At Marian University’s accelerated nursing program in Indianapolis, we understand that becoming a nurse represents a significant career change for many of our students. If you want to become a nurse but find yourself mid-career in an entirely different field, the path to a BSN can seem even more daunting. Not only are you going back to school to acquire a whole new set of skills, you’re leaving behind what may be a comfortable, secure job–and a steady income– to venture into the unknown.
Unsure how to decide if you should make the leap? Is there ever a “right time” to leave a good job behind and build a new career from the ground up? Asking yourself the following questions might help:
Does my current position offer me the advancement opportunities I’m looking for long term?
Sometimes, even in a job with a significant amount of responsibility and a good salary, you may have “maxed out” your ability to continue moving up. Maybe your organization isn’t structured to allow for upward mobility because there simply aren’t enough opportunities. Maybe the work-life balance trade-offs for that next level position are too high. That’s a big advantage of nursing: even nurses in leadership positions can still maintain a flexible schedule. And since there are so many fewer nurses than there are nursing jobs, opportunities are abundant at every level—especially with a BSN.
Does my career fulfill my emotional needs as well as my professional needs?
Consider Ellen, a 35-year-old RN who spent 6 years as a corporate IT manager before going back to nursing school. In her former job, she earned a good salary, worked mostly 9 to 5, dealt with an occasional “fire drill,” but generally felt capable and appreciated in her role. Yet something was missing. She used her technical expertise all the time, but rarely got a chance to tap into her caretaker skills or feel like she was making a meaningful difference. Ellen liked her job just fine, but realized that “fine” wasn’t enough for her. Ask yourself, “Do I have a real passion for what I do? Does my job encourage me to be the person I want to be?” If the answer is no, it may be time for a change.
Can I handle the financial impact of leaving my job to go back to school?
For most career switchers, this is the toughest question of all: “Can I go from a steady paycheck to no paycheck, and potentially taking on student debt as well?” Ultimately, it’s a personal decision. But when looking at the financial pros and cons, it’s important to consider how long it will take for your investment in nursing school to pay off. A program like the Marian University accelerated nursing program lets you earn your RN in a short timeframe, which means you’re back out in the workforce with a BSN and good job prospects in less than a year and a half. Knowing your investment is a smart one can make it a little easier to take the plunge.
If you’re ready to find out more about changing your career to nursing, contact us to speak with an advisor.