Howett, is the assistant dean of the accelerated bachelor’s degree program in nursing at the UMass Center at Springfield, where she is excited about helping others make a career shift to a field that is both rewarding and in great demand. “People who choose to go into nursing long for that patient connection,” she says. “They are highly motivated. They have their eyes on the prize.” Students who enroll in the fast-track program must already hold a bachelor’s degree to apply, according to Howett. Their previous bachelor’s degrees run the gamut – from political science to journalism and from psychology to economics, she says. All ages are represented in the program, including one student who is over 60.