Recently Laid Off - Is Nursing for Me? Recently Laid Off - Is Nursing for Me? | allnurses

Recently Laid Off - Is Nursing for Me?

  1. 1 Hi Nurse Beth,

    I was recently laid off in the oilfield and I am considering a career change. I currently hold a BBA in General Business. I was looking at nursing career paths and began to consider Nurse Practitioner. A friend, who has been a nurse for year, recently obtained her CNP. She told me, with my BBA, I could enter a BSN program bridged to MSN, and have my MSN in about 3 years. Online searches seem to lead me to a bunch of "degree mills". I would prefer an online path, as I do have bills to pay, but could suffer through classroom if needed. I don't know where to even begin looking?



    Dear Career Change,

    You need to first get your RN to apply to an NP program. RN programs all include clinical hours, so it would not be completely online. Because you have a Bachelor’s degree, you may qualify for an accelerated BSN nursing program (clinical hours at a hospital are still required).

    After that, you can look at NP programs. There are online/distance NP programs. Clinical hours are included, and you would need a face-to-face preceptor to guide your clinicals. Another option is to explore Physician Assistant (PA) programs to see whether it would be a better fit.

    PAs do not have a nursing background, so it’s a very direct route to a similar role with a different focus. NPs are more autonomous, whereas PAs work strictly with physicians as physician extenders.

    Both are rewarding, well-paying jobs. Hope this helps.


    Best wishes,


    Nurse Beth

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  2. 8 Comments

  3. Visit  Maygone profile page
    #1 2
    Just to let you know my experience. I had a prior bachelors degree before seeking a BSN. My previous degree only took one year off my BSN so it still took 3 years. A prior bachelors will only knock off some pre-requisites but you still have to take all the nursing classes. The school I went to (as well as most legitimate, reputable programs) have nursing courses that build off one another, so I was only able to take 2 nursing classes per semester. I didn't have to take the concurrent classes to get the general bachelor of science done because of my previous degree, so I was able to go part time and still work almost full time (though it was tough and a huge commitment). BUT, it still took three years. I have not heard of ANYONE getting a bachelors on this path in less than 2 1/2. And honestly, a reputable school shouldn't let you go faster than that. Nursing is a unique field and regardless of a previous degree, it takes time to learn. Good luck!
  4. Visit  caliotter3 profile page
    #2 2
    Do not fall into the trap of thinking nursing provides stable employment at all times. Despite media myths, nurses get laid off, downsized, and otherwise unemployed. Thoroughly research the job market for your desired location.
  5. Visit  subee profile page
    #3 1
    Do your research. Plenty of employment threads on Allnurses about the job market. You might have to live in an undesirable part of the country to get the job you want.
  6. Visit  Atomiccafe profile page
    #4 0
    If you don't mind me asking, how old are you?
  7. Visit  Buyer beware profile page
    #5 0
    Quote from caliotter3
    Do not fall into the trap of thinking nursing provides stable employment at all times. Despite media myths, nurses get laid off, downsized, and otherwise unemployed. Thoroughly research the job market for your desired location.
    Or outright fired.
  8. Visit  elkpark profile page
    #6 0
    Quote from Maygone
    I have not heard of ANYONE getting a bachelors on this path in less than 2 1/2. And honestly, a reputable school shouldn't let you go faster than that. Nursing is a unique field and regardless of a previous degree, it takes time to learn. Good luck!
    There are a kazillion accelerated BSN programs around the country, offered by well-known, well-respected, "reputable" schools, that offer people with a BA/BS in a different discipline (but no nursing background) a BSN in 12-18 months of fast-paced, rigorous study. It's common, and entirely do-able.
  9. Visit  elkpark profile page
    #7 0
    OP, there are also a kazillion "direct-entry" MSN (and maybe, by now, DNP) programs for individuals with a BA/BS in another discipline to enter advanced practice nursing. They typically are 2-3 years in length, and consist of ~a year of basic nursing education plus the advanced practice education. You enter with no nursing background or licensure, and graduate prepared for NP (or whatever clinical specialty you chose) boards. Students in these programs usually take the NCLEX (for basic RN licensure) after the first year of the program, and many work part-time as RNs while completing the rest of the program.

    A direct-entry program might or might not be the best choice for your particular circumstances, but they are widely available and v. popular. I'm surprised our advice columnist didn't mention them.
  10. Visit  finally03gt profile page
    #8 1
    Thank you all for the comments. Just wanted to give an update, and address a few questions from the comments. I am 38, and live in the Houston area, with the medical center downtown being a reasonable drive, and 2 brand new hospitals (Texas Children's and Methodist) within 10 minutes of my home, in addition to the 3 other hospitals already in this area. I could not locate a direct entry Master's program as one comment suggested. Consistent with Nurse Betty's reply, the most practical route was RN to NP.

    That said, I chose University of Arlington Online. The didactic is 100% online, in an accelerated format, with clinicals conducted at local partner facilities. Once accepted, and with my degree plan reviewed, I still needed about 37 hours of non-nursing classes before entering the nursing program. I am an aggressive student, making the most of the accelerated format (most course are about 8 weeks), and CLEP exams, and plan to complete all of the lower level courses in a year, while still working full time. I will then apply to the nursing program, that is 15 months, accelerated. Again, with online didactic and 24 hrs a week of clinicals, and working each business day that I do not have clinicals. All said and done, I should have my BSN, RN in about 30 months. My first cycle went well with Intro to Nursing and Technical Communication being completed online, and General Biology requirement met through CLEP.

    From there I plan to find employment, and most likely enter UT Arlington's Master's/Nurse Practitioner program which takes 30-36 months, while I work as a RN.

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