Starting BSN 2nd Degree. Worrying about this major career change...Please help!!


Hi all,

So I am 27 years old and have always wanted to go into nursing. I ended up going down another path and received a BA degree and work as an admin assistant/ofc manager now.

For years I've had a lot of regrets not going into nursing, so I applied, and have been accepted to a part time BSN 2nd degree program.

As excited as I was, I am now starting to become extremely worried...

My worry is, I hear all these stories about new grad RNs not being able to find jobs...searching for jobs only to find that they all say 'no new grads', fierce competition, having to taking any RN job that comes their way - even with low pay.

I am so fearful of going $30,000 into debt for nursing school (not to mention the $25,000 in debt I am in from my first Bachelor's) to come out and not be able to find a job. Or be in the same situation I am now, making a horrible living and unable to support myself.

Community college is not an option in this area, too competitive, waitlisted (even with having excellent grades in receiving my first bachelors.) I am not getting any younger and do not want to apply once a year, every year until I finally get a seat.

Does anyone have any experience/advice they can share with me? Is it worth the financial risk to go back?

I want to go into nursing so desperately....But this is a big life change, and financially I am scared.

Please help!


224 Posts

Specializes in Family Practice, Urgent Care, Cardiac Ca. Has 3 years experience.

I feel ya! I'm halfway through my 2nd degree BSN, and will likely be around 50K in debt by the end...but with a job offer already! Don't worry, you'll find an niche and hopefully LOVE nursing school! I don't regret it at all!


224 Posts

Specializes in Family Practice, Urgent Care, Cardiac Ca. Has 3 years experience.

also, many speculate that these hiring freezes go in waves...hopefully we will be on the upswing when we graduate.


16 Posts

27 is not exactly 'old' and if you hate your current career, then it seems like a no-brainer for you to go into nursing. Hey, I'm 43 and I'm going for it. The BSN programs here are all full-time though so I am going for the ADN and then maybe do the BSN after. We'll see. I have a good career already so I'm not concerned about not being able to find a job because I can just continue in my current career until things open up, but when you consider it will probably take a couple of years to get your BSN, the economy might be in much better shape by then.


93 Posts

How long is your BSN program? I'm in a similar boat--going back for a second degree, expensive program, still have debt from my first degree--but my program is 3.5 years long, and I just tell myself that the world and economy will be an entirely different place in 3.5 years.

Also, if you can, do what you can do NOW to help get experience and make your job search a little easier when you graduate. Volunteer at a nursing home or at a hospital if you can. Work part-time as a CNA if you can. This will give you valuable experience that will make you a more attractive candidate once you pass your NCLEX!

Long story short--I say go for it. If this is something that you've always wanted to do, take the risk. It's better to be at the bottom of a ladder you want to climb than halfway up one you don't!

It will be worth it. Congrats on getting into the program, and good luck!

Music in My Heart

2 Articles; 4,102 Posts

Specializes in being a Credible Source. Has 13 years experience.
My worry is, I hear all these stories about new grad RNs not being able to find jobs...searching for jobs only to find that they all say 'no new grads', fierce competition, having to taking any RN job that comes their way - even with low pay.

Nobody can provide what you want -- reassurance that it'll work out or a valid statement that you won't find work. Nobody knows.

At present, in most of the country, new grads are facing real challenges in getting hired. Our class was entirely comprised of 2nd-degree folks and only 25% have landed acute-care jobs. Of those, only one was hired "fresh" (meaning at an institution where they didn't have an existing relationship). On the other hand, nearly all of the past two classes did get hired.

What will it be like for you? Nobody knows but I think it's pretty much certain that you will be facing much stiffer competition than have graduates in the past few years. There are all of us who have graduated in the last 6-12 months plus all the new graduates that are being spit out 3 times per year... plus an apparently increasing number of experienced nurses who have been displaced.

If you decide to head down this path, you should be prepared for the possibility of not finding work for several months after you're licensed. That could change, of course, but I wouldn't expect it to improve any faster than the overall unemployment rate in the country.

If you really want to do it, go for it and let the chips fall where they may. There are no guarantees in life and you are young enough to recover from a setback. The reality is that your present job and career path are not nearly as secure as they might have been in the past.

All the best to you.

Follow your heart.


4 Posts

Thank you so much for responding so quickly :)

hearticulture - Great to hear you have a job when you finish! Congrats! You're right we may be in the upswing upon graduation, good point. fingers crossed that's the case. Thank you for sharing about the whole debt thing...I didn't know if I was being reasonable or not to take out so many school loans.

dreamer19 - congrats to you for going forward too! I may have to continue in my current job until I finish up and find something. Agreed, by the time I finish the economy may be a bit better. It's so hard to think that way now with the way things are. Best of luck in your program!

bikelola - Absolutely right, I really need to start thinking of it like that. Things may be entirely different in 3-4 years. (my program is 3 years). I like your advice to start volunteering and at least build some relationships and experience. Thank you for your honesty and I really like your quote -It's better to be at the bottom of a ladder you want to climb than halfway up one you don't- This is so true, and has a lot of meaning - thank you. Congrats to you too and best of luck.

♪♫ in my ♥ - I appreciate your honesty. I definitely fear the unknown, and I know no one can really give me the answer. This has been something I know that has been placed in my heart, and the fear of not doing it may be worse than the fear of the economical situation when I graduate. Thank you so much


93 Posts

Best of luck LR1297!! I know it's scary--it's taken me 6 years to get to this point of actually starting a program. The $$ thing held me back for a LONG time. But I think you might be right when you say that your fear of not following your heart might be greater than the fear of the unknown. There are days when I doubt whether or not this is the right move, days when I think about going to PTA school or massage therapy school, but then I know that I'll never forgive myself if I don't at least try. Take the leap, and we'll all be here. Good luck!! Enjoy!

By the way, I *think* that quote is from the British version of "The Office." It really struck a chord with me too, as I was starting to climb a corporate ladder I really did not want to be on. That's when I realized that I would rather work in any area of nursing than be another corporate cog...


4 Posts

Thank you SO MUCH!!! You too!

Yes - it was the exact same situation with me, I was talking about nursing school for about 5 years before I had the courage to actually do it.

There are times I second guess myself too - thinking of all the other choices I could have made...But you're right, I don't think I'll ever forgive myself if I don't try...It's a BIG SCARY leap of faith though, that it all will work out.

Thank you again and good luck to you :)

PS - that was actually the first time I heard that quote - and wow it means a lot! Gotta love The Office! haha


230 Posts

Specializes in ICU, CVICU, Surgical, LTAC. Has 6 years experience.


I went through the journey that you are about to embark. Here is my experience and words of advice. When I graduated from high school, I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do career wise. I wanted to possibly work in non-profit. Because I was so unsure I took the easy road and obtained a very general degree, a Bachelors in Communcation. When I graduated at the age of 22, I was unable to find a job in the area I wanted. I ended up taking a well paying job in sales. I couldn't stand it. I wanted to do something meaningful. At that time nursing was heavily advertised as being the top career on the rise. I thought that going into nursing would be a way for me to have a fulfilling career and I figured I'd never have trouble finding a job and I could earn a decent living. I was reluctant at first because I already had $20,000 in student loans. When I decided to go ahead and pursue nursing I was 25 years old. I looked at 2nd degree bachelor programs, direct entry masters programs as well as ASN programs. I was torn between whether to take the cheap long route or the expensive short route. The truth of the matter is because my bachelors degree was in a non-health/non science related field I really wouldn't have benefited time-wise from the 2nd degree bachelors programs because I still needed all the science pre-requisits. Therefore I opted to go with an ASN program.

The ASN program was still 3 years for me. 1 year of science pre-reqs and 2 years of nursing courses and clinicals. During my first year of pre-reqs I quit my sales job making $50,000 per year and obtained an entry level job as a receptionist in a clinic. After about 8 months I transferred to a hospital setting with the same company and worked as a Health Unit Coordinator. After my second year of nursing school I got my LPN license and worked as an LPN during my last year of the ASN program. (Most ASN programs allow you to get your LPN/LVN license after the 1st year). I graduated May of 2009 with my ASN in nursing. I had 6 job offers when I graduated, even with the bad economy and stiff competition with hospitals hiring limited Graduate Nurses.

I believe the key to being able to find a job as a Graduate nurse is what experiences you get while you are in school. You can work as a CNA, Nurse Extern or even as a unit secretary in some type of healthcare setting. This usually allows you to build relationships with a company and an "in" on those who are doing the hiring. A lot of times its who you know.

As far as doing a BSN verses an ASN, I definately think there are pros and cons to both. I almost felt like my bachelors in Communication should be enough, but in order to stay competetive I am going to still complete my BSN. There are thousands of programs for BSN completion once you are an RN, and because I have a job, my hospital will pay for it which is a huge plus. Also I have more options for doing evening, weekend, and online programs that I can fit into my work and home life. I am turning 28 years old in a few months. Sometimes I feel like I have been in school for so long that I could be a doctor by now.

To sum everything up, I dont regret going into nursing. Even though the economy is tough I still feel like nurses have a better shot than 90% of other professions in finding a job. Get as much experience and make as many connections as you can while you are in school. Get letters of reccomendation from your instructors and supervisors, get the best grades you can and you should be fine. Also start applying to jobs 2-3 months before you graduate and make as many connections you can at your clinical sites. You may have to kiss a little nursing instructor booty but many times they know how to get you a job. The main thing is making yourself stand out from your fellow classmates. Afterall they are your competition.

P.S. even though I graduated in my late 20s, more than half of my graduating class was in their late 30s all the way to early 50s! It's never too late to pursue your dreams! Good luck!

Specializes in Trauma/Burn ICU, Neuro ICU.


I completed my second degree BSN in August, and was actually hired before I graduated. I am now working, training to be an ICU nurse in a really great hospital (-just got magnet status). There are a few jobs out there right now, and by the time you finish, the market will be better. Best wishes.


5 Posts

Try getting a part time job in a hospital while you are in school. Many hospital do tuition reimbursement if you agree to work there after you graduate. This would solve the problem of accumulating debt and finding a job when you graduate. Also many hospitals will hire within before they post a position so you will have first choice as well. I am starting nursing school in Spring and am currently working as a clerical secretary in the radiology department. It has been very helpful working in a hospital while in school because you are totally immersed in the material. Good Luck!

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