Going Back to School for Nursing: 5 Things You Should Know

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Is it too late to become a nurse in your 30s, 40s or beyond? Absolutely not! Going back to school for nursing is possible, particularly with an Accelerated BSN program. An accelerated hybrid nursing program doesn’t require healthcare experience, and you can graduate in as few as 16 months.

students take notes while gathered around skeleton

Are you thinking about making a career change? You’re not alone. The average person has 12 jobs during their lifetime, and about 29% of people switch to a different field entirely. If you’re dissatisfied with your current career for any reason, you might think about going back to school for nursing.

A career change to nursing offers incredible opportunities, including a strong job growth rate, high salary potential and the ability to choose from a wide range of nursing specialties. Plus, there’s plenty of room to pursue advancement in the nursing field.

But is it too late to become a nurse? No matter how long you’ve been in the workforce, it’s never too late to go back to school to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). In fact, with the Accelerated BSN program (ABSN) available from CSP Global, you could earn your degree in as few as 16 months.

Nurse standing holding clipboard

Thinking about nursing as a second career? First, look at these questions and get some food for thought.

Below, we explore five things you need to know about making a career transition to nursing.

1. It’s Never Too Late for a Career Change to Nursing

One of the most common questions prospective career switchers have is, “Is it too late to become a nurse?” It’s often thought that a career change to nursing requires going back to school for years and years and then painstakingly working one’s way up the ladder. The nursing field welcomes career switchers, and nursing education is more accessible than you might think.

Whether in your 30s, 40s, 50s or even 60s, it’s still possible to achieve your dream of becoming a nurse. In fact, becoming a nurse later in life offers certain advantages. Compared to younger students straight out of high school, older nursing students have had the opportunity to develop strong communication and interpersonal skills and a good grasp of time management. With more life and work experience, older nursing students can leverage their knowledge to provide exceptional patient care.

2. Healthcare Experience Is Not Required to Apply

When considering going back to school for nursing, one crucial thing to know is that you do not need prior healthcare experience. Adult learners from all walks of life can come to nursing school. Whether you’ve been in retail or education, or even if you’ve been an at-home parent for years, you can still attend nursing school. All you need to do is meet the admissions requirements — and they do not include prior healthcare experience.

Of course, if you want to acquire some entry-level healthcare experience while you’re thinking about going back to school for nursing, you certainly could do so. A part-time job as a medical office receptionist, patient transporter, or volunteer position in a hospital will give you an inside look at the healthcare field and help you decide if nursing is the right move for you. However, it’s certainly not required.

3. Accelerated BSN Program Options

Does the idea of going back to school for nursing seem overwhelming? It may be because you’re considering the prospect of completing a four-year degree program to earn your nursing degree and pass the licensure exam. In actuality, earning a four-year degree in as few as 16 months is possible. How?

nursing students on laptop

Let’s take a step back for a moment. Most students who enroll in a four-year BSN program have recently graduated from high school. They have no prior college experience, so many of their classes are general education courses — not just nursing ones.

In contrast, if you’re a working professional, there is a good chance you’ve already completed an undergraduate degree or at least some college credits. This means you can leverage your prior education toward completing a BSN in less than four years. Plus, an accelerated nursing program offers the same quality of nursing education as a four-year program.

At CSP Global, it’s not necessary to have a bachelor’s degree to apply for our ABSN program. You’ll need at least 54 non-nursing college credits from an accredited institution.

Of course, you’ll also need to meet other admissions requirements, such as achieving a minimum GPA, passing a criminal background check and demonstrating English language proficiency (if English is not your native language). Depending on your prior college education, you may also need to complete some prerequisite courses. The prerequisites (e.g., chemistry and microbiology) are designed to prepare you for nursing coursework.

If you apply to the ABSN program at CSP Global, you’ll work one-on-one with a dedicated admissions advisor who will review your unofficial transcripts to determine eligibility and if you need to take any prerequisites. Essentially, your advisor will build a personalized roadmap just for you.

How does an accelerated nursing program work? Read all about it in this blog post.

Launch your career with an Accelerated Nursing program - two nurses working together

4. Hybrid Nursing Programs Provide Learning in Different

Another thing to know about going back to school for nursing is that hybrid nursing programs provide learning opportunities in multiple types of formats. First, what's a hybrid nursing program? The degree program offers a combined online/in-person education delivery method.

At CSP Global, you can complete portions of your nursing coursework online. You'll attend in-person learning activities like nursing skills labs to develop and refine your nursing skills. In addition, you'll complete in-person clinical learning at nearby healthcare facilities or in the community. Clinical learning, or "clinicals," are opportunities to meet clinical learning objectives while working with faculty, healthcare providers, and community members who work with certain populations. Clinical learning opportunities also include in-person simulation and mixed reality simulation where you practice caring for patients in a safe environment.

Everyone has different learning preferences, and working through material in various ways offers more opportunities to reinforce and retain what you've been taught.

nurse in front of sign

Online courses offer the opportunity to:

  • Read, listen to, and watch nursing lessons.
  • Participate in interactive learning activities, such as simulated case studies.
  • Interact with fellow students and instructors via discussion forums.
  • Take self-assessments.

You can review the material as many times as you need to.

5. The Right Resources Can Lead You to Success

The fifth thing to know about going back to school for nursing is that your choice of nursing school is critical for success. You’ll need the right resources to support you as you learn nursing concepts and develop nursing skills. At CSP Global, we take great pride in offering our students extensive resources to support them.

You’ll find that our relatively small, close-knit community facilitates interactive student-faculty relationships. Each instructor is invested in your success and will help you succeed. Our nursing community emphasizes collaboration and teamwork. In addition, our nursing skills labs and simulation environments offer realistic healthcare settings fully equipped with everything you’ll need to practice skills ranging from communications, IV insertion to wound care and beyond.

two CSP nursing students sitting and studying

Learn what to expect in nursing school in this blog, and get some actionable tips for success.

Going Back to School for Nursing at CSP Global

When you’re ready to make a career change to nursing, CSP Global is here to support you. Your advisor will develop a personalized plan to help you navigate admissions. Typically, applications are due two months before beginning classes in January, May or September.

Contact an admissions advisor today to find out if our ABSN program could be the right choice for you.