Making a Teacher to Nurse Career Change

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While switching from teacher to nurse may seem completely different, teachers and nurses have many similarities, from their generosity to their passion for helping others. Learn how to make the teacher to nurse career change quickly with the help of Marquette’s Direct Entry MSN program.

nurses standing by doctor next to patient in bed

If you are considering making a teacher to nurse career change, you are not the only one. People working across a wide range of careers are making the career switch to nursing after observing the nursing field’s many benefits, its excellent career outlook, and the opportunity it offers to have an impact.

If you are trying to change your career from teacher to nurse more quickly than you could through a traditional four-year degree program, an option like Marquette University’s Direct Entry Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree might be right for you. In 19-21 months, you can graduate ready to utilize your education and experience toward a flourishing career in healthcare. Read on to explore similarities between the skillsets necessary for teaching and nursing, and discover how earning your MSN after spending time in a teaching career can help you develop into an excellent practicing nurse.

Teacher to Nurse Skillset Similarities

While the day-to-day work you encounter in a teaching career is quite different from what you’ll experience in nursing, some of the underlying core skillsets and the necessary temperament are highly similar. Former teachers can thrive in a nursing career when they combine their skills and experience with the hard work and dedication it requires to earn a MSN degree. See some of the skills and personality traits you may possess from teaching that would help you thrive in a nursing career.

Working with Children

Nurses regularly work with children within multiple areas and specialties. Children require a special bedside manner and communication skillset, as they may have a more difficult time understanding and processing the situation they are in. They may also have a more difficult time taking medications or cooperating with vitals simply because they don’t understand. A nurse who knows how to communicate with children and parents can make a difference for families during exceptionally challenging times.

Nurses who want to work with children often pursue a position or specialty in pediatrics where they can work exclusively with children. If you have a passion for working with children or adolescents, an MSN degree can help you pursue this career path.

Stress and Emotion Management

Both teaching and nursing require an aptitude for managing stressful or emotional situations. Teachers are responsible for managing the behavior of a group of students at any given time before they can ever begin to educate them. They also are responsible for keeping records and communicating with families. Nurses regularly deal with similar challenges and have to be detail-oriented and diligent with record-keeping and communicating with families and other medical workers.

Marquette nursing student putting on gloves

As such, teachers and nurses alike are required to have excellent stress and emotional management skills. Nurses will face many highly emotional and fast-paced situations in their tasks, and being accustomed to the pace of a classroom may help individuals to be more prepared for what is to come in the field of healthcare.

Lifelong Learning

If you pursued a career in education and worked to shape young minds as a teacher, the odds are that you have a lifelong love of learning. Your passion for learning and teaching can still apply to a nursing career, with the profession constantly changing through new best practices and updated procedures or techniques. As a nurse you will need to remain a lifelong learner, and your passion for sharing knowledge can help as you educate patients, families and loved ones on the treatment you provide.


Nurses often have giving personalities, working every day to improve patient outcomes. Nursing is not an easy profession, and neither is teaching. Both require generosity and a willingness to sacrifice for the well-being of others. They spend more time with patients than almost any other healthcare workers. In fact, nursing has been ranked by a Gallup poll as the top most trusted profession for 21 straight years.

Nursing and teaching both require generosity and a willingness to sacrifice for the well-being of others. Making the teacher to nurse career change will allow you to pursue a new profession and still be able to work in a field that allows you to use your generous heart.

nurse standing arms behind back smiling at camera

Leadership is another important trait of a good nurse. Learn what makes leadership so important in nursing.

Benefits of an MSN

As an MSN-prepared nurse, you are on the front lines of delivering medical care while utilizing best practices. You will have the ability to shape your patients’ experience, and a work environment in which you can make a difference. An MSN degree prepares you to take the NCLEX-RN examination and earn licensure as a nurse, but the benefits to this degree go beyond earning your licensure alone.

Nursing is a field with a vast potential for specialization and advancement, and those with the drive and qualifications can pursue a nursing position in almost any practice area. This is why an MSN degree can be vital to your nursing future, as you can access far more opportunities than you otherwise could with a BSN or ADN. Many nursing certifications and specialty practice areas require an MSN as part of the qualifications, leaving you more open to multiple career options.

An MSN degree can also help you find a position within a Magnet Hospital, a distinction provided to organizations that prioritize excellence in nursing and only hire nurses who have achieved a BSN degree or higher. Aside from the improved job satisfaction and patient outcomes that nurses report about Magnet organizations, certain nursing leadership roles require an MSN degree to pursue.

Discover more about what you can do with an MSN degree.

nurse smiling and shaking hands with coworkers

An MSN also offers a pathway for those with a passion for teaching to continue educating others within a nursing context. Nurse educators are in high demand, with a nursing faculty shortage which results in tens of thousands of qualified nursing school applicants being turned away each year. With the acute need for nurses, a position as a nurse educator can help you to make a impact on students and countless future patients. and help raise up the next generation of compassionate and powerful nurses. With an MSN you can typically begin teaching without needing to fulfill additional educational requirements after a period of 2-5 years in the field.

Earn Your MSN Through Marquette University

nursing student studying

Even with no previous experience in healthcare, there is a place for you at Marquette University to transition from teacher to nurse. Once you reach out to a Direct-Entry MSN admissions adviser, they will help you plan out every step of your journey into the MSN program. You will not have to seek out an undergraduate nursing degree, as your previous degree can be all you need to begin prerequisites.

With our program’s hybrid format combining online coursework, in-person labs, and in-person clinical rotations, you will be able to complete your education in only 19-21 months. This way, you will spend less time in school and more time in your dream job.

If you are interested in making a teacher to nurse career change, contact us today and we can help to shape this ambition into reality.