Make a Career Change to Nursing in 5 Steps

Each blog post is dated and contains accurate information as of that date. Certain information may have changed since the blog post publication date. If you would like to confirm the current accuracy of blog information, please visit our ABSN overview page or contact admissions at (866) 483-8705.

Change careers - transition from woman walking to nurse running

The Averett University Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program in Norfolk, Virginia, could be the right way for you to pursue your calling. What’s more is you won’t have to start over to pursue nursing as a second career. Our ABSN program makes the path to nursing accessible, and you can complete it in as few as 16 months.

We know you don’t want to take more time than is needed to make this professional pivot, which is why students with non-nursing bachelor’s degrees or at least 60 non-nursing college credits can leverage their previous experience into a rewarding career as a nurse.

The Averett Accelerated BSN program makes it possible to become a nurse through a comprehensive fast-tracked curriculum. If you’ve been out of school for a while, don’t worry: you’ll have support every step of the way from enrollment to graduation and passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN®).

As a student enrolled in the Averett University Accelerated BSN program, you can expect:

  • An accelerated timeline with three starts per year
  • A hybrid (online and onsite) curriculum
  • A personalized, supportive learning environment

Making a career change to nursing may seem overwhelming, but it’s manageable. We’ve broken the process of transitioning into nursing into five steps, so you can know what to expect as you start on your path toward an exciting career as a nurse.

Male nurse in blue scrubs taking the pulse of a pediatric patient

1. Speak with an Admissions Counselor

As we mentioned, you’ll have support each step of the way, and that starts even before you are officially accepted into the program. The first step in the application process is filling out the form to have one of our admissions counselors contact you.

This first chat will be to discuss your goals and background. Our ABSN students come from all walks of life and occupations, so our admissions counselors can help you identify what skills you may already have that translate to nursing. They’ll also review your experience to determine your eligibility for our program and be the main point of contact you can count on throughout the admissions process.

Don’t think of this call as a nursing school interview — this talk isn’t to grant or deny acceptance into our program. It’s a chance for your admissions counselor to learn more about you and your interest in the program and make sure our program is the right fit for you, too. They’ll also be able to answer any questions you have and let you know what to expect from nursing school.

2. Submit Your Unofficial Undergraduate Transcripts

After this discussion, your admissions counselor will request copies of your unofficial undergraduate transcripts.

From your unofficial transcripts, your admissions counselor will be able to create a personalized academic plan that targets a start date for enrolling in our ABSN program in either January, May or August.

While no prior health care experience is needed to apply to our ABSN program, you’ll still need to meet academic requirements before you can qualify for enrollment, including prerequisites. We want our students to be able to put their best foot forward when they begin their rigorous ABSN coursework, so we need to be sure you have a solid foundation to work from.

3. Complete Nursing School Prerequisites

As mentioned above, to qualify for enrollment in the Averett ABSN program, you must first meet several prerequisite course requirements. Some of your previous education may fulfill these courses right off the bat, but you may need to complete some either way. For example, if you have a previous biology degree you may not need to take some of our science-based prerequisites like microbiology or anatomy that may have been covered in your previous coursework. However, if you are transferring an English degree, you’ll likely need to take those courses.

Averett nursing students in a skills lab learning to take each other's pulse on the wrist

Either way, your admissions counselor will help identify the courses (if any) you need to take, as well as help you enroll for those courses. They’ll even check in to make sure you stay on track to complete them on a timeline to set you up for success enrolling on your target start date.

It’s worth noting that most prerequisite courses are available online through Averett University on the same e-Learning system you’ll use to complete your nursing theory courses in the ABSN program. So, if you do need to meet this requirement, you’ll get a jumpstart on getting familiar with our online format when you start your nursing coursework.

Once those requirements are squared away, your counselor will advise you on any outstanding program requirements you may need to fulfill and help you meet other important deadlines.

4. Enroll in the Averett Accelerated Nursing Program

After that, you’ll be able to apply to our program and start your journey toward becoming a nurse!

Because you’ve already had a career and may have had some experience in school, you’re in a great position to bring a fresh perspective to nursing. Whatever your prior experience was, we are excited to see what skills you bring to the table. In some ways, you may even be better positioned to understand patients and relate to them better than a first-degree student may be able to.

5. Pass the NCLEX Exam

Once you graduate from our accelerated BSN program, the last step in becoming a nurse is passing the NCLEX. This is the exam that all nursing students must take to receive licensure to practice the profession. While this test is a big deal, you can rest assured the Averett ABSN program prepares its students to confidently take the test following graduation.

Why Nursing as a Second Career

Nursing as a second career is a great choice because nursing is a flexible job that offers a comfortable salary and a job description that keeps you on your toes. Maybe the best part of all — as a nurse, you’ll get to help people every day.

In fact, nurses have a great reputation for being trustworthy. Nursing has topped the Gallup poll, being voted one of the most honest and ethical professions. It’s never too late to become a nurse, and by completing the ABSN program and passing the NCLEX exam, you’ll be well on your way to helping close the national nursing shortage.

Averett nursing student listening to another nursing student's breathing

Begin Your Career Change to Nursing Today

Our program gives you the opportunity to start again without starting over. If you feel the call to become a nurse, you owe it to yourself to pursue this opportunity.

If you’d like to know more about how to make a career change to nursing, please contact us. Once we hear from you, a dedicated admissions counselor will be in touch to discuss your options.