Could I/Should I be a nurse? Need advice!

  1. I have been thinking about going to nursing school for a long time, and have finally started the ball rolling....been accepted at our local college to begin pre-program classes in January, and have an appointment with the Allied Health Careers counselor next week. However, I wanted to talk to some people with nursing experience for insights, advice, suggestions, and answers to some of my questions:

    I am 40 years old. I have read that alot of people enter nursing school later in life. How might my age affect my success in nursing school? Will it hurt my chances of finding a job?

    I have back problems (two herniated disks). I function quite well, but how might they affect my ability to be a nurse? I've always figured there might be areas/specialties that I couldn't do (Geriatric Nursing that requires more lifting of patients, etc). I've also read that some employers require you to provide your medical history...is this true?

    I have read some horror stories about nursing school.....people being kicked out because their instructors didn't think they had the personality for nursing, etc. Is this just disgruntled BS? Are nursing schools known for being very particular?

    I would really appreciate any kind of advice....anything that you think could help me make my decision! Thanks!
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   SuesquatchRN
    I went to nursing school in my fifties ands age won't be an issue.

    Frankly, though, two herniated disks would have me looking for something else to do. Nursing is physically demanding, at least for the first few years, no matter the unit. Patients need to be turned and positioned and lifted and pottied.
  4. by   nurz2be
    Quote from lakelynn
    I have been thinking about going to nursing school for a long time, and have finally started the ball rolling....been accepted at our local college to begin pre-program classes in January, and have an appointment with the Allied Health Careers counselor next week. However, I wanted to talk to some people with nursing experience for insights, advice, suggestions, and answers to some of my questions:

    I am 40 years old. I have read that alot of people enter nursing school later in life. How might my age affect my success in nursing school? Will it hurt my chances of finding a job?

    I have back problems (two herniated disks). I function quite well, but how might they affect my ability to be a nurse? I've always figured there might be areas/specialties that I couldn't do (Geriatric Nursing that requires more lifting of patients, etc). I've also read that some employers require you to provide your medical history...is this true?

    I have read some horror stories about nursing school.....people being kicked out because their instructors didn't think they had the personality for nursing, etc. Is this just disgruntled BS? Are nursing schools known for being very particular?

    I would really appreciate any kind of advice....anything that you think could help me make my decision! Thanks!
    I don't know how you would feel about working with Neonates or newborns but that, I assume from what I have seen so far, is something that is less taxing on your back (as far as the amount of weight having to be shifted and turned). Although 12 hours of any type of work on your feet is rather harsh even on the best of backs. I would not discourage you but if I were you I would seek out alternatives inside nursing that you could be part of without causing yourself any further injury. GOOD LUCK with your decision.
  5. by   Fiona59
    The educational side of nursing school is manageable. Classroom politics? Do you want to deal with that stuff? Clinicals, you have to participate in all of them in order to pass. You will be judged and graded with people younger and older than you.

    Now for work. Full time is hard on anybody. It is highly unlikely that as a new grad you will be able to land in public health, outpatients, or day surgery type jobs (they are often areas that nurses of a certain age gravitate to due the lower physical demands) as seniority/experience are the deciding factors.

    You will get a lot of "you can do it" posts. Of course you can. The better question is do you want to deal with nursing school, clinicals, being on your feet for 12+ hours at a time?

    I'm fortunate I can work part time. Do you need to work full time?

    These are things you really need to consider.
  6. by   Riseupandnurse
    I would caution you against this career choice, not because of your age but because of your back. Employers are very nervous about hiring nurses with back problems and some even have lift tests. You are very likely to get in situations, even in school, where you feel you HAVE to pull and lift, and when your back goes, you will very much regret it. I'm sorry to be negative, but nursing is hard on your back (and your knees). Is there something else you can do, like social work or teaching?

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