6 Reasons for a Teacher to Nurse Career Change

If you’re considering a teacher to nurse career change, we have six reasons why you should make the leap. From the jump in salary to the ability to mold your schedule to suit your needs, Utica can help you earn your Bachelor of Science in nursing in 16+ months.

Sometimes you start a career before deciding it’s not for you. This can be especially true of teaching, where expectations and reality can be at odds. Or perhaps your career goals have changed and now you’re wondering if it might be time to start down an entirely different route.

No matter your reasons, if you’re considering changing professional paths but still want to educate and make a difference in the lives of others, making a teacher to nurse career change may be a good move for you. Below, we outline six reasons why you should consider transitioning from teacher to nurse.

1. Nurses Make a Good Salary

Most teachers do not choose their careers based on salary. Teaching can be a rewarding career field in terms of personal fulfillment, however if you’re making a career change, you might want to choose something that can also give you additional financial security. And while the main motivation to changing your career to nursing may not be salary, it certainly is a perk of the job. As of 2021, registered nurses made a median salary of $77,600 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Not to mention, the more specialized in nursing you become, the higher your earning potential. For example, registered nurses who hold a Bachelor of Science in nursing can go back to school to become nurse practitioners, midwives, and clinical managers, among other high-paying jobs. Nurses can even find work at law firms specializing in healthcare cases, or, you could get the best of both worlds by helping to train the next generation of nurses as a nurse educator.

Calculator and stethoscope sitting on a notebook

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2. Nursing and Teaching Require Many of the Same Skills

Though the jobs themselves could not be more different, both share many key soft skills, not the least of which are compassion, problem solving and patience. Of course, these attributes likely come easy to you if you decided to become a teacher. And they are vital for a successful nursing career.

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Equal in importance is the ability to communicate and educate effectively. Much of the time, the task of educating patients and their families on their condition/diagnosis, medications, prescribed lifestyle changes and overall health falls to nurses, and that can be a tall order. For example, you could teach a patient about the home management of diabetes one day or about the importance of hand hygiene the next. It requires someone who can explain concepts in a manner that is easy to understand.

3. You Can Work with Children

If interacting with students every day is something you love about being a teacher, becoming a nurse still leaves the door open for continued work with children. Pursuing a nursing position with a pediatric or obstetric specialty is one way, or if you still want to work in a school setting, you can always become a school nurse.

Either way, your previous background of working with children as a teacher will be beneficial to any future nursing career you may choose. Devising treatment plans has much in common with lesson planning and noting students’ academic and developmental progress is a lot like monitoring a patient’s health status.

Nursing student with pediatric clinical patient

4. A Stable Profession with Ample Job Opportunities

The healthcare industry is facing a nursing shortage, and the profession is expected to grow 6 percent between 2021 and 2031 to try to meet this demand, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Going into nursing means that you will be doing your part in helping alleviate the nursing crisis while also entering a stable career path. Not to mention, nurses can find work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, outpatient clinics, schools, non-healthcare-related companies, insurance companies and more. No matter your interests and strengths, you’ll be able to find a position that suits you. And you’ll always have the option of changing it up while still staying in the nursing profession.

5. You Can Become a Nurse Quickly

If you are a teacher, you already have a bachelor’s degree. That’s great news! Assuming you meet the admission requirements, you could be eligible to enroll in an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program, such as the one Utica University offers in Central New York and Albany, New York. This means you can earn your nursing degree in as few as 16 months.

And if the focus of your teaching degree was science-related, you may already have completed many of the prerequisites required to enter Utica’s accelerated nursing program. Don’t fret if you don’t have them all done, though — Utica University offers all ABSN prerequisites via its Prerequisite Priority Program (PREP), which offers these courses 100% online, even those with lab components. Additionally, enrolling in PREP reserves your spot in the Utica University ABSN program.

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6. More Flexible Schedules

While teachers may get summers off, the job requires a lot of time outside school hours. There are papers and tests to grade, parent-teacher meetings to attend, lesson plans to develop and tweak, and more.

As a nurse, it’s a different story. To a certain degree, you can tailor your schedule to suit your needs if schedule is a priority. For example, nurses in hospitals often work three 12-hour shifts a week while nurses in clinics and other non-hospital settings work five 8-hour shifts a week. Nurses aren’t confined to working during the day, either. Many nurses prefer working night shift, and not just because it tends to pay slightly more. And, if you like your schedule as a teacher, you could even become a school nurse to have all the perks of the regular hours and summers off without all the extra work you are taking home.

Nursing Careers Options for Former Teachers

You are considering a career change because you need precisely that: a change. And while you may want to pursue a nursing career that is totally different from teaching, it is also not a bad idea to use the skills you’ve developed as a teacher to your advantage. Some of the nursing careers in which you can put some of those skills to use include:

  • Pediatric Nurse
  • School Nurse
  • Nurse Educator
  • Community Health Nurse
  • Nurse Advocate

Get Started with Your Teacher to Nurse Career Change

Utica ABSN student, George

If nursing sounds like a good career fit for you, we can help. With three start dates each year and no current waitlist, we may have a spot for you in our Accelerated B.S. in Nursing program. Blending the convenience of online coursework with hands-on practice in high-tech skills and simulation labs and real-life clinical experience, the Utica ABSN program is perfect for career changers.

To find out how to make the teacher to nurse career change in as few as 16 months with Utica University’s ABSN program, fill out the form to have an admissions representative reach out to you.

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Our ABSN has three start dates a year, so you can begin nursing school whenever you're ready.

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