Question for nurses who came into the career late...

  1. I am not a nurse, but I want to become one. I am 35 and a SAHM of two, one will be 5 in a few weeks and the other will be 7 this summer. I would like to go back to college in the fall when my5 year old goes off to school, but it doesn't look possible. We live in a rural area and it would be a bit of a ride for me-which is definitely manageable, but we have terrible winters esp. in my neck of the woods where we don't have snow plows and salt trucks. My main concern is I wouldn't be able during times like that to get to my kids when I'm needed due to slower travel times, and that doesn't sit well with me, so until we move to the city, maybe in a couple or more years, I will have to put college on the back burner for now.

    Now, (sorry for the babbling) what I want to know is, for those who came into the career at a later age-how old were you? The way it looks, I may be in my 40's before I even become a nurse. And how long did it take you to fulfill that goal? I want to be an lpn, and even though years ago I did take a lot of the pre-req's needed, I would have to take them again along with the necessary nursing courses, so it might be a while for me to finish. Thanks for your assistance.

    Cryssi
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  2. 54 Comments

  3. by   tabrid
    Go for it!!!
    I graduate next month from the Ivytech LPN program in Indiana...I have 5 children age 23-10....I started at age late fortysomething....will have my RN prior to turning 50....it is difficult when you have small children to leave them for even a few hours without worrying and wondering if you are being selfish in attempting to provide something for yourself. But....it can be done. Just start off slow and re-take your pre-reqs (I had a full year of pre-reqs since mine were over 25 years old.) Get accepted into the LPN ,take it a day at a time, don't worry about the laundry, the dishes or if the floor got swept...all that will keep. (You'll be quite surprise how long the clothing can wait to be folded.)
  4. by   Nurse2bSandy
    Cryssi,
    If you want to be a nurse, 40 will not be too old. I have to believe that... I'm in my mid-40's and halfway to my BSN. I completely understand about MI winters... we lived there almost 4 years!
    One thing I would like to let you know though, is that you will have to have a good plan for your children if you go to school. You will not be able to leave clinicals to get them very easily anyway. Plan for who could help you out in emergencies. I know that my kids are a big deterrent to my education... when they call I am the one to usually to go. Hubby is having to learn that my classes are just as important as his job. You may have to sacrifice some family time and responsibilities to make it through school. Oh, and get a good cell phone... that way you will know that kids can contact you if they need to. I keep mine on vibrate and call back during classes. Sometimes just hearing my voice is enough to help them make the right choice, and I feel good knowing that they can reach me if they need me. Hubby has one too, and I call him to let him know that they may need him!

    Good luck!
    Last edit by Nurse2bSandy on Apr 3, '03
  5. by   Reabock
    How about taking some pre regs in spring or summer school so they are out of the way and you get back into the swing of school and studying without the huge stress of nursing classes too? Also will get the kids oriented to mommy doing school work too.
  6. by   Chaya
    Got my BSN @ age 49; figured I had a good twenty years left in me (although I hope to be off the floor by the end!) What other field could you go into at that age and have your choice of job offers?(Sad but realistic)
    I started the day my "only" started middle school.
    P.S.- Got my first cell phone the day after that!
  7. by   Katnip
    I'll finish my BSN this May at age 46. I have three kids 17-12.

    Reabock has a good idea about the prereqs. Also, look into online or teleclourses classes for prereqs over the winters.
  8. by   Sleepyeyes
    I think older nurses bring a lot of life experience that helps them be more resilient to the demands of the job.

    Then again, I graduated at age 47 from an ADN program....
  9. by   katscan
    You go!!!!Education is never wasted and there is no age limit. I am 52 working as a school nurse. I plan to work till I am 65. It doesn't really matter when I started age 30, 40 etc. But what is the alternative? You will age anyway, why not do it as a nurse? Older nurses are intelligent and beautiful.
  10. by   Enright
    Cryssi...there are an awful lot of us later in life nurses. One of the things I suggest is that you might talk to a nearby school of nursing ...ADN or BSN... and ask for a pre-requisite list. What I did was take night classes for several years until I had the pre-req courses done. Then I started an accelerated program. I already had a degree but not much of it was useful towards nursing.

    A school of nursing might also be a great place to find out about all the different kinds of programs. Nursing education can be a little confusing so reading up on programs might make that clearer.

    One advantage to being a bit older is sometimes patients give you all kinds of benefit of the doubt even when you are brand new!

    Good luck in your decision.
  11. by   jnette
    Originally posted by katscan
    You go!!!!Education is never wasted and there is no age limit.

    You will age anyway, why not do it as a nurse? Older nurses are intelligent and beautiful.
    Yaaaaaaaay !!!!
    LOVE IT !

    A lot of truth there ! I, too, graduated ADN at 53. Plan on working even if I'm in a wheelchair someday. Who can afford to retire these days?

    What else would you be doing several years down the road? The same thing you're doing now... wishing you were doing what you really want to do... so GO for it !

    And Sleepyeyes ... I LOVE that George Burns quote !!!
    I've been doing a LOT of that myself lately !
  12. by   Rapheal
    I had the same concerns as you. Started nursing school at 32 with kids, an unreliable car, a long commute, and my kids had (and still have) weird sport and school schedules. But I made it. I am not trying to get all religious on you but I prayed for God to lay straight my path if this is what I should be doing. He did and I made it through. I hope this encourages you.
  13. by   Dublin37
    Hey you are totally not alone! Try doing a search on older moms/folks going back to school to be a nurse. I am 41, mom of 2 kids, 8 and 11. I am finishing my last pre-req this semester (if I can pass it!) The RN program is impacted so it will be another year before I get in, then 2 more years to finish. I figure I'll be 45 anyway, why not be doing something meaningful with my life? I get lots of mom guilt, but I keep trudgingl. Hang in there, see what pre-req's you can do on-line. Heather
  14. by   rileygrl11
    I graduated from an ADN program and started work at 39. During my early years of the program I confided in an instructor that I felt a little incompetent next to the younger future RN's. She told me that I had life experiences and maturity on my side that will take years for the young ones to achieve and that was my advantage. She also said that women my age in the nursing programs around the country are becoming the norm. The way I looked at it,....I would be "kissing the butt" of 40 when I finished school -- it was up to me what career I had at that time.

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