5 Tips for How to Become a Registered Nurse with a Bachelor’s Degree

ABSN student practicing skills with text 'how to change careers and become a nurse'

We all know someone who’s been stuck at the same job for years, even though their heart’s not in it. Going to work when you’re not excited about your career can take a toll on your mental health and happiness.

After putting time and money into starting a career, it can feel scary to make a change. That’s exactly why our program supports you every step of the way.

We understand that changing careers can feel daunting. We are here to help. No matter what stage of life you’re at, it’s never too late to start your journey toward becoming a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree.

1. Know You're Not Alone

Life is short, and if you’re not in a career you love there’s no better time to change that than now.

Making the jump into a new field can feel overwhelming, but you’re not alone.

Nearly half of people interviewed for a survey conducted by Indeed said they’ve made a big career shift in their lifetime. By switching to a career in nursing, you’re taking a leap of faith, and with current trends in the field, odds are you’ll land on solid ground.

2. Learn Why Nursing Is a Good Idea

A career in nursing is an investment in your future. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of registered nurses is slated to grow 17 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all careers. Nurses are in high demand, and that demand doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. About 175,900 openings for registered nurses are projected each year for the next 10 years. With a career in nursing, you’ll have relative job security, and a job that allows you to wear many different hats while knowing you are helping others.

3. Find a Program Designed For You

You already have a bachelor’s degree, so we get that you don’t want to spend more time than you must earning your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.

Our program is built for students who hold non-nursing bachelor’s degrees and wish to get into the nursing field quickly.

The Notre Dame of Maryland University Accelerated 2nd Degree BSN program condenses a 36-month nursing school curriculum into 15 months, which is why it requires a lot of focus, drive, and dedication to be successful in the program.

4. Know What to Expect

Your instructors will hit the ground running. So don’t be surprised if they throw a lot of material your way through lectures, reading assignments, and other work during your first semester.

The coursework you complete in the first semester of nursing school sets the stage for the rest of your nursing education, so expect to kick things off quickly.   

Your first semester of nursing school will also involve skills and simulation labs, which you can expect to attend multiple days each week.

In these labs, you’ll learn how to develop and apply basic nursing skills such as wound care and intubation. These universal skills prepare you for any nursing position.

nursing students in sim lab

Clinical rotations also begin in the first semester of the Notre Dame ABSN program. Clinicals will give you hands-on experience for real-world nursing.

Keeping up with coursework, practicing nursing skills during the lab portion of the program, and making sure you make the most of your clinical rotations can seem like a lot to balance, but know you’ll have a support system to help you succeed. Our admissions counselors start supporting you before you even enroll in the program. They’ll answer any questions you have and help you gather everything you need to apply to the Notre Dame ABSN program.  

5. Get Started

We want to get you started on the right foot and make sure our program is a perfect match for you. The first step to becoming a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree starts with a call to our admissions counselors to discuss your academic experience and future career aspirations. Here are four ways an admissions counselor will help you get started:

  • Speak with an admissions counselor. Your admissions counselor will be the main point of contact throughout the rest of the admissions process. They’ll be there with you each step of the way with your needs and goals in mind.
  • Make an academic plan. They will also work with you to create an academic plan of action that fits with your life and help you figure out which of our three start dates will work best for you.
  • Complete any needed ABSN prerequisites. Your admissions counselor will also help you identify which prerequisite courses you may need to take, if any, before submitting your application.
  • Apply to accelerated nursing school. With your application, be sure to include your official college transcript(s) from previous institutions, an up-to-date resume, and a personal statement stating why you are pursuing nursing.

Once you are admitted to our ABSN program, you can expect that high level of support you received earlier in the admissions process to continue throughout your time at NDMU. In both the hybrid and campus based ABSN programs, nursing faculty and clinical instructors always have your back and are available to make time to help make your time in the program run smoothly.

It’s Never Too Late to Start a Career You Love

Now that you have a better idea of how to become a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree, are you ready to take the first step toward a new career in nursing? Contact our enrollment team at (866) 664-9033, or complete our online form to have one of our admissions counselors contact you.