Your Guide to Choosing Nursing as a Second Career

Are you stuck in a job that doesn’t give you any personal fulfillment? Do you think you could be making more of an impact on the world around you? Since you’ve found this blog, the assumed answer to both questions is “yes.” Choosing nursing as a second career is the first step to changing your situation for the better.

There are a lot of sound, logical reasons to change careers to nursing. You probably already know that an accelerated nursing degree can open a lot of doors for your nursing career, nurses make a decent living, and nurses make an impact on the lives of others- all things that make for a rewarding career.

Choosing Nursing as a Second Career

Since you already know why you should change careers to nursing, let’s explore how you go about this process.

First, Consult with your Family.

Whether you are in a relationship or you’re single, you will need your friends’ and family’s support. The time to talk to them is either before or during the research phase of looking for an accelerated nursing program.

Important Aspects to Cover

Once you start nursing school, things are going to change. It’s better to be prepared and discuss what life will be like when you’re an accelerated nursing student.

  • You won’t have much free time. Accelerated nursing programs are fast paced and require constant dedication. The days will likely be long, starting early and ending late. You might not always be there to help your kids with their homework or be able to have dinner with your friends several nights a week. You have your own homework to do, your own exams to study for, and you may not be able to get away from it all like you used to. There isn’t much you can do to prevent this from happening, but communicating about it early on will solve a lot of issues before they arise.
  • You’re going to need emotional support. You’re about to leave a job you have grown used to and start a brand new chapter in your life. It’s unknown. It’s unpredictable. It can be intimidating. You may have days where you’re in a simulation lab and can’t remember your lessons, perhaps leading you to doubt yourself. And this is perfectly natural. To avoid meltdowns, talk to your family and friends. Let them know that you may need their encouragement from time to time.
  • Stress the importance of on-going communication. These early conversations you have with your loved ones should not be a one-and-done talk. On-going communication is key to making sure the stress in your life is about your studies and not about your home life. This should come from you as well. Communicating openly about what you’re going through will ensure your friends and family understand your situation.

Plan Ahead

Let’s be honest- you can never prepare too much. Planning ahead is going to give you peace of mind as you embark on your journey to becoming a nurse. This step is focused on the logistics, such as budgeting and creating a study schedule. Let’s dive in.

Planning Your Budget

Choosing nursing as a second career was the easy part. Paying for your education to make your nursing career a reality—that’s a challenge. But not impossible to overcome.

If you don’t already know how much your monthly bills are, now is the time to figure that out. Take a hard look at your finances and figure out what is feasible for you. If your spouse is currently working, can you live off his or her’s income for the time being? Are there ways you can cut back to make it work?

Creating a budget can be stressful. Just remember that it’s only temporary. Utica College’s accelerated nursing program is only 16 months long. After that, you’ll be back to earning a regular salary (and probably a better salary than you had at your old job.)

Utica College has admissions advisors who work with you from the time you contact us until the day you start your nursing courses, and perhaps beyond. They will help you complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) application, look for scholarships to apply for, and help you figure out if it is feasible for you to work part time while in school.

Planning Your Schedule

You may or may not be able to accomplish this part before you get your syllabus, but you can at least get a head start.

First, create a calendar. It can be on a dry erase board on your refrigerator, a printed calendar, or even a Google calendar. Choose a medium that works for you. Then record every life event you have coming up in the next 16 months. Write down birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, kids’ soccer practice, etc, so you won’t forget what’s going on in your personal life.

Next, look for chunks of time that could be used for studying and homework. There may be a pattern, or there might not be. In the case of the latter, you might have to be more flexible with your schedule. If you want to at this point, you can pencil in when you think you’re going to be studying.

When you actually start accelerated nursing school, you’ll get a syllabus with important dates. Put these in your calendar. Do the days/times you thought you could study still work with your syllabus? Does something need to change? Either way, you now have a head start on staying organized.

If you need more help planning your schedule, check out these time management tips.

Choosing the Right Accelerated Nursing Program

You need a program that will work for you. One that is accredited, will fit your lifestyle, and gets you where you want to go.

Why Utica College is a Good Fit

  1. Multiple online program locations. Utica has an accelerated nursing program in Florida as well as an accelerated nursing program in New York. While the lecture courses are completed online, you will need to be physically present for the simulation labs and clinical rotations. If you live in or near either of these two states, you won’t need to relocate to attend the program.
  2. Multiple start dates. To add to Utica’s accelerated BSN program flexibility, you can choose between three start dates (spring, summer, and fall). So if there is a time of year that would be easier to start school, you have a choice.
  3. An excellent program. We let the data speak for itself here. In 2014, the national average for baccalaureate-educated nurses taking the NCLEX-RN was just under 88%. Utica College’s NCLEX-RN pass rate for the Accelerated BSN program is 96%.

If you’re interested in Utica’s New York ABSN program, check out our Accelerated BSN program comparison for the mid-Atlantic region. Or if you’re interested in Utica’s accelerated nursing program in Florida, check out our South Atlantic Region Accelerated BSN Program Comparison.

You can plan, prepare, and research nursing as a second career until your fingers turn blue, but we can help make it easier. Contact us today to start getting advice from a personal admissions advisor.

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