Have you been thinking about a career change? You’re not alone. According to a Washington Post/Schar School poll, nearly 1 in 3 Americans under the age of 40 have considered changing their occupation since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Opportunities in nursing, like other healthcare fields, have done nothing but grow—and through Bethel’s post-baccalaureate nursing program, those who hold a bachelor’s degree in any field could make a change to nursing in as few as 15 months.
We connected with Kristi Gustafson, director of Bethel’s accelerated post-baccalaureate nursing program, to hear more about why people choose a career in nursing. Here are some of the top reasons to consider nursing as a second career:
1. Nursing is a rewarding profession.
Some people that make a career change to nursing come from another science- or health-related background, but are looking for more direct patient care opportunities. Others come from unrelated backgrounds, but are looking for a profession that gives them a tangible sense of purpose. Whatever your story is, becoming a nurse will give you daily opportunities to provide compassionate care in the moments when people need it most.
2. Nurses are in high demand.
For years, the U.S. has been experiencing a nursing shortage, and the need is projected to grow. According to Gustafson, graduates from the most recent cohort of Bethel’s post-bacc nursing program received multiple job offers. “In many areas of healthcare, there’s a great need for nurses,” she says. If you’re looking for a profession that’s in high demand, nursing is near the top of the list.
3. Nursing offers more flexibility than most professions.
While some clinics maintain the standard Monday through Friday “office hours,” many nursing settings (like hospitals, nursing homes, and other facilities) are staffed 24/7. This means most nurses aren’t tied to the traditional 9 to 5. Some nurses work 12-hour shifts to reduce the number of days they come into work each week. Some prefer working nights so they can tend to family needs during the day. As a nurse, you’d be able to consider part-time options, full-time options, and in many settings there’s opportunities to work overtime, too.
4. Being a nurse means having a variety of career options.
When you go to school for nursing, you open the door to a variety of career paths within healthcare. As a nurse, you can work with individuals, families, community groups, or even large populations—and you can work in a variety of settings including hospitals, communities, public agencies, and in the home. You might specialize in pediatrics, obstetrics, neonatal care, cardiac care, critical care, or a variety of other areas. Or, you could pursue a career as a travel nurse, a unique opportunity that allows you to live and work in different parts of the country (or the world!) for a period of time. Once you’ve earned your B.S.N., you can take your nursing education a step further to become a nurse-midwife, nurse practitioner, doctor of nursing practice, nurse anesthetist, clinical nurse specialist, and more.
5. As a nurse, every day looks different.
Perhaps you’re craving a career change because you’re bored with your current job. If that’s the case, you’re in the right place! Many nurses will tell you that no two days on the job are the same. You’ll encounter different patients who present different needs, and you’ll often need to think on your feet. If this is the kind of change in pace you’re looking for, nursing may be a good fit.
Bethel University has been preparing nurses for purposeful healthcare careers for more than 35 years. You’ll learn from compassionate faculty and benefit from strong clinical partnerships as you learn to care for patients holistically—addressing not just their physical needs, but considering their spiritual, emotional, and social wellbeing as well. Bethel offers a suite of nursing programs including a traditional undergraduate nursing program, a nurse-midwifery program, and the accelerated post-baccalaureate nursing program. The post-bacc nursing program enables students who hold a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field to earn a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree (which traditionally takes four years) in a similar amount of time it would take to earn a two-year RN degree.