Are you considering a new career? Did you always want to be a nurse, but took another route? Or are you dissatisfied with your present career and its lack of personal touch?
Nursing as a second career is becoming a very popular move. Second career students are popular with nursing schools and faculty as these students are more mature and frequently more motivated to excel and succeed.
The tremendous shortage of nurses means opportunities will continue to abound for many years to come. As the field develops more creative solutions to help control the nursing shortage, many more diverse opportunities will become available as well. This will be true for new nurses as well as those who are considering retirement.
Many schools now offer accelerated programs for students who already have a bachelor's degree (BA or BS). These programs are intense and often provide nursing students with the competency to take the NCLEX at the end of their first year. This allows them to become RNs and work (usually part time) as RNs while completing their coursework for either a BSN or an MSN.
Students who have already completed college level algebra, and many of the science prerequisites such as anatomy and physiology, chemistry and even possibly microbiology (for health care studies), will have an even greater advantage in completing the accelerated degree.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing offers a list of schools which offer accelerated BSN or MSN programs.
Nursing has become a very popular choice for second careers due to the salary levels and job security especially in economically challenged times. For single parents, nursing offers an opportunity to comfortably support a family on one income. For two-income families, a nursing salary provides an excellent financial resource as well.
In the aftermath of disasters such as Hurricane Sandy and the Connecticut shooting, it has become an important issue for many people to find a job in which they feel they can make a difference in people's lives. The need to be needed has become increasingly important, and Nursing is a field which definitely provides an opportunity to make a difference every day.
It does, however, require a true altruistic attitude, as many times, especially early on in a career, nurses have to make sacrifices such as being on call and working evening or night shifts, along with many weekends and holidays.
Nursing is very challenging both physically and emotionally. Age is not a limiting factor in becoming a nurse, however, physical strength to be able to turn and assist patients is needed. Stamina and emotional well being are also important factors in a successful career as a nurse.