Thinking About Starting Nursing School at age 50 - page 2

by Candyy

6,940 Views | 42 Comments

I am thinking about starting nursing school next August, if I am accepted. I have taken all the prerequisites and would like to make application in March for the class that starts in August. I will be 50 years old when I start.... Read More


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    I just wanted to add one more thing to the valuable advice the others have given. I'm 53 years old and in the process of completing my CNA. I'm also in the process of taking my prerequisites, and am planning on applying to the Nursing program afterward. I'm still working as Administrative Assistant, however, and don't plan on quitting my job, since it's great pay and has excellent benefits. That is my safety net, so to say, that I plan on keeping until I can see whether Nursing is something I want to go into full time at a latter date.

    The reason I'm interested in pursuing a change of career right now, is that I've always had the desire to work in the health care industry with the elderly, disabled and sick. For the last 25 years, I kept thinking about this, and I finally came to the conclusion that I would at least try it and see what it entailed. Even so, before I take the plunge, I want to make certain I truly do want to pursue this path. Thus I'll continue to take classes part-time and work per diem as a CNA to acquire hands-on bedside experience. I'm in great physical condition, and have lots of energy, but I'm also aware that I may not be able to handle all the extra work. But if I cannot handle the extra work, or discover that Nursing isn't for me after acquiring more insight and experience, I will still have my current job.

    I do want to encourage you and just say to pursue this if you're passionate about it! Also, you may want to volunteer as it's been suggested. I volunteer about 4 hours a week for Hospice, and that has been very fulfilling to me, and has given me great insight into many things. But I think it's essential to keep your current job and your retirement if you decide to pursue Nursing.

    Good luck on whatever you decide! :redpinkhe
    systoly likes this.
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    I'd echo the recommendations to take a CNA course and get into the nitty gritty of nursing. You may love it or hate it. If you can make it through a CNA shift you'll be fine as an RN, CNA's have the most physical jobs but I think they have the most 1-1 contact with patients, and can make or break their RN, and the patient care.

    If you want to be a nurse the only issue would be the physical drawbacks, it's hard to do 12 hours on your feet. As a 17yo doing 7 hours in nursing school I went home and had leg cramping all night. The older nurses you see have mostly been doing it for awhile and have every shortcut and efficiency worked out, where you'd be starting fresh.

    I would hesitate to throw that retirement plan away, however you are the one that has to live with the choice. Nursing is like every other field, we have turkeys in management and some days we are getting through the day in spite of their bright ideas. Don't think that will change anytime soon.

    Bottom line, if you want it, got for it. You can find out the reality of nursing as a CNA, and then upgrade as you wish.
    linzz likes this.
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    Quote from candyy
    i am thinking about starting nursing school next august, if i am accepted. i have taken all the prerequisites and would like to make application in march for the class that starts in august. i will be 50 years old when i start.


    thats getting up there, but many ppl remain active as a nurse well into thir sixties. i will say though that when i first started and on regular occasions since i have never been so tired in all my life. some days ive gone home and slept 12-13hrs and my normal is 9.5. tiredness is a factor. however you can choose areas that are less taxing on your body i.e psych nursing ( night duty or pm shifts - smaller wards are what you should aim for)

    i would like to know if there is anyone with my similar situation. i have a very good paying job with great benefits. i have been with this company for 25 years and i have 6 more years until i can retire. i have been dissatisfied with my job for the last 8 years. i have no promotion opportunity and i feel unfulfilled and would like a job where i can contribute more.

    if you believe that all nurses are satisfied and love their job after being 'called' to do it you would be kidding yourself. nurses are a strange bunch. power is very important to them, you will learn that in your studies that some nurses are very dominant i.e nurses eat their own young is something they taught us at university ...watch yourself ...many of these ive worked with have teeth and they will use them.
    there will be tons you can contribute too, if you derive your pleasure from helping others then go for it ...but let me tell you this idea gets old ....pretty soon you start to want more benjamins !!!!!
    if your looking for promotion in nursing well you have to do your time first in the trenches and attain further post-grade courses to move up ...all of which take time. time your 50yr old body doesnt have



    i am very scared about pursuing nursing. i do get tired a lot easier these days and i would be scared that nursing would be too much for me down the road. i have thought about other healthcare careers, but nothing really interests me as much as nursing does. is this crazy of me to think that i would be able to do this. i want so much to have something to look forward to like this.
    see above, but bed-side nursing is very hard work on a busy floor, its no place for the weak with 20 somethings running through their shift. you also need to be mentally sharp; to be able to know a persons care plan and do it (keeping in mind you'll have 5-10 patients to care for ....dont forget to do anything. if you omit to do something and it brings harm to the patient that is negligence! dont let me dissuade you, but nursing is not for the weak or faint of heart. you have to be able to be professionally told what to do and to pick up your act by people that make just as many mistakes as you do ...can you do that??? and pull a double shift and be back up 7 hours later for your next shift, with the bi$ch from nursing hell who's rideng your tail, can you do that??

    i love my job, im suited to it, i use my mind and im respected by my peers, my patients love to see me when they hit rock bottom. why because i along with my colleagues are a face in the bleak wilderness that they walk in everyyyyy day ...i make their life easier, i tell them the truth about their care and listen to their woes and educate their faimilies. yes i love my job, but my message to you is think carefully ...you aint no spring chicken honey (im joking!!!!!!!!!!!)
    Fiona59 likes this.
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    Nursing, well, it is just not what the media portrays is to be. There is often not even enough time to properly care for people at all. Just this alone, leaves a nurse to feel like a machine some days. This was one part of the reality that shocked me when I started.

    Another reality is that nursing is really hard on your body, I never used to ache, now I ache every day and I am 42 with no health problems and no arthritis but I still find the work very stressful and tiring. I don't work full time and I never want to have to as long all goes well. The crappy reality is I had tons of energy in my twenties and thirties but, not now.

    The last reality is that there are some wonderful people in this field but there are just as many people that are happy to throw you under the bus, just like any other work place. When I started, I was surprised at just how cut throat this field makes nurses, due to job cuts and destructive politics.

    If I could do my life over, I would not have become a nurse.
    Last edit by linzz on Oct 16, '09
    Fiona59 likes this.
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    I am 43 and am considering nursing school because I am feeling unfulfilled in my current career, but I would NEVER quit my job in order to go to school. My job is my safety net so I plan to get my ADN by taking classes at night and will take my time. If I get a job as a nurse someday then great, but if I don't, at least I can say I'm an RN and I'll have more knowledge than most people about healthcare. BTW, not all nurses work in a hospital so I'm not sure why so many people are posting as if that is the only option. That's not what I plan to do when I finish school.
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    Quote from dreamer19
    I am 43 and am considering nursing school because I am feeling unfulfilled in my current career, but I would NEVER quit my job in order to go to school. My job is my safety net so I plan to get my ADN by taking classes at night and will take my time. If I get a job as a nurse someday then great, but if I don't, at least I can say I'm an RN and I'll have more knowledge than most people about healthcare. BTW, not all nurses work in a hospital so I'm not sure why so many people are posting as if that is the only option. That's not what I plan to do when I finish school.
    The reason people are only posting about hospital nursing is because in order to gain good nursing judgment and assessment skills, and to be able to qualify for jobs with a lighter load, you need this floor experience. You will be competing with many other nurses who do have this experience. In nursing, solid clinical experience is a real must in order to provide safe care and to keep your licence free of any disciplinary actions.
    Fiona59 likes this.
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    i think you should really do it. my mom started around 50 something too. and i think shes more responsible for the well being of the patients in contrast to the younger nurses who seem to live for the moment. now im not overgeneralizing things but such is what ive noticed.

    anyway i dont know about getting a job tho. good thing i have a backup degree cause i heard getting a nursing job is pretty brutal nowadays. but it is practical as you can use it in ur daily life (take care of a loved one, etc).
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    I'd retire first.
    Multicollinearity, Fiona59, linzz, and 1 other like this.
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    Well, soon you will be 60, then 70, 80, and eventually you will be dead.

    Do it now if it's something you want to do. Put together your plan and execute on it.

    I have several people in my class who are in their 40-60's. I'm 34 and some people told me I was too old to switch careers. Don't listen to naysayers. Do what you want with your life.
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    I started nursing school at age 52. I graduated in August and still not having any luck with a job. I don't think age is as much of a problem as finances. Before I started nursing school I retired, with health insurance, which is a REALLY big deal. There is no way you should go without health insurance, especially if you are going to nursing school. It is extremely stressful most of the time. Also, you must be sure you can handle it financially. I spent most of my after tax savings getting to this point. I still have my retirement, but accessing it before age 59.5 can be VERY expensive. Six years may seem like forever, but if I were you, I would hang in there.
    MedSurgeMess, linzz, and Fiona59 like this.


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