How Madonna Helps Students Pursue Nursing as a Second Career

Find the courage to pursue your dream - Madonna ABSN student using laptop

There are a variety of reasons people choose nursing as a second career. Personal fulfillment, career opportunity, and job security are just some of those reasons.

For Steve, a current student at Madonna University Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program in metro Detroit, the act of pursuing nursing as a second career wasn’t personal. He just needed to find the right program. Read on to discover the three ways Madonna’s ABSN program helped him achieve his goal.

Steve’s Story

Steve was exposed to the healthcare profession at an early age. “My stepdad was an ER doctor, so growing up I spent a lot of time with the people in his practice.” He specifically recalls watching the registered nurses perform their daily tasks. “I saw the connection the nurses had with their patients and I really liked the amount of direct patient care nurses had compared to any other health profession.”

Despite graduating in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in biology, he instead took a job for a year playing professional baseball. After that, he worked in sales. Regardless of these successes, he discovered he actually did want to put his biology degree to work as a nurse. “Not a lot of doors opened up to me in sales – it was very one-track minded in terms of caring about yourself and your goals and it wasn’t really adapted to helping other people,” he says.

This was the turning point that motivated Steve to pursue a career in nursing. “I never really thought about nursing before because my parents were physicians and I had so many other things going for me, like athletics,” he says.

That’s when he decided to pursue nursing as a second career through Madonna University’s ABSN program in metro Detroit. He chose the ABSN program because of three major benefits it offered – immediacy, access, and curriculum that included online learning.

1. He wouldn’t have to wait.

For Steve, the thought of waiting two to three semesters to begin nursing school wasn’t in the cards. “I really wanted to hit the ground running and start,” he says. Thanks to Madonna University’s three program start dates each year (summer, fall, and winter), he could begin his nursing education at a time that was right for him.

Furthermore, given that Madonna’s ABSN program has rolling admissions, Steve could secure his seat in the program before other students even applied. “While a lot of other schools had me waiting nine months to a year to begin my nursing education Madonna allowed me to start about four months after I applied,” he explains.

2. He could leverage his past education.

Another reason why Steve chose Madonna University’s ABSN program was because he could leverage his existing biology degree to earn a BSN in as few as 16 months. Not to mention, since his existing degree was a Bachelor of Science degree, he could start sooner since he already fulfilled many of the science-based prerequisite coursework. “I only had to take three prerequisites to get into the program,” says Steve.

3. He could engage in a comprehensive learning model.

Madonna University’s ABSN program offers a comprehensive learning model which consists of online nursing theory coursework, hands-on labs, and in-hospital clinical rotations. This was another motivating factor in Steve’s decision to apply. Here’s how Steve describes each part of the blended learning model at Madonna’s ABSN program:

Online Learning

ABSN student studying on laptop

“Your online learning experience is made up of modules. Each learning module starts with an objective – it’s the first thing you see. You’ll then see a list of required readings that will help you get the material down. From there you’ll find practice activities, whether it be interactive matching games or critical thinking exercises, these activities will help you hone in on your skill. Lastly, you’ll find a list of assignments, case studies, and quizzes. These requirements really help you nail down the nursing concepts of that module.”

Hands-On Labs

Labs come in two parts: nursing skills lab and simulation lab. Involving the same tools and equipment you would find in a hospital setting, both labs let you exercise clinical and decision-making skills through different real-life experiences.

Skills Lab

"For example, on the first day you’ll start small by learning how to make a hospital bed. From there you’ll work your way up to procedural skills, like putting in IVs, medication administration, taking vitals, and giving assessments. It’s collaborative, so you’ll have your classmates to lean on for support.”

“Your professors split you up into small groups and give you a checklist of essential skills to perform. You’ll go through each skill with your classmates and correct each other if you’re doing it wrong. At the end, your professor will come over to watch you perform each skill to make sure you’re competent and ready to move on to the next one.”

Simulation Lab

“Simulation lab is where you apply the skills you’ve learned in a safe environment. You have one room that looks just like a hospital room with a bed and a manikin that breathes, has a heartbeat, and talks. Your professors give you a simulated experience and then watch you perform it behind a one-way glass mirror. At any time they’ll talk through the manikin, coach you through what to do if you get stuck, and manipulate the vital signs of the patient to see what you do in every single situation. The exercises prep you for the unimaginable and also for the routine before working with a real-life patient.”

Clinical Rotations

“Taking everything you’ve learned from online coursework and labs, clinicals show you what being a registered nurse is really like. Each clinical lets you interact with patients and execute a variety of skills like, giving injections, administering infusions inserting IVs, and more. My first day in my clinical setting I was like: This is it. This is what I want to do.”

Steve’s Advice for ABSN Students

To stay organized, having a planner is very, very, very important. Even though you’re taking two to four classes at a time, the classes are very intensive because they’re accelerated, so you have to be on top of things and having a planner is a great place to start.

Choose Madonna University’s ABSN Program!

Regardless of your reasoning for wanting to pursue nursing as a second career, Madonna University’s ABSN program can help make your career goals come to life. Contact us today and learn what you need to get started on your nursing school journey.