Midlife carreer change to nursing and part time hours available?


  1. I am 39 years of age, a mother of 5 with a BS in Elem. Ed. I have been at home for 13 years with our little ones and have home schooled for 8 years. We are in the process of starting our children in school and I have a strong desire to go back to school to work part time as an RN. I am wondering how hard it is to find good part time hours and what kind of situations are out there. Also, any advice on my situation? Midlife restlessness? Thanks!
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   Zee_RN
    I don't know how things are going in Alabama, but here in Pittsburgh, PA, there's plenty of part-time, full-time and casual positions available. Join a hospital's nurse registry and pretty much pick and choose your hours. The only thing I can't guarantee at my hospital is that you would work a steady shift; everyone rotates (well, except for those who work steady nights--God bless their souls). But if you wanted to work 2 days a week, 1 day a week or 5 days a week, I've got a job for you!
  4. by   purplemania
    Like you I had a degree in another field and did not start nursing school till I was 45!!! Have worked 8 years in pedi and love the kiddos (could do without some of the administrators but, oh well). School is hard but definitely not impossible.You have many options of how and where you will work after you are licensed. Talk to a counselor at your nursing school to see about the class load and required clinicals. I was surprised at the number of hours per week required for the program. The trick is to make it the ONLY thing in your life for 1-2 years then move on. Good luck.
    OH! If you get a part time job at the hospital now you will learn volumes, no matter what that job is. And they may help with tuition and job placement.
  5. by   mustangsheba
    In Oregon, lots of teachers work part time. They also have great retirement benefits and get weekends, holidays, and summers off. Unless you are following your heart to be a nurse, you might want to reconsider changing careers. If you are indeed following your heart, then you shouldn't have a problem finding part time work. Good luck!
  6. by   Katnip
    I too, started nursing school in midlife. I was 45 when I made the switch. As I'm still a student, I can't help you with job situations, except to say there are a lot of want ads for full or part timers in the Washington/Baltimore area.

    After the first day, going back to school wasn't so scary. Lots of us old folk.

    Good luck.
  7. by   shavsha
    I too was home with my three children for 16 years, homeschooled, and then went back to school for my RN. Graduated this past summer at age 40. I love my job - work 24 hours a week with full benefits...but I could easily work less if I wanted to. There is of casual and per diem work. I always knew in my heart I wanted to be a nurse and it is so rewarding...especially after waiting so long. Good luck! By the way, when my children were little I use to do babysitting to help ends meet. I make in one hour what I use to charge for an entire day of caring for my little babysitting child!
  8. by   LTC-LPN
    If you do pursue your nursing degree, study hard and my best to you. I have always worked part time in LTC. I had two children at home and this worked best for my family. Be prepared at the hours, though. If you worked as a teacher the hours are generally during the day. Hours for nurses vary tremendously, most include weekends/holidays. The one obstacle I have encountered is that facilities find it easy to call in the part time workers to work extra because, "you only work part time, couldn't you take this shift?" If you feel the urge to become a nurse, seek out all of the information you can about this field, job shadow and maybe start out with getting your nursing assistant certification. Best wishes to you.
  9. by   Mkue


    I'm so glad I'm not alone. I too started school after age 40, will probably finish in 2 years. I decided to take as many courses as I could before the clinicals, that has really helped !

    I also do not want to work full time, there are so many areas in nursing that don't require you to be full time, that's one nice thing about it and the patients !

    Good Luck to all of you, I'm finding that there are many people my age or older just entering into nursing and I think we can bring a lot to this profession.
  10. by   ReluctantMonk
    Like you I went back to school when I was in my late 30's. Around here there is plenty of part-time and per diem work available, but mostly for evening and/or night shifts. Also, you might be expected to work an occasional weekend...Best of luck
  11. by   janmae1950
    Greetings from another Pittsburgh gal!

    I've decided after much thought to go into nursing and am currently taking pre-requisite courses at the local community college.

    In January, I'm going to take advantage of the free training for Certified Nursing Assistants that many of the nursing and assisted living homes here in the Pittsburgh area offer. That way I can work part-time and gain some hands-on experience that hopefully will look good on a resume.

    My father is in assisted living and very disabled and I've been very involved in his care (because I want to). I started hearing here and there about the nursing shortage. Then I started watching the want ads to get a feel for the need. The health care industry is turning itself inside out to get staffed. Bonuses, full benefits for part-time work (unheard of in any other profession), work 3 12-hour shifts and get paid for 40 hours, and so on.

    And the other benefit is knowing you are providing a service above and beyond most other services. I would like to be a part of a return to well-staffed health care services and assure patients that they are getting good care.
  12. by   Mkue


    Janma, that is a GOOD idea ! I can't wait to get the hands on experience.

    Someone just today told me that working as a nursing assistant after the 1st clinical is a good idea too. I guess we can do that in the area that I live in. I wonder if that is the same as the CNA in PA. She never mentioned certification so I wonder if the 1st clinical automatically qualifies one to do that. I will check into it.


    I don't regret any courses that I have taken, all wonderful, some electives, critical thinking, ethics, Eng Lit, I even took an intro to Social work, just to see what it was like, Abnormal psych, that was cool, and of course all of the needed science courses. too.

    My world is a much bigger place and I love it!

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