From engineering to nursing: 6 golden steps

If you want to go from engineering to nursing, this post is for you.

In this post, we will provide 6 golden steps and tips that engineers should follow and be aware of before jumping to the school field.

So keep reading to prevent making a lot of mistakes that engineering does.

Can an engineer become a nurse?

An engineer can become a nurse without any problem by taking specific nursing courses like BSN. But engineers have to know that nursing is a voluminous curriculum that requires a hell of a lot of memorization, not like engineering based on abstract thinking.

In other words, nursing is not like 0 or 1, or white or black. In nursing, there isn’t one right answer. There are many variations.

You have to deal with many changes and variations, not like dealing with machines. You will deal with humans each one has its unique personality. So this job requires patience and resistance from critics.

But before making this jump, we will give you these 6 insights you should know before going into this field.

1 – Your engineering background will be helpful in nursing

The most interesting thing you will carry to the nursing domain is critical thinking. In other words, you will be able to solve problems better than your peers. Because engineers are the best person made to solve and deal with problems.

But you have to know that solving nursing problems doesn’t follow the same process as engineering. For instance, engineering problems might have 1 or even 2 solutions in the maximum cases.

While the nursing domain could have 100 alternative solutions, the challenge that you might have is to choose the right solution that fits your patient, which will be stressful, especially at the beginning of your career.

2 – You have to go back and take some courses

As an engineer, you have to go back and take some additional bio courses like:

  • A&P
  • possibly Organic Chem
  • Nutrition, etc.

You can read this useful article talking about the useful courses most students take in the US.

Taking these courses will allow you to complete an undergraduate nursing program easily. As a result, it will enable you to sit for and hopefully pass the State Nursing Board Examination to become a Registered Nurse.

There are programs where if you already have a bachelor’s degree, you can get a Masters in Nursing in about a year and a half.

We will let a link to a master’s in Nursing that you can complete in just 16 months at Augusta University. This master’s is great for students who want to join nursing colleges without a nursing bachelor’s degree.

Accelerated master’s degree in 16 months

So it will be an excellent opportunity to take your nursing degree in a short period of time.

3 – The nursing schools are different from engineering

You’re wrong if you think that nursing school will be easy for you as an engineer. It is right that nursing isn’t heavy in math, but the curriculum is voluminous, and the work is very demanding.

So there is a lot of reading and memorization. It is nothing to compare to engineering. Simply because you studying biology and human anatomy. So you will need to memorize and understand every part of the human body, which is not easy.

In addition, you will also have research papers, presentations, research for clinical paperwork, and other stuff.

Moreover, nursing also requires critical thinking, but the challenge is to make fast decisions.

In nursing jobs, there isn’t something like work schedules and organization. You’re always under a gun. Sometimes you will have a lot of spare time while others you couldn’t even scratch your head. So there is no vision or plan you should follow, as you were in engineering.

You must remember that you will not deal with computers or machines anymore. You will deal with humans. So empathy is critical.

4 – Working on communication skills

Nursing requires to have excellent communication skills, which a lot of engineers lack. Especially the ones who work in cubicle jobs, working only for a long day with machines and computers.

If you are one of them, you should take some communications skills before going to nursing. Especially for people who are introverts and don’t feel comfortable speaking with strange people.

Simply because your main job will meet and take care of people, in other words, you have to learn how to be sweet and kind to people. If you don’t, you can’t do this profession.

5 – you need to sacrifice

Normally getting a nursing degree will take you up to 2 or even 3 years. So it will not be easy. There are a lot of sacrifices to make to get to this position. So it will be not easy to make these all things together:

  • working in engineering
  • attending nursing classes
  • making internships

In addition, it will not be easy to get accepted to nursing-specific programs that have nights and weekend classes for your case. In other words, they have limited seats.

In other words, you might not be accepted for the first time. Therefore you need to apply for many programs to double your chances.

But the hardest thing and sacrifice is can you handle sick people’s blood and poop?

This is not easy and is not mean for anyone, so you have to test yourself and make some internships before taking this serious step.

The other thing is you have to prepare yourself for a big loss in the paycheck. But it won’t go for every.

In the beginning, you will work as:

  • RN nurse getting $77,460 then
  • Nurse Practitioners (NP) getting $111,840
  • then Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), $181,040. but is going to need a lot of experience and effort

But all of these sacrifices fade away if you love this profession which means not caring about wages or money.

6 – Conclusion

In general, if you love nursing, go for it, but you have to know that nursing is also stressful, like engineering. So we will not recommend going to nursing for people who melt under stress like HSPs or INTJs.


Yassin ajanif is a physics graduate and electromechanical engineer width more than 5 years in the field. My goal and my team are to share our experience to help you succeed in your career as a stem major. we talk about all tips, problems, and struggle STEM students face in their career and how to overcome them.