Why Make the Teacher to Nurse Career Change? 6 Reasons to Consider

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You should consider making the teacher to nurse career change because you already have many useful nursing skills. You’ll also still be able to help kids and make a difference while earning a higher income with higher growth potential. You can get started soon with an accelerated nursing program.

Teacher in classroom working with child students

If you’re thinking about transitioning away from education, consider a career in nursing. Because of your experience as a teacher, you already bring several valuable skills to the nursing profession. You may find nursing is a field where you can excel and achieve the professional growth you’re seeking.

The pathway from teaching to nursing can happen in as few as 16 months, thanks to the Concordia University, St. Paul Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program. With three start dates a year, we have the capacity to enroll more students, so you can start making the teacher to nurse career change even sooner.

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

What is the accelerated nursing program like? Learn what to expect with the CSP ABSN program.

If it feels like it might be time to transition away from teaching, here are six reasons why the teacher to nurse career change is a wise move. Teachers make outstanding nurses, and nursing is a great field to enter. Here’s why you should consider pursuing your BSN.

1. You Already Have Useful Nursing Skills

Going into nursing school, teachers already have many of the soft skills nurses use every day. Your experience leading a classroom and educating children will help prepare you for the responsibility of caring for patients and managing complex healthcare situations. Here are a few of the skills carried over from teaching to nursing.

Resourcefulness and Problem Solving

Teachers have to find new and engaging ways to talk to a room full of different students and bring them all into a lesson. You’ve had to think outside the box while teaching, such as when creating a last-minute demonstration with items from your garage or junk drawer.

Teachers come to nursing knowing how to find unique solutions to a variety of complex problems. Your patients will come to you with illnesses resulting from a variety of factors, and you will have the unique advantage of understanding that symptoms may have myriad causes.

Human beings are complex, physically, mentally and spiritually, and their illnesses may require treatment of all those factors — something Concordia St. Paul specializes in teaching. Teachers entering nursing may find these creative problem-solving skills propel them to the front of their ABSN cohort.

teacher in classroom showing students something on wall

Stress Management

Every teacher has been there: It’s late spring, the weather is warm and students’ energy and emotions are the proverbial cats you have to herd. This is a particularly special skill afforded to teachers and one that becomes useful when working in the emergency room or on high-risk units. Between patients in pain and their worried family members, your ability to understand and redirect emotional energy helps your team treat patients more effectively.

Nursing can also challenge you emotionally, and your ability to regroup and refocus after a trying day will go a long way to having a long career in patient care.

Mentoring & Teaching

Nursing is a career focused on lifelong learning, and your talent for teaching can help you guide peers while in the nursing program. In your nursing career, you’ll be able to incorporate teaching into conversations with patients and other members of the care team.

If you discover you still have a desire to pursue a career in education after earning your BSN, you can even choose to earn a master’s degree in nursing (MSN) and become a nurse educator to help educate the next generation of nurses.

A BSN is required to be considered for admission to any nursing graduate program, which is why the ABSN program is a great first step. If you do choose to become a nurse educator, your skills will be in high demand, as the nursing shortage is only projected to increase in the next decade.


Speaking with your patients and explaining their conditions and treatments is key to caring for patients, and your teaching experience prepares you well for this skill. Especially when treating children, establishing a sense of trust and understanding can help you get to a diagnosis much faster than someone without that experience.

nursing student testing man's blood pressure with blood pressure cuff

Good communication is key not only with patients and families, but also within the healthcare team. As a nurse, you’ll collaborate with other healthcare professionals daily, and confidence in communication will go a long way.

2. You Can Still Help Kids

If you’re a teacher, you likely have a passion for children. Influencing the younger generation in a positive way is something you can also do as a nurse. There are countless pediatric specialties nurses can enter, working in a pediatric hospital, clinic or public health setting. Pediatric nurses build strong bonds with their patients and with the child’s families. With nursing, you get to focus more on individualized care for children rather than having to manage 20 children at once. Rather, you can focus attention on just a few pediatric patients who you’re closely monitoring and caring for.

Nurses also may act as advocates for children by ensuring they have healthy home lives. Nurses protect kids and keep them safe while also giving them the support they need to bounce back from challenging health situations. This is especially important in public health settings where BSN-prepared nurses have a unique role in supporting family development and safety.

Nurses can make a major difference in the lives of children. Kids often remember their nurses years later because of the impact they made. Nurses make it possible for children to grow up and live their lives. It’s hard to find a higher calling than that.

nurse using stethoscope to hear child's heartbeat

3. You’ll Earn a Comfortable Income

Another reason to change from teacher to nurse is that nurses benefit from having competitive compensation rates, averaging $77,600 per year, as of May 2021 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is well above the average salary of $61,820 for high school teachers. With such a significant salary boost, it makes sense to spend 16 months going back to school to earn your nursing degree.

Is accelerated nursing school worth it? Discover whether a nursing degree is right for you.

CSP ABSN student standing outside

In addition to the base income nurses earn, if you want to save extra income, you can generally pick up extra shifts and work overtime as desired. You can also choose a nursing schedule where you work at times when you’ll receive higher pay, such as night or weekend shifts.

4. You’ll Have Excellent Growth Potential

Teachers often find it challenging to grow and advance in their careers over time. However, this is not the case with nursing, as the field offers several ways you can grow professionally.

If you enjoy clinical nursing, you can specialize and earn certifications in competitive, challenging specialties, such as intensive care or emergency nursing. If you desire even more responsibility, you can earn a graduate degree and pursue an advanced practice nursing role, such as a nurse practitioner, nurse midwife or nurse anesthetist. These advanced practice roles come with a significant pay boost, averaging $123,780 per year.

Aim High. - Nurse taking patient's blood pressure

Want to become a nurse practitioner? Learn the steps to enter this highly sought-after field.

With a bachelor’s degree in nursing, you’ll also be eligible to move into leadership roles, such as nurse manager or healthcare administrator. You can even earn a master’s degree and become a nurse educator, which may be a great way to combine your passion for teaching and nursing.

5. You Can Make a Difference

When you make the career change to nursing, you’ll be able to make a tangible difference in patients’ lives every day. In teaching, you often don’t get to see the fruit of your effort until years later, but with nursing, you’ll get to watch as your patients recover and rebuild strength. You’ll be a part of a multi-disciplinary healthcare team, guiding your patients toward their health goals. Seeing the positive impact nursing has on patients is inspiring, and it is often the fuel that keeps nurses motivated in their field.

CSP nursing student standing outside smiling

On top of witnessing patient progress, what really makes teachers happy to make the switch to nursing is patient gratitude. Of course, not every patient will be open in their thanks, but many patients know and appreciate the expertise and compassion of their nursing team.

6. You Can Transition to Nursing Quickly

With accelerated nursing programs, you can make the change to nursing in less time than you may have realized. While traditional nursing programs take four years to complete, the ABSN program at Concordia St. Paul helps eligible students earn their degree in as few as 16 months. In addition, the ABSN program in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Portland, Oregon, offers three start dates each year, meaning you can spend less time waiting for school to begin.

Should you consider relocating for nursing school? Learn more about the benefits of moving to Minnesota for the ABSN program.

City Skyline of Minnesota

The accelerated nursing program at CSP consists of four semesters, each with a combination of online classes, skills labs and clinical learning experiences. This hybrid approach ensures students develop the knowledge and skills needed to sit for the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX-RN) and to be a competent nurse.

If you have a prior non-nursing bachelor’s degree or at least 54 non-nursing college credits, you may be eligible for the ABSN program. Because you already have a teaching degree, you’ll likely have already met this requirement, so it’ll just be a matter of taking any remaining prerequisite courses before you start nursing school.

Make the Change from Teaching to Nursing Today

If you’re ready to keep your make the teacher to nurse career change, apply to CSP’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. Once you’ve completed your prerequisite classes, you can graduate with a nursing degree in 16 months.

We’re ready to help you make the switch with high-quality, immersive instruction. If you’re ready to jump in, contact an admissions counselor today.