You might have taken a break to raise a family, recover from an illness, care for a dependant or have a sabbatical. Or you might have already started down a different career path but realised it’s not for you.

This could be an ideal time to consider a career in nursing and whatever your circumstances, you should find a nursing job to suit you from the range of roles on offer, which include varied working hours and locations.

On leaving school with GCSEs, I got a job as a PA and then as a project manager. My career was interesting, but I never saw how my work directly affected people. Nursing offered me that ‘human touch’ – so after 11 years, I switched careers.

Read Sarah’s full story.

Don’t be put off if you don’t have specific health-related experience or qualifications. There are many transferable skills that will be very useful to you as a nurse. These include:

  • interpersonal skills
  • communication
  • time management
  • organisation
  • literacy and numeracy
  • leadership
  • project management.

My second child had just been born when I discovered an Access to Nursing course was about to start nearby. This seemed too good to pass up. I began the two-year course when my baby was just ten days old, then gained my adult nursing diploma from the University of Worcester.

Read Rachel’s full story.

You can study for a degree full time, (see Coming from outside the health sector), or join the NHS and be supported to study part time (see Coming from within the health sector).

If you left school or university some time ago, you may need to show some evidence of academic study. Don’t worry if you haven’t studied recently, there are Access to Nursing courses available across the country.

Thinking about changing careers or returning to work to become a nurse, but still not sure if it’s the career for you?

Why not try volunteering?