How to get into tech as a nurse

Wondering how to get into tech as a nurse? Our guide walks through everything you need to know to launch your tech career.
Written by Genevieve Carlton, Contributor

The booming tech industry needs professionals with diverse abilities. And nurses bring in-demand skills to the tech field. With technical and non-technical job openings, the tech sector has something for everyone. 

Curious about how to get into tech as a nurse? Start by considering your strengths and which roles overlap with your skills and interests. Then, research the requirements for your target career path. Finally, craft a strong application and work on your interview skills. 

Our guide provides a step-by-step resource for nurses moving into tech.

Transferable skills from nursing to tech

Nurses have many in-demand skills useful for tech careers, such as: 

  • The ability to communicate complex information in simple terms
  • Attention to detail
  • Strong teamwork skills

While many of the hard skills in nursing might not appear transferable, analytical and people skills can help your tech application stand out. 

When considering a move into tech, make a list of your strengths with workplace examples for each one. This research can help you identify career paths and build strong job applications.

Technical roles for former nurses in tech

This section introduces technical roles that play to nurses' strengths. Eligibility for these jobs depends on your education, skills, and prior experience.

Nursing informaticist

Minimum degree required: Bachelor's
Alternate job titles: Clinical analyst; nursing informatics officer; healthcare informaticist
Important characteristics: 

  • Strong analytical abilities
  • Healthcare and technology training
  • A clinical background
  • The ability to evaluate complex data

Nursing informaticists use data to create new processes that improve patient care, healthcare outcomes, and nursing practice. They draw on healthcare data to recommend data-backed methods in healthcare delivery. A background in nursing helps informaticists break into the field.

Data analyst

Minimum degree required: Bachelor's
Alternate job titles: Analytics consultant; data scientist; data engineer
Important characteristics: 

  • Strong analytical skills
  • Familiarity with data processing software
  • An attention to detail
  • The ability to draw conclusions from data analysis

Data analysts process large volumes of data and help organizations make data-supported decisions. A healthcare background helps data analysts work in medical or healthcare tech organizations. Data science bootcamps exist to help people gain the skills for data analyst jobs.

Junior web developer

Minimum degree required: Bachelor's
Alternate job titles: Front-end web developer; full-stack web developer; web developer
Important characteristics: 

  • Programming experience in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
  • A strong attention to detail
  • The ability to problem-solve and identify bugs

Junior web developers build websites that function smoothly. They create the visual look and style of websites while also coding features for interactivity. This position is considered one of the best entry-level coding jobs

Web developers typically need a college degree and some programming training. Full-stack web development bootcamps and web development certificates may help people break in.

Non-technical roles for former nurses in tech

If you're curious about how to get into tech as a nurse and technical roles seem out of reach, consider some of the following non-technical jobs. Try researching computer science jobs without coding, too.

Occupational health nurse

Minimum degree required: Bachelor's
Alternate job titles: Occupational nurse; RN occupational health; registered nurse occupational
Important characteristics: 

  • Strong health assessment and treatment skills
  • An ability to communicate information to patients
  • A background in occupational health

Occupational health nurses specialize in health issues that arise in the workplace. Some large tech companies employ occupational health nurses to treat common issues like carpal tunnel syndrome. 

A healthcare background with experience in occupational or environmental health prepares nurses for this role.

Tech sales

Minimum degree required: Bachelor's
Alternate job titles: Sales consultant; SaaS sales; account executive
Important characteristics: 

  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • The ability to explain complex information in simple terms
  • Good networking abilities

Tech sales professionals discuss tech services and products with potential customers. They meet with clients, discuss their needs, and explain how to use different technologies. Professionals build strong relationships with clients, making these great tech jobs for extroverts. 

Product manager

Minimum degree required: Bachelor's
Alternate job titles: Junior product manager; solutions manager; product lead
Important characteristics: 

  • Strong attention to detail
  • Good organizational and leadership skills
  • An ability to work as part of a team

Product managers oversee a product's lifecycle from planning through development, production, and marketing. 

They collect data on customer demand, create timelines for bringing a product to the market, and coordinate with manufacturing and engineering team members to complete a product.

Tips for how to get into tech from nursing

Moving from nursing to tech requires several steps. Before applying for jobs, you'll need a clear idea of your target roles and the required skills. 

Our tips walk through the process of how to get into tech as a nurse.

1. Get clear on the type of tech role you want.

Before investing in a career change, carefully consider what type of role you want. Do your skills fit better with a technical or non-technical role? What industry would you prefer to work in? How much does work/life balance matter?

When exploring computer science careers, you can also consider job growth numbers, computer science salaries, and job duties.

2. Upskill

For most career changes, you'll need to expand your skillset. Fortunately, a nursing degree meets the educational requirement for many information technology careers as long as you  also have the technical skills required. 

Consider information technology certifications or coding bootcamps to expand your skills. Online courses can also help you skill up. 

Some career paths, like computer scientist or data scientist, may require a graduate degree such as a computer science master's. However, most tech companies hire candidates with a college degree and the skills listed in the job description.

3. Maximize the quality of your application and portfolio.

Your application and portfolio need to make a positive first impression. So make sure to customize your application and highlight in-demand skills.

Most tech applications include a resume and cover letter. Your resume should list technical skills, people skills, and relevant nursing skills you'll bring to the role. Use examples that showcase your communication, leadership, and problem-solving abilities. 

The cover letter offers another opportunity to stand out. Customize the cover letter for each role, drawing on key phrases in the job posting. 

Many technical roles also require a portfolio that showcases your coding skills. Include projects that demonstrate your abilities and fit the job description. 

4. Show your expertise, self-awareness, and passion throughout the interview process.

The interview process lets you showcase your expertise and passion. And your nursing background will help you stand out from other applicants.

Like nursing, many tech companies rely on recruiters and multiple-round interviews. Expect a phone screener at the beginning of the process, followed by a second interview that may include technical questions. 

Check out our phone interview tips and our resource on computer science interview questions to boost your interview skills.

In conclusion

Switching fields can feel intimidating. By researching how to switch careers to tech, you'll be able to choose the right career path, gain the necessary skills, and stand out during the interviews. 

Changing careers can be a long process, but it's often worth the investment.

This article was reviewed by Sarah Holliday, MS 

Sarah Holliday, a Black woman wearing a purple top, smiles.

Sarah Holliday has years of experience working with nontraditional and traditional students in career coaching and training and development. 

Holliday holds a BA in English from The University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and an MS in instructional design and technology (training and performance improvement) from Walden University. Holliday is currently working on her doctorate and looks forward to dissertating in the near future. 

Sarah Holliday is a paid member of the Red Ventures Education freelance review network. 

Last reviewed March 31, 2022.

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