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The nursing profession has become increasingly important in the healthcare industry, especially with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As the demand for qualified nurses continues to rise, many individuals are considering a nursing career, including those with a degree in another field.

Second-degree nursing students have become more prevalent in recent years, and understanding their motivations for pursuing nursing can shed light on the factors driving this trend. 

This article explores why second-degree students are drawn to the nursing profession and the impact this has on the healthcare industry.

1. Job Security

One of the main reasons why second-degree students are pursuing nursing is job security. The healthcare industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the economy, and the demand for healthcare professionals, especially nurses, continues to increase.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 6% growth in employment for registered nurses from 2021 to 2031, which is significantly higher than the average growth rate for all occupations. The expansion in the healthcare sector is a result of several factors, including an aging population, advancements in medical technology, and a growing emphasis on preventative care.

With an aging population and rising demand for healthcare services, the need for nurses continues to grow. Second-degree students can take advantage of this growing demand by enrolling in an accelerated BSN program.

ABSN programs are designed for individuals who hold a non-nursing degree and want to pursue a career in nursing. These programs offer a fast track to becoming a registered nurse, allowing students to complete their nursing education in as little as 12-18 months.

Moreover, the availability of an online ABSN program has further increased the accessibility of nursing education, providing flexibility for students who need to balance work, family, and other commitments. Online ABSN programs allow students to complete their coursework from anywhere, at any time, making it easier for them to pursue a career in nursing while maintaining their existing obligations.

2. Flexibility

Nursing is a diverse field that provides career growth and development opportunities. Nurses can work in various settings, including hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, and schools. This diversity allows them to work in different areas of healthcare and adapt their careers to their changing interests and needs.

Second-degree students who pursue nursing also have the flexibility to choose from various programs that fit their needs, such as online ABSN programs. In addition, it offers the flexibility of completing coursework from anywhere at their own pace. This flexibility makes it easier for individuals with other commitments, such as family or work, to pursue a nursing career.

3. Salary and Benefits

According to, the Nurse Salary Research Report of 2022 averaged the annual wage for registered nurses in the US to $78,000 in 2021. However, about 10% earn as much as $116,000 annually.

Nurses can also receive benefits, such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off, which are essential for a good work-life balance.

Second-degree students who pursue nursing can also benefit from the higher salaries and job security that nursing offers. For example, nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree can earn higher salaries than those with an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN). 

Furthermore, nurses who obtain advanced degrees, such as a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), can increase their earning potential and qualify for leadership positions.

4. Making a Difference

For many second-degree students, the desire to make a difference in people’s lives is a major motivating factor in pursuing a career in nursing. Nursing provides opportunities to directly impact the lives of patients and their families. Nurses work closely with patients, providing care, education, and emotional support during some of the most vulnerable times in their lives.

Nursing also offers the opportunity to work in diverse communities and serve underserved populations. Yet, the World Bank program for Universal Health Coverage states that about 5 billion people worldwide will still lack access to proper health care in 2030. Hence, people passionate about social justice can pursue nursing to address health disparities.

Furthermore, the pandemic has highlighted nurses’ essential role in the healthcare system and their impact on people’s lives. Nurses have been on the front lines of the pandemic, providing care to patients and risking their health to do so. It has made nursing an even more attractive profession for individuals motivated to make a difference in the world.

5. Various Options Within the Nursing Profession

Nursing provides a variety of career paths, including specialties such as pediatrics, critical care, oncology, and many more. Nurses can also pursue advanced degrees in nursing and become nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, or nurse anesthetists, among other advanced practice roles.

Nurses such as nursing directors or chief nursing officers can also pursue leadership positions in healthcare organizations. These positions provide opportunities to shape policies and procedures that impact patient care and outcomes.

Moreover, the healthcare industry constantly evolves, and nursing provides opportunities for continuous learning and professional development. Nurses can attend conferences, workshops, and continuing education courses to stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in healthcare.

6. Easy Acceptance of New Applicants to Nursing Schools

Many nursing schools have a high demand for students, and the nursing shortage has made it easier for individuals with non-nursing degrees to be accepted into nursing programs.

Moreover, many nursing schools offer accelerated nursing programs specifically designed for individuals with a non-nursing degree.

Additionally, nursing schools offer various learning modes, including online, hybrid, and in-person programs, which provide flexibility in pursuing nursing education.

The Role of Second-Degree Students is Very Crucial

The nursing profession continues to be in high demand, with a growing need for skilled nurses in various healthcare settings. Second-degree students are increasingly choosing nursing as a career path due to various factors. 

Nursing provides individuals with an opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of others while also offering a diverse range of career paths and opportunities for growth and development.

Overall, the demand for skilled nurses is expected to grow, and second-degree students can play a vital role in meeting this demand. With the right motivation and education, these students can embark on a fulfilling career in nursing and significantly contribute to the healthcare industry.