Why Choose Nursing as a Second Career?

Why Choose Nursing As a Second Career

Meaningful profession. Job growth. Diverse employment. High earning potential. These are just some of the reasons why more Americans are choosing nursing as a second career. See why Diane left her real estate job of 18 years to become an accelerated nursing student in our 16-month ABSN program.

Before nursing school, Diane was a realtor living in Raleigh, North Carolina. It was her volunteer experience helping victims of domestic violence and sexual assault that got her interested in the nursing profession.

“I worked in an emergency department and was impressed by the work the forensic examiners did and the care they provided to individuals who were living through one of their worst days.”

And, while Diane’s path to nursing started more than 10 years ago, life—like it does for so many of us—kept getting in the way. After losing her mother to cancer, Diane decided it was time for her to get back on track and applied to our ABSN program in Cincinnati.

I wasn’t apprehensive about going back to school because it was something I had wanted to do for a very long time.

However, she needed a program that was concise and would allow her to get started as soon as possible. “I already had a bachelor’s degree in another field of study,” she explained. “I didn’t want to spend another four years on a second bachelor’s degree in nursing.”

Our 16-month ABSN program, which is perfect for career changers, had just what she was looking for. She liked that we only had four ABSN prerequisite course requirements and valued our holistic approach to patient care.

“Providing holistic care is important to me because you’re not treating a diagnosis, you’re treating an entire person and need to understand the context in which that person lives,” Diane said. “Xavier is one of the very few schools that offers that.”

Holistic Certification

Our ABSN program takes a holistic approach to patient care, a teaching philosophy endorsed by the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation. After graduating from our ABSN program and passing the NCLEX-RN exam, you can sit for the Holistic Certification Exam. Graduates of non-endorsed nursing schools must pass the NCLEX and actively practice as a holistic nurse before they can pursue certification.

After graduating from our ABSN program in August 2020, Diane says she may want to specialize in emergency medicine and trauma. She even alludes to one day going back to school to pursue a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree.

Now that you know why Diane chose nursing as a second career, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why others are making a similar transition into the profession.

Job Growth

Nursing is one of the fastest-growing occupations in the United States. While the nation as a whole anticipates the profession to grow by 15% between 2016 and 2026, the state of Ohio projects a 14% growth within the same timeframe. Because our ABSN program has locations in Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland, we thought we’d list the most recent employment data for these three metro areas.

Metro Area2018 Employment
Cleveland25,270
Cincinnati23,970
Columbus23,880

Source: CareerOneStop.org, 2018

Diverse Employment

When you have a BSN degree, the sky’s the limit. While hospitals are the largest employers of registered nurses, there are plenty of other work settings to consider, such as:

  • Corporate clinics
  • Outpatient centers
  • Military bases
  • Nursing homes
  • Private practices
  • School systems

Career mobility within the nursing profession is also pretty amazing, with more than 90 specialty areas of practice. Plus, registered nurses with a BSN degree can go on to earn an MSN that would allow them to work at the advanced practice level.

High Earning Potential

When it comes to your earning potential as a registered nurse, a lot depends on your employer and the state you practice in. But across the board, there’s good money in nursing. Here’s a 2018 comparison of annual registered nurse wages in Ohio and the United States as a whole.

Location10%25%Median75%90%
United States$50,800$58,770$71,730$88,350$106,530
Ohio$51,160$56,270$64,200$76,320$88,490
Cleveland Metro$53,370$58,900$68,570$78,720$92,320
Cincinnati Metro$51,900$56,790$64,950$78,470$94,060
Columbus Metro$51,150$55,900$63,050$77,890$95,190

Source: CareerOneStop.org, 2018

How Our ABSN Program Works

Our ABSN program builds on your bachelor’s degree in another field of study so you can earn a quality BSN in as few as 16 months. As a student in our full-time, four-semester ABSN program, you’ll complete a rigorous blend of online and onsite instruction.

  • Online courses teach the fundamentals and theories of the profession, anytime, anywhere.
  • Nursing labs at our ABSN Learning Center provide a realistic, risk-free platform for developing hands-on skills and clinical judgment.
  • Clinical rotations in top health care facilities provide real-world experience in diverse practice areas.

“It’s an intensive program,” says Diane.

Diane - Xavier University ABSN Student

If you’re considering the program, ask questions about what it takes to be successful and visit the site location where you plan to enroll. And, once you’re in the program, make sure that you stay organized.

LocationsABSN Learning CenterClinical Partners*
Cincinnati615 Elsinore Place, 7th Floor
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Bon Secours Mercy Health,
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, The Christ Hospital Network, TriHealth
Columbus8425 Pulsar Place, Suite 100
Columbus, Ohio 43240
OhioHealth
Nationwide Children’s Hospital
ClevelandIndependence, OhioTop health care facilities in the Cleveland area

*We cannot guarantee placement in a specific health care network or facility.

Thinking About Nursing as a Second Career?

If you have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree and want to pursue nursing as a second career, you should contact our admission team and inquire about our 16-month ABSN program. You’ll find that we have the most accessible accelerated nursing program in Ohio, with three start dates a year at all three of our locations.

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