Please warn me if I'm crazy!!!! - page 2

Hello, I'm the 36yo mother of two, formerly a working Mom, but home for the last four years. In the last several months, I have been researching and seriously considering a nursing career. Right now, the only path for me is... Read More

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    In 1992 I decided I wanted to become a nurse. I was married at the time and my husband wouldn't agree to put out the money for me to go to college so I entered an LPN program. In 1993, just before I was ready to start, my husband decided he wanted a divorce (after 19 years). After weighing the options, I went ahead and graduated an LPN in 1995. During that time I had also applied to a local university and, since I was now a single person, received substantial financial aid and was accepted to their school of nursing. To make a long story short - I received my AAS and became an RN in 1996 and my BSN in 1997 at the age of 46. Most of the people who were in nursing school were over 30, very few traditional age students. And you will be able to find a job - there is a nursing shortage that is not going away anytime soon. Hospitals are begging for nurses. I would recommend getting your BSN if you can, it gives you more options in nursing and if you put it off chances are you won't do it later. You have to decide based on your situation - your children come first - but if you are sure you want to be a nurse go for it!
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    Originally posted by dawnreeves:

    I'm the 36yo mother of two, formerly a working Mom, but home for the last four years.

    In the last several months, I have been researching and seriously considering a nursing career. Right now, the only path for me is an AS Nursing, and hopefully, when my 3yo is in school, go on to BSN. Could I please dump my pros and cons, as I see them, onto the board and get your input??? No one could give me the honest advice I need but experienced nurses.

    The cons, as I see them:
    1) I'm pretty darn old for a nursing student/new RN, aren't I?
    2) I don't care for needles much.
    3) I may be a single Mom soon.
    4) Is there really the stability/plethora of job openings that i hear about?

    The pros, as i see them:

    1) Everyone says there will always be nursing jobs.
    2) Low pay for the stress/work, but pretty good pay for the everyday world.
    3) benefits I have no other hope of getting.
    4) I really do like helping people.
    5) Hospitals and medicine fascinate me, and always have.
    As far as whether I'm suited to it, I have a very high stress tolerance (trust me!), a great sense of humor, am in good shape (do have a weak back, though), have a lot of leadership experience, and am a two-time cancer survivor, so I know a little bit about being on the patient's side, and what a great nurse can do to help you through fear/pain/confusion.

    So, ladies (and gentlemen, excuse me!), please give me your thoughts with both barrels. Am I crazy to consider this, only mildly disturbed, or should i go for it???

    Thanks for any help!
    go for it your never to old to do anything. theres ups and downs in nursing but in the long run its worth it
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    You are not too old for nursing. the average age now is 41. I think it's great to learn about your health and to take care of your family as well as others. But also, being on your feet 12hrs a day or more can be tiring. Shiftwork too can be a problem for a single mom.You would have to find a job that suits your schedule, which isn't always easy. And depending on where you live pay for an RN can start at $10/hr. can you believe it?But if that's what you have decided, congrats!Good luck to you on your career!
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    Hi Dawnreeves. Glad to see that you have been giving nursing serious consideration. It is indeed a field of high challenge, excitement, as well as disappointment in my opinion. Health care is at a crossroads, and nursing needs all the serious candidates it can muster. At age 37, you are still considered young in nursing as some media report the average age of nurses as 46. I agree with those posters who suggest that you go for your BSN. I also agree that a stint as a CNA would be helpful as an introductory eye opener. Nursing practice has changed so dramatically through the years that even the most stout of us at the bedside are starting to buckle and fall. In my opinion, you may find that:
    1. Obtaining a BSN will provide you with an easier and quicker route to nontraditional areas of practice if you desire to move away from bedside practice.
    2. You will have more options in obtaining certifications.
    3. You want to rest your laurels after your BSN knowing that you have a four year degree under your belt.
    4. If you decide to obtain more academic education, you can pursue a master's or doctorate degree in less time then those who have an ADN or diploma.

    While it's evident I'm supportive of the BSN degree, I think that any route you take is great, because it means more support, hopefully positive support, for the nursing profession, in general. Like anything else, nursing will be what you make out of it. Best wishes in your endeavors.
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    Before you commit the rest of your productive life to nursing, make sure you read the posts all over this forum, to include the ones from nurses disgusted with the field. Also, please note that, since you mention you may become a SINGLE mom soon, it is because of my shifts that my children do not live with me and I pay out a large chunk of my check to their father (child support) and have to miss a lot of visitation weekends with them because I have to work. More and more nurses are finding themselves in that position. PLEASE give it serious consideration before you do this to yourself. Nursing school consumes the student. There can be little if anything else in your life when you are a nursing student, and also, when you are working as a nurse. I was single when I was a nursing student, but I well remember hearing the married ones talk - ALL of them were on the brink of divorce by the time we were ready for graduation. It is a very demanding course of study. If you want to "help people", keep in mind all those that don't want to be helped, just want to be "fixed" so they can continue doing what you are trying to save them from. Keep in mind that you will likely be working for an administration that cares nothing for the patient but only for the "bottom line". I am of the mind that if I MUST work in a field that is of a profit-based corporate structure, then I must NOT have a conflict of interest - that is to say, I can't work in a field where people's lives are at stake and all the admin cares about is the bottom line. I care enough about people that I can't deal with that - I will work in a profit based field that doesn't make people suffer just for the sake of profit.

    Are you too old? Well, not at all. In my graduating class there was a woman in her 50s. But I am 32, have been an RN for 12 years, and at the current rate I work (REALLY need to be allowed to wear roller skates to work!) I just can't see myself keeping up the pace into my 50s. I come home with shin splints now as it is, and when I wake up and put my feet on the floor the next day after a shift, the bottoms of my feet feel like somebody has been hammering them. I'm athletic, not overweight, but I'm just too young to feel this old.

    I know all this sounds terribly negative, and yes, I am leaving the field. But I am actually an excellent nurse and am doing all I can to pass the torch to the next generation of nurses before I leave. Do I advise anyone to consider it as a career? NOT ON YOUR LIFE! But if you have seen all the ins and outs of it (not as a patient - patients don't see it - we'd lose our jobs if we let patients see it) and KNOW what you're getting yourself into, and insist on doing it anyway, then I will do anything I can to help you. I really would have to discourage you, though, if for no other reason than if your family is on the brink of destruction ("may be a single mom soon"), going to nursing school will put the nail in the coffin of your marriage and will likely cause you to lose your kids too, if he has any inkling of taking custody. It would behoove you to find a more "family friendly" field.

    Just don't say I didn't warn you.

    Best wishes to you...

    [This message has been edited by babs_rn (edited October 07, 2000).]

    [This message has been edited by babs_rn (edited October 07, 2000).]
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    ** COME JOIN THE "FUN!" **

    I think you have the age & wisdom & life-experiences to know that Nursing is not easy... but it is worth it! Just be sure to pace yourself, pray alot, & find the facet of nursing that is just right for you! We need people who care in the profession. And, be sure to "de-stress" enough that you don't get "burn-out!"

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    I agree with Mona. Peds or Labor and Delivery sound good to me! Good luck!

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