From Cop to Nurse


I am currently a cop in my hometown and have been in this career for going on seven years. I was never afforded the opportunity to go to college and until recently never saw the need for me to go. Recently I have thought seriously about making a career change as I am getting ready to be married and start a family and in many ways law enforcement does not really accomodate this. Nursing is one career that I have been around most of my life and one that has always had my attention. I currently work a second job in the emergency room and see what goes on from the busiest, wildest night to the slowest of nights working closely with the nurses. My question is does anyone have any advice in this matter or have any way of saying rather this would be a good transition or if there simply is not room for a cop in the nurses station? I also realize that this would be a transition that would take the better part of three years or more but if its right then its worth it. Also is it possible to work at least part time while going to nursing school?


3 Posts

I think with you background you will already have somewhat of assessment skills, that will help you. It is never to late to switch careers. If you can find an ADN program it will only take two years. You can work part time doing it. You already have had a high stress job, so you are already accustomed to it. I think you can handle it. Just remember you will be a student, and you will have to report actions to an instructor, you will have to put being a police officer on the back burner when at clinical. You should do it we need more male nurses!

CrunchRN, ADN, RN

4,458 Posts

Specializes in Clinical Research, Outpt Women's Health. Has 25 years experience.

I think it is a really good background for nursing.

Specializes in Emergency Nursing. Has 2 years experience.

Do it.

There are many obvious corollaries between nursing and police work, the chief of which is that both professions see people at their worst and are generally unfazed by the sight.

You'd be an asset.

Again, do it.


85 Posts

Specializes in Short Term Rehab; Skilled Nursing. Has 5 years experience.

I agree - do it ;)

You will enjoy it :-) And from the other hand, you can always have 2 part time jobs - a nurse, and a cop - which means you'll never get bored :up:


12 Posts

I say go for it! I am not in the medical field myself, but am also considering making the big switch!


12 Posts

Also, with 7 years on the job, your background will bring a diverse/different prospective wherever you go and that would benefit you and those around you.


27 Posts

Has 3 years experience.

Blueline, I was a police officer for 5 years myself before changing careers to nursing. I was single like yourself when I was a police officer but when I got married and started having children, priorities seemed to change. I decided that nursing is where my intrest layed. I already had BS in Criminal Justice so I enrolled in and accelerated BSN program for second degree students. It took 12 months to complete and I was still working fulltime night shift during this. I graduated in December 2012 and obtained an MICU job in a Level 2 Trauma center not far from where I live. I LOVE every minute of it. My only regret is that I didnt do this earlier in my life. If you feel yourself being pulled toward this career, GO FOR IT!!!!

Music in My Heart

2 Articles; 4,101 Posts

Specializes in being a Credible Source. Has 13 years experience.

Very compatible careers, IMO, and your "copness" would have some value in a big ED.

Nothing but encouragement from me... though go in with your eyes wide open regarding the stiff competition for decent jobs.


3 Posts

Thanks for all of the positive feedback I think I'm going to sign up to start my pre-reqs this fall again thanks!


5,343 Posts

Specializes in burn ICU, SICU, ER, Trauma Rapid Response. Has 16 years experience.

Nursing is a great career for men. And it pays better than law enforcment. One thing to consider though. Become a nurse and you can expect to work full time until you are 65 (or older). There isn't really early retirment in nursing like in LE & military. There are some exceptions like military nurses and certain state agencies, Calfornia Deaprtment of Corrections for example. But if you plan to work in a hospital or nursing home type of situation expect to maybe have to be working on the day your grand kids graduate from high school

Specializes in ICU, Radiology,Infectious Disease,Forensic Nursing. Has 8 years experience.

Wow, my husband is going through the exact same thing (including the part about just starting a family.) I am a new nursing student and he has begun to seriously consider changing career paths. So there is nothing but encouragement here. ER would most likely be the best place for you to get a job because I have heard from my instructors that they eat ex-police up. The ER is where most chaos happens, drunks, combative patients (as well as difficult visitors,) rapes, ect. If you would like to combine law enforcement and nursing, forensic nursing would be an amazing fit.