Jump to content

Career Change: Education to Nursing


I currently have a BA in education and am thinking about switching careers to nursing. The job outlook in education (in Michigan) is not very promising with so many job seekers and not enough retirees to say the least. After holding down some unbenifitted jobs in education since my degree a few years back, I am talking to a local college about pursuing an LPN degree. I love to interact with and help others and feel that the health field would be a good opportunity for me (not to mention there is no job shortage there).

I was wondering if there is anyone else out there who may have had a degree in old field, then went back for a second degree in nursing and what your thoughts are and if you are happy you made the change.

Thank you in advance!


Specializes in Critical Care, Hospice and Palliative Care. Has 8 years experience.

Hi Molly,

I, too have a BA in Education, and will be starting an Associate's RN program this Fall. After having taught for a year, I felt burned out and just couldn't imagine working within the profession for 30+ years so I decided to join the Army. After having had the opportunity to test myself mentally and physically for 4 years in the armed forces, the idea of returning to the classroom did not seem appealing to me. I realized I needed to be in a challenging, ever-evolving work environment where I could flourish professionally with ample opportunity for growth. After searching several careers, I would always come back to Nursing because it seemed to reach all of the criteria I was looking for. After receiving my RN license, I will have the opportunity to pursue Master's coursework as soon as I gain adequate work experiences and find my professional niche. I believe I would like to become a Nurse Practitioner, but the options are still there to become a Nurse Educator, CRNA, CNS, CNL or even a Physician Assistant. I love the fact that opportunities are available if you are willing to take them. It also has flexibility in scheduling that can accommodate family really well. Another caveat: I just finished my CNA course, became employed in an Alzheimer's center, and I absolutely LOVE working with the residents each day. It's another affirmation that I have made the right decision. Good luck in your pursuits, I look forward to hearing about your decision!

I'm from Michigan as well. I have a degree in physiology and will be starting nursing school (MCC) in the fall. I had been in sales for many years but I missed science. With the job market as bad as it is in Michigan nursing's job security was a big draw. The fact that you can take a nursing degree in so many different directions was appealing as well. I decided I wanted to leave sales and pursue nursing in Feb 2007. If you are focused and willing to work hard you can get into a program quickly. I'd go to your local community college and talk to a counselor about their program. Several 4-year schools (Oakland, Wayne State) have nursing as a 2nd degree accelerated programs as well. Everything in the Detroit area is very competitive but doable.

Much of nursing is r/t education. Actually having a degree in education will give you a leg up in nursing school.

I would check out a 2 phase program ie:

Phase I- LPN training

Phase II-Bridges to RN.

Best of luck!

How about an accelerated BSN program? That's what I did. I had a BAed, and now I'm a BSN, too. I am Sooo glad I switched careers.

A few words about education from a teacher of 20 years who is currently slugging it through summer school anatomy and nutrition so that she can start nursing school in the fall:

  1. Unless you're independently wealthy or married and your husband is employed, don't expect to eat well or buy new clothes every year. Forget vacations, too.
  2. The "summer vacation" myth is just glorified flex time. You will work 60 hours/wk. on the average if you want to be any good.
  3. If you can get a contract, don't ever change schools. Period. If you get too much education and experience (which, by the way, is the only way you will be able to eat) and should happen to want to change schools, you will be unemployed and unhireable (too expensive - the principals would rather take a chance on a bargains basement newbie)
  4. If you plan to have a social life, work in a district far, far away from your home. You will always be a role model, no matter if it's in or out of the classroom. The kids will tell you that teachers have no lives.
  5. On that note, lower your expectations immediately. The inmates are running the asylum. They know that if they whine loudly enough about teachers who challenge them and make them work that they can make the mean people go away. This is the reason that few high school kids are prepared for college - they have bamboozled their parents into thinking they can do no wrong and as a result, they have a great time and learn nothing.

Are there rewarding moments? Yes. But work in the poorest school you can find - the kids will be so happy to know that someone actually cares enough to show up day after day and believes in them.

Sorry to be so negative, but I'd rather double my salary and take my chances working 12 hour shifts with the knife and gun club than live my job for nothing-----I'm done!

Faeriewand, ASN, RN

Specializes in med/surg/tele/neuro/rehab/corrections. Has 10 years experience.

Molly, I was wondering why you don't just do an accelerated 2nd degree BSN program since you already have a degree. You would make more money as a degreed nurse too.

Thank you all so much for the replies! I appreciate your time in letting me know your thoughts and suggestions.

I was thinking about the LPN program simply because the wait list is only a year compared to the RN program, which is 2.5-3 years. The second degree BSN program very much interests me, however I am nervous about the classes (i.e. inorganic & biochemistry). I graduated in 2004 with a BA in Education with a major in Language Arts and Speech. My entire 6 years in college was all focused on English/Reading/Language Arts. I did very well and graduated with honors, but again, all classes emphasized in English (no advanced science whatsoever). I am close to 40 years old and it's been a while since I have had science classes..

So, either I can take the LPN in one year, or complete the 8 prerequisites for the accelerated BSN (which would then be 3 full time semesters).

If anyone has any advice on anything like this, please feel free to pass it along...

I truly appreciate all of your replies. I am new to this forum and it already has proven to be such a great asset in talking to others who have faced similar cicumstances...

Faeriewand, ASN, RN

Specializes in med/surg/tele/neuro/rehab/corrections. Has 10 years experience.

Molly, I too did not have any science background until I started taking classes to become a nurse. I've tackled A&P 1 and 2, Chemistry and now Microbiology. I have been able to keep my grades up even though science isn't my thing. It is doable. I'm no straight A student but I think B's are just fine.

Keep us posted on your decision. I am 46 now and only just became an LVN. Most nurses that I work with are in their 40's. Really, you have the time to do what you want :) Just go for it. :heartbeat


That is terrific that you are now an LVN and going on for your BSN! This is definately something I will look into as well. I am somewhat anxious about the science classes since it has been so long since I have had any science, but believe it would be well worth it in the end. Thank you very much for your advice. I will be looking more into this option (BSN) for 2nd degree students.

This topic is now closed to further replies.