Nursing Summer-Entry Accelerated Bachelor’s Degree
- Duke University Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Entry Level MSN
MSN stands for Master of Science in Nursing. The Entry Level MSN is designed for those who already hold a non-nursing baccalaureate degree and wish to enter the field of nursing.
This degree will take longer to complete than an accelerated BSN. The normal completion time is 2 to 3 years. However, higher-level nursing positions will require a Master’s degree.
For more information about entry level MSN degrees, visit these schools’ degree pages
- University of Arizona Master’s Entry to the Profession of Nursing
- California Baptist University Entry Level Master of Science in Nursing
- UCLA Masters Entry Clinical Nurse
Are You Looking for a Nursing Job in Arizona?
Desert Medical Careers has a high demand for registered nurses and nurse practitioners. We are typically able to easily place full-time and part-time nursing positions throughout the Phoenix Metro Area. With over 20 years’ experience placing healthcare employees throughout the Valley, DMC is an expert at matching healthcare workers with their ideal work environment. Contact DMC today at (602) 468-6300.