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Help! Nursing 2nd Career

alinalina alinalina (New) New


So I've been considering the possibility of going back to school to become a nurse midwife. However, my first career was in the humanities (I did my BA, MA and PhD in Literature) now I'm a teacher and would love to go into nursing! I've been looking up programs, and it seems to me that since I never took any of the sciences pre-requisites it will take as long to go through them and then enroll in an accelerated BSN program as it would to just go through the whole 4 years of a traditional BSN program. Is it too crazy to think about doing it all over again? Will it be more expensive to go this route? Any advice you might have would be much appreciated!

Nature_walker, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in psych. Has 4 years experience.

Hi, I made the switch from teaching to nursing school. It took me a year of going straight through (even summer) to get my pre-reqs done. I'm in an ADN program and I'll be done in May. I think it's been worth it for me. I'll probably go on for the BSN after I get some work experience under my belt. Good luck! :yes:

INN_777, BSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology, Medicine. Has 5 years experience.

I switched from (a long ) business (career) to nursing. Took me one year to get prerequisites done (while working pretty much full time) and one year of accelerated BSN. Total of 2 years. You just have to be prepared to not have a life for 2 years, but they flew by.

Also, there are some schools that offer programs that go straight to MSN. However, it is a bigger commitment in time and money. And you have to be sure that you want to be specifically a CNM - many of them have you commit to that track right in the beginning. So, if you then start clinicals and decide another area of Nursing is more appealing, it might be difficult to switch.

We had classmates from all walks of life in my accelerated BSN, including teachers. They all did well.

You can do it, if you want it! Good luck with your decision! I am very happy I made mine:)

I did all the pre-req classes in a year and start a 15 month accelerated BSN program this summer. Taking a class like Physio in the summer is really tough if you work full time because of the class room time required. Overall it will take me 2 years and 8 months from start to finish. I had no classes to take this January to May though so it kind of feels like wasted time.

I took a few extra classes because different ABSN programs have different requirements (even in the same state college system). Make sure to do your research on programs and see what specific classes you need out side of the normal Anatomy, Physio, and Micro. Also pay close attention to what classes you can still have in process when you apply.

Thank you all for your posts! It's great to get such encouraging responses! Recently I've gone through some moments where I've doubted if it will be possible to undertake such a drastic career change and reading your stories is certainly very inspiring to think that it can be done successfully. I'm already looking at the possibility of taking some of the pre-requisite courses during the summer at the community college in my county: so excited! Thanks again and best of luck with all your wonderful career projects :)

Not, it's not crazy! I used to feel the same, but a BA does not equate to a BSN, so it is not redundant. I have a background in literature too, though I went the route of publishing. I became interested in nursing after working on the side as a court advocate for abused and neglected children, dealing with their medical/psychiatric issues, and discovering a love for patient advocacy. I am finishing up prereqs now and applying to nursing school in the summer. From a pre-nursing perspective only, my two pieces of advice would be 1. Make sure you like science, which becomes evident in weeder courses like A&P; and 2. Try to either work, volunteer or shadow in healthcare (in close proximity to nurses) to confirm you understand what you are getting into. I've had a couple friends who became deeply disenchanted after just volunteering in a hospital because reality didn't match up to their expectations. But yes, a radical career switch is absolutely doable!

Good luck, and keep us posted!

Edited by LadyLamp

Thank you so much for your post! It's great to hear you were able to successfully transition from literature to nursing and it seems it was a great decision for you. I think all the advice you gave me is really helpful, important and I very much appreciate it. I do think I like science, and have tried to incorporate it in creative ways into my literature classes, although I do it more in a "history of science" fashion than in practice per se, but I find it fascinating and can't wait to learn more. Of course, all this will be more tangible once I start my pre-reqs and get to see how I do in chemistry and anatomy (yikes!). As for volunteering, you're absolutely right: I just started doing it at a hospital, it's not been too long but I have felt I've learned a lot from it and also found it very enjoyable. I have not really worked that close to nurses though, and after you mentioned it, I'm going to try to see if that would be a possibility because it would be great to have as much information as possible about what I would be getting myself into if I do undergo this career change.

Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I'm so glad I joined this site, hearing from all of you has been really valuable and important to me.

Best of luck with your applications! :)


Specializes in Psychiatric, Aesthetics. Has 10 years experience.

I completely agree, shadow or volunteer to make sure you like the environment.

When I made the decision to return to school and work towards a BSN, I got my CNA, HHA certs. It's not easy at 45 doing CNA work so imagine doing that plus the responsibility of being an RN! :crying2:

Don't let A&P scare you! The human body is fascinating and you could be surprised how much fun it is to learn about and what you probably already know.


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