Becoming a nurse is often seen as a path designated for those with a traditional 4-year nursing major. Nursing education has evolved; with prerequisite classes in the sciences, you can follow your passion into nursing regardless of your undergraduate degree specialty. The introduction of Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) programs has opened doors for individuals from diverse academic and professional backgrounds, proving it's never too late to pursue a career in nursing. We share various success stories and insights from those who have made the leap, highlighting how finding the right ABSN program can aid in your success.

From Diverse Backgrounds to Nursing Excellence

At the MGH Institute of Health Professions School of Nursing, the diversity of students' backgrounds is both celebrated and seen as a strength. Over the years, the IHP has welcomed career changers; a cellist from the Boston Symphony Orchestra made a career switch into a nurse practitioner role, and now utilizes music therapy with an elder population. This example underscores the holistic nature of nursing, where skills and passions from previous careers can be seamlessly integrated into patient care. We’ve seen a broad spectrum of former professionals, including lawyers, artists, researchers, businesspeople, and Peace Corps volunteers, all finding their calling within nursing. This diversity enriches the nursing profession, bringing a wide range of perspectives and skills that enhance patient care.  

Embracing the Challenge: A History Major's Journey

One student, previously a history major, shared how taking prerequisite courses for nursing school boosted her confidence. Unlike her undergraduate experience, where she “played it safe,” the decision to pursue nursing came with a readiness to embrace challenges, even if it meant a more difficult academic courseload. This shift in mindset was fueled by a desire to make a meaningful impact through healthcare. Her journey illustrates the importance of resilience and a growth mindset. It's never too late to change course and follow a path that truly resonates with one's aspirations, and an ABSN program accepts students with bachelor’s degrees in any field.  

Clinical Success at MGH: Tyler Brown's Experience  

Tyler Brown, one of our recent MGH IHP nursing graduates, was a former account manager at Wayfair. His journey from contemplating medical school to exploring business and finally finding his calling in nursing illustrates the nonlinear paths that can lead to a rewarding career in nursing. He commented, “knowing organization in a business realm, you can transfer that into a healthcare realm; learning independent skills, and then working on independence and fine-tuning of my nursing practice.” Most of Tyler’s clinical rotations were at Massachusetts General Hospital and Tyler found the nursing staff's support and willingness to involve students in the learning process invaluable. A supportive environment, particularly notable at MGH, played a crucial role in his educational experience, highlighting the importance of hands-on learning opportunities in nursing education. His passion for LGBTQ healthcare and gender affirming care further exemplifies how personal interests and advocacy can align within the nursing profession.

Overcoming Preconceptions and Embracing New Beginnings

The stories of individuals transitioning to nursing from vastly different backgrounds challenge the preconception that a science-focused bachelor’s degree is a prerequisite for success in nursing. ABSN programs are designed to accommodate and leverage the unique skills and perspectives of non-traditional students. The rigorous yet supportive nature of these programs ensures that all students, regardless of their previous academic or professional experiences, receive the education and training necessary to excel in the nursing profession.  


The success stories from the MGH IHP School of Nursing and the experiences of individuals like Tyler Brown underscore a fundamental truth: it's never too late to become a nurse. The diversity of backgrounds among nursing students enriches the profession, bringing new perspectives and approaches to patient care. ABSN programs offer an accelerated path to nursing that is accessible to individuals from all walks of life, proving that a career in nursing is not reserved for those with a traditional science background.  If you're contemplating a career change and have a desire to impact lives in the healthcare sector, let these success stories inspire you to take that leap towards becoming a nurse.