How to Begin a Career Change to Nursing

One of the most important things to realize before switching careers is that it will be a long and difficult journey. It’s not quite as long as becoming a medical doctor, but it will take a few years to get that RN license.

Don’t Quit Your Day Job and Career For Nursing Yet

The best thing to do is to not quit your day job and career. As tempting as it might be to go to school full-time so that you can complete the many nursing prerequisites quicker, that may not be the wisest thing to do. First of all, you may not earn grades that are high enough to get into nursing school. If you didn’t know already, it’s highly competitive to get into nursing school even at community colleges. It would be a disaster to not get into nursing school, and you’ve burned bridges with your old employer. Secondly, you may find out that you don’t really enjoy the courses along the way. In particular, students have found out that nursing is not for them after taking anatomy & physiology as well as microbiology.

Go to School Part-Time While Completing Nursing School Prerequisites

It’s much better to continue full-time work while being a part-time student. For non-science courses at 3 credit hours, a strong student could take up to three classes at once without much difficulty. Most people would be well advised to lower that limit to two non-science courses. If you have a science lab course involved, you will probably want to take only one course by itself unless you are 100% sure you have an aptitude in science courses. The worst thing you could do to overload yourself is to take two or more science courses while holding a job. Remember that you’ll need an “A” in these tough science courses to assure yourself of a spot in nursing school. Just getting an average grade of “C” is not really good enough.

If you go part-time, you’ll know if nursing is right for you. Once you complete the nursing prerequisites and get into nursing school, then it’s time to become a full-time student. Almost all nursing programs say that it’s impossible to maintain a part-time job and highly recommend that students do not attempt to work. That’s the time to go 100% into nursing.