I want to be an RN...

  1. Hello,

    I have been doing a lot of research about becoming an RN. I'm hoping that you will all help me out a little bit. I'm looking for answers to so many questions to give me a clear picture of what I will be getting myself into.

    I am 32 years old, and have never attended college...I'm a bit fearful! I've thought about this sporatically in the past year, but am now seriously considering RN as a career. Now that I may start a family, I feel much more serious about choice of career and effect on my family life. I'm a caring, outgoing, helpful, friendly person and feel that my choice as an RN would give me the opportunity to work in such a variety of environments.

    Please tell me about nursing...
    The ups, downs...pro's, cons...preferred nursing areas...what to expect and not expect...advice that I could use before I begin my path to this career.

    Also, if I only want to work part time as an RN, is it still worth the time, money and energy I will put into to my education?

    Any feedback will be helpful and so appreciated!!

    Sheryl
    Last edit by sherylwaudby on Nov 16, '01
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   P_RN
    I started Nursing School at age 17, I finished at age 30!

    Your age is NOT a problem. In fact, it will be a benefit. You will bring life experiences that others right out of HS have not had.

    Any time, money and energy put into education is NEVER wasted. You will use your knowledge at work and at home for the rest of your life.

    I would recommend a university 4 year bachelors degree-a BSN. You can however become an RN in 2 years with an associate degree. You can become an LPN in 12-18 months at a tech school.

    Your family will benefit healthwise, and you will find that you are more confident in yourself when caring for others.

    Nursing is hard, hard work. The hours can be awful. You will usually have to work every other holiday.

    The rewards can be incredible.

    You will have to pace yourself if you plan to have a family (babies I assume) in the near future.


    I made more in my first MONTH of being an RN than my whole tuition cost!! (I finished in the dark ages when tuition was $13/hour. )

    Truthfully I am not at all sure that I could do it again. Times have really changed for nurses.
  4. by   Zee_RN
    I went to nursing school, ADN program, at the age of 33. I was terrified! Didn't think I'd be able to compete with all the 'young kids.' Turned out most of the class was about my age. A few younger, a few older but most about the same age. A lot of us with kids. Trust me, your life experience will bring so much to your school experience and your work experience!

    Tuition is very affordable at community colleges. Many hospitals now offering "tuition forgiveness" for at least your last year of nursing school (they reimburse for the your senior year). There are so many different areas of nursing to get into! You can get into nursing and have a taste of many different areas/careers--all by being a nurse (just look down the first page of the bulletin board that lists the different specialty areas). You get to make such a difference in the world!

    Downsides: you gotta work nights. you gotta work holidays. sometimes you deal with a lot jerks (but you also get to deal with some of the most wonderful people in the world). Umm, sometimes the odors are quite...aromatic (hey, you get used to it).

    I can't imagine being anything other than a nurse.
  5. by   rosemadder
    Good for you on deciding to return to school. I returned to school after 20 years. I am 40 years old. It took me four years to get up the nerve to actually begin. That was over two years ago. I am now in my first semester of nursing school in a five semester ADN program.

    I would first visit a few colleges and look at costs and available financial aid. Also, I would compare the differences in what a ADN degree and a BSN degree will get you. Basically, a BSN degree (in my area) will earn you around $2,000 more per year. Not a lot of money for the time and money spent, but if you want to later get your MSN you must first have your BSN. Also, many community colleges will (upon request) give you a career test (for free) which could reinforce your decision to become a nurse.

    I opted to take the five semester ADN program at a community college (which is considerably cheaper than the BSN programs) and then will enroll in a one day a week, five semester RN to BSN program after becoming a nurse. The cost of this was significantly lower than going the other route. However, the advantage of the BSN program would be getting done all at once and at one school if you have the money and can afford to wait on the job.

    Also, there are prerequisites that must be met before getting into the actual nursing school. Each college has different requirements about what you must have completed before entering the Nursing Program. After deciding where to go, you may want to start small (get your feet wet) before jumping in full-time. The hardest thing for me to get used to was the pace. You have to really stay on top of everything because the tests come bam.bam.bam.

    I love school and think going back was one of the best choices I ever made. I took all my prerequisistes and corequisites (except for microbiology) before starting my program. It took a big load off. I also only work part-time so that helps.

    Good luck to you!! Email me if you have any other questions you can think of and I will be glad to help if I can.
    Robin

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