How to Enter Nursing as a Second Career: 6 Steps

Each blog post is dated and contains accurate information as of that date. Certain information may have changed since the blog post publication date. If you would like to confirm the current accuracy of blog information, please visit our ABSN overview page or contact admissions at (844) 347-2503.

Nursing as a second career is a great path toward transitioning into the healthcare industry. Making a career change to nursing starts with enrolling in a program that supports your goals and timeline. You’ll need to know what to expect from the program and be prepared to commit to it.

nurse in hospital with folder in arms smiling at camera

Are you looking to switch your career and transition into a field where you get to help others? Making a career change to nursing may be closer than you think. Through the College of Mount Saint Vincent Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program, you could be one step closer to nursing as a second career.

If you’re wondering how to become a nurse, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog, we review the six steps to nursing as a second career.

1: Know What to Expect

Although you can earn a BSN in as few as 16 months through the College of Mount Saint Vincent, you should expect a rigorous and intensive program that condenses the content of a conventional 4-year degree into a much shorter amount of time. Our curriculum builds on your non-nursing college credits, making it the perfect choice for people who want to enter the nursing field quickly or pursue nursing as a second career.

Our ABSN program is a three-part hybrid curriculum that includes the following:

  • Nursing theory courses that lay the groundwork for your education at our NYC locations in Riverdale and Long Island City
  • Skills and simulation labs that give you hands-on learning with staff in a mock clinical setting
  • Clinical rotations at top area healthcare facilities that allow you to care for patients in high-level medical settings

2: Find Your Why

Nursing students practicing on a manikin

Enrolling in a nursing program is a big commitment, so ensuring you’re doing it for the right reasons and are passionate about the field is vital. The College of Mount Saint Vincent values empathy, integrity, and compassion. Nursing requires you to care for everyone, acting as a patient advocate for diverse populations facing various obstacles. If you don’t have a strong urge to provide care and empathy, you may want to reconsider nursing as a second career.

If you have the qualities needed to become a nurse, we have great news! You’ll be entering a lucrative career field. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of registered nurses is projected to grow by approximately 195,400 new positions by 2031. Whether you’re pursuing nursing for increased job security, flexibility, or satisfaction, nursing is a great second career choice.

3: Start the Nursing School Admission Process

You may not know all the details of getting into nursing school or what kind of program would best suit your future job goals if you don't have a background in nursing. The accelerated nursing curriculum at the College of Mount Saint Vincent is popular with our second-career students because it provides personalized advising both within and beyond the classroom, beginning your first day in the program.

Our team of admissions counselors will explain exactly what you must do to be admitted to our program and will answer any questions you have about your eligibility, the admission procedure, the prerequisites you must fulfill, and other matters.

4: Prepare to Commit

You have all the resources to succeed as an accelerated nursing student if you are enthusiastic, committed, and willing to devote the right amount of time to studying and assignments.

3 nursing students working in lab setting

Our ABSN program is challenging, but the result—a BSN—is well worth the time spent studying and completing coursework, labs, and clinical rotations.

nursing student holding lab equipment

Wondering what to expect in nursing clinicals? Find out in this blog post about clinicals.

5: Have a Post-Graduation Plan

One benefit of completing your BSN program is the high likelihood that you will land a job once you graduate, but that doesn’t happen without a plan. Nurses are in great demand now and will continue to be as the baby boomer generation ages. Make sure you take advantage of networking opportunities during your clinical rotations and maintain great relationships with your instructors—they may be able to steer you in the right direction toward a good job fit or even give you a recommendation.

Another advantage is the variety of employment opportunities open to you after receiving a nursing degree. You will experience significant flexibility as a nurse in terms of your future workplace and where you live and work.

Start Your Second Career in Nursing

If nursing as a second career feels like the right path, our team of admission counselors can help you create your plan to change careers to nursing. Contact us to learn more about how you can earn your BSN at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in as few as 16 months.