Can I do it at this age??

  1. I am 32 years old and have decided to switch careers from the boring corporate world to medicine. I have always wanted to work in the healthcare field but screwed up big time my first time out in college. I am now back and finishing up my prereq's for the nursing program. The nursing field has so many areas that you can work in and one that has really "grabbed" me in a sense is this area - nurse anesthetist. Problem is my age. Can I do this? I will be 35 when I get my nursing license and will have about another year of school to get my BSN. After that, I really want to go on to graduate school. By the time I am all said and done, I will be 40 with my master's in this field! I'm a little apprehensive that by that time, there won't be a need for CRNA's. I should of chased this dream a long time ago but oh well...I'm going to do it now while raising my kids and say "yes, I can do this". I guess I am just looking to find out what age you were when you started your graduate program or what age you were when you started working in this exciting field! Thanks for your input.

    S
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   arkgolfer
    I will be 37 next month and starting TWU in the fall. That will put me at graduating right before 40. Follow your heart and your dreams!
  4. by   Cosmid
    Wow!

    You are in the same position that I am. Do you already have a Bachelors yet?

    After college, I got sucked up into the Dot.Bomb world, and recently got laid off and took a job for half of what I made. I have a BS in Cellular and Molecular Biology, and UCF has a Second Degree Accelerated BSN Program (15 months long.) I'm 31, but I wouldn't possibly be able to get into this program until May 2003 (I'll be 32 then). Basically, it looks like I'll be in the field as a CRNA hopefully by the time I'm 37 (5 years from now).

    I also wonder what the long term prospects of CRNAs are. But I've been burned before by going after money (I was one of the founders for a DotCom before the crash -- I was going to retire at 35 with millions in the bank! ha!) However, I really loved Biology, and I really think I'd like the upper levels of nursing specialities that are out there. I guess there is always re-training into another speciality if the MD's wipe out CRNA's.

    Any other comments?
  5. by   loisane
    We absolutely can not let our future CRNAs buy into the ASA BS.

    Ok, it is a volatile time now. But do you think in over 100 years of nurse anesthesia that we have never weathered such storms before? They have been trying to get rid of us for years. It just can't happen. Too many people are dependent on us.

    Do you know that 65% of all anesthetics are given by a CRNA? Do you know how many rural hospitals don't even have an MDA?

    Now, I will grant you that there is a big push to change our independence and autonomy. I have to admit I am less certian that won't happen. But I know nurse anesthesia has a strong professional association that will fight any change.

    I personally believe that nurse anesthesia is the model of the future of nursing, not its past. Come join us, but be prepared to be active and participate in the continued advancement of our great profession.

    loisane crna
  6. by   ShadowKnight
    Don't let your age deter you from joining a career field filled with so many opportunities. Remember, with age comes experience. I know that is what helped me get into my program ahead of some "younger" nurses even though they might have had more years experience as a nurse. I just finished my BSN in December 2001, worked a year in the ICU, and have recently been accepted to MSA in MN. As long as things go as planned and I survive the grueling 27 months I will graduate just a couple months before my 38th B-Day. If this is truly something you want go for it.
  7. by   kmchugh
    First the age issue: I got out of the Army at 33, and went to nursing school. Graduated at 36, started CRNA school at 39, and graduated at 41. Age ain't a problem.

    I have to second what Loisann said. There have been nurse anesthetists for over 100 years. We existed before the anesthesiologist did. Since the advent of the anesthesiologist, there have been dire predictions of the end of CRNA's. Far from it. In fact, the need for CRNA's has gone up, at least in part due to a greater demand for them on the part of ..... anesthesiologists. And that for purely economic reasons. CRNA's provide safe anesthesia care, and are generally willing to do so for less than the salary of an MDA.

    The one place I slightly disagree with Loisann is the issue of independence and autonomy. Something like 90 - 95% of all anesthetics given in rural communities are given by CRNA's. If the level of independence of the CRNA is changed, many, if not most, rural hospitals will at the very least have to shut down their surgical services, in that there are VERY few MDA's willing to move to rural America. So, even if the ASA does get the supervision issue passed, they will quickly find themselves on the wrong end of a fight with surgeons and the American Hospital Association. Most big city hospitals are already strapped doing the surgery that they do. Throw almost all of the rural cases into the mix, they won't be able to handle the case load.

    The ASA has yet to come up with a good answer to the problems the issue of supervision raises. So, the fight will continue for my lifetime, but probably won't be resolved.

    Kevin McHugh
  8. by   renerian
    I just finished my graduate program at 46. You can do it!!!!!

    renerian
  9. by   rn2be2006
    You have given me the strength to move ahead with this dream. I am going to go for it!

    Thanks again for the inputs!
    S
  10. by   Cosmid
    Rn2Be --

    I'm in the same boat as you are. I'm signed up to take my pre-reqs, then my accelerated BSN next May! I'm really excited about this career change, and I'm goign to go for it!
  11. by   loisane
    Just to clarify-----

    It's not that I believe there will be changes in CRNA practice with regard to autonomy. In fact, I do agree with Kevin's comments regarding supervision, etc.

    But, from the point of view of a non-nurse, evaluating the future of nurse anesthesia, it is only fair to grant the validity of the argument that there is a CHANCE things may change in the future.

    I think the chance is small, because we are strong, committed, and organized to oppose the forces that would seek that change.

    loisane
  12. by   Qwiigley
    You know, only those people not yet 40, think that 40 is old. Being right there myself, I'm as young as ever and wonder why this is even a question.
    CRNAs are strong individuals who are go getters, not "what if-ers" they are do-ers and acheivers. Stop this wondering and DO IT! Enough of this "oh, can I do it?" PLEASE!!!
    It really gets "old".
  13. by   lml33
    Don't worry about it. I just completed my BSN. I was one of the youngest in the class (27y/o). Most of the others in the class were in their 40s and 50s, with children in high school and college. One of my colleagues was in her eighties. She was full of spunk. I really admire her. Leslie.
  14. by   New CCU RN
    Originally posted by Qwiigley
    You know, only those people not yet 40, think that 40 is old. Being right there myself, I'm as young as ever and wonder why this is even a question.
    CRNAs are strong individuals who are go getters, not "what if-ers" they are do-ers and acheivers. Stop this wondering and DO IT! Enough of this "oh, can I do it?" PLEASE!!!
    It really gets "old".
    Very good response

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