You are never too old (53 myself, but who's counting). I look at it as having lots of experience. OK, I'll try to answer a few of your questions, I'm on my last couple of units and I'll complete my Kaplan FN program:
1) Yes, the instructors are easy to reach and are very helpful.
2) Learning time is on your own, on-line. Each course has excellent weblinks
to refer to. They encourage feedback between students and instructors.
3) Marketing is different for each individual, you can market to attorneys,ME,
hospitals, crisis centers, etc.
4) Forensic Nursing in itself is not new, as nurses, we've always done it just
didn't know what to call it. You can become S.A.N.E. certified (Sexual
Assault Nurse Examiner), work with Elder abuse/neglect, child abuse/
neglect, domestic violence, criminal cases, fraud, coroners, etc.
5) The only text book that is required is "Forensic Nursing" by Virginia Lynch
(not sure about the cost now because I got mine before I started) and
I purchased several on my own because I wanted them for my reference
6) Can't help with that one, do some google searches and other links, but
if I hear of anything I'll let you know.
7) I have 28 years of clinical experience and I'm also a Legal Nurse Con-
sultant, and I remain clinically active. Forensic Nursing is recognized
as a nursing speciality by ANA.
Hope this answers some of your questions. Look back on some of the other posts by SIRI and she listed some excellent links, so I won't repeat them. Feel free to contact any of us if you have more questions.