I've posted and read other posts about the *slightly* older student and the overwhelming sentiment is "Wow! So great to hear I'm not alone!"
I thought it would be helpful and encouraging to centralize the over-40 newbies in one thread so we can refer to it for inspiration! And, those who are in their 30s can feel young again
So, list your situation (first degree, second career, other), your school, and your ultimate plans once you receive your nursing degree. Any other details about your decision to become a nurse and the aftermath (how have others reacted, what challenges you've faced or will face . . . ) would be great too!
I just turned 40 and am about to begin my ADN program at a local community college. I have a BA in English and a MEd in Teacher Education. I was a high school English teacher prior to staying home to be with my two children (ages soon-to-be 3 and 5). I have two years before they are in school full time so I figured NOW is the time . . . before soccer, baseball, dance . . .
While I know it will NEVER be easy and I am going to be struggling to maintain any semblance of a life for the next two years, I did work hard to get rid of every class but my nursing core. I would ultimately like to attend Ohio University (it is near where I live) and bridge to the MSN or FNP program...I've looked into it and it will require that I just take the nursing core for the BSN since I already have a BA. I'm hoping that will still be well received, but I'm still awhile away, so I'm sure I'll get plenty of advice between now and then.
I decided on nursing because I have an ANCIENT background in healthcare and an abandoned pre-med major. Life happened. I loved to write. Loved technology. Explored both as careers. Loved them. Life happened again in the form of two little people and I thought WHY NOT!?! Plus, how cool to tell my children all that mommy did and that I GET it when they say they just don't know what they want to be.
I've encountered a few more challenges than I anticipated. Of course, there is the element of time, the fact that I can't stay up late and function like I used to, and the somewhat disappointing response by some of my friends, though, I get it. I thought that I might end up in a PhD program in education, but something kept telling me that was not what I wanted, at least not now. I LOVE education, perhaps that's why I very well may be a perpetual student. I believe nursing has a lot of the components I loved about education (and I'm sure quite a few I may not love--you'll get that anywhere). Plus, who knows, it would all come full circle if I became an nursing instructor . . . or professor
Well, that's me. Your turn!!! Eager to hear . . .
rubato, I LOVE your attitude! I personally think you shouldn't let your "advanced" age get in the way. Now is the time! With technology (online courses), the push to educate and improve (rather than settle), and the number of opportunities (I'm not saying jobs are plentiful, I know that especially from what I'm hearing on these forums it isn't always the case, but a resourceful person can find something if they are flexible and driven), why not keep pushing forward. No need to stop until they stick you in the ground. Hmmm . . . that's morbid-ish.
I am thinking hospice as well. I'm not even sure why, but the thought has always pulled at me. Eager to hear how your journey goes. Do you know what your schedule will be like yet?
azjen43, WOW! What an amazing wealth of experience you have! It was a co-worker, a biology teacher, who inspired me to go back for healthcare (even though I was a high school ENGLISH teacher). She left teaching and became a PA. I'm gonna bet with all the energy in your house that you'll have no issues getting through the program. And you know, 50 is the new 25 (I may have made that up, but I'm pretty sure I'm close).
fitzy5, how was it!?! You are just ahead of most of us and I'm eager to hear your experiences! I'm glad you posted here and hope you can give us some details as to how you're doing (besides the mac and cheese thing, because quite honestly, I'm not even in nursing school yet and that's a staple around here . . .
nursemaddie, GOOD LUCK!!! I am SOOO with you. There is NO way I could have done this (or done it well) 20 years ago. I still can't believe that it has been that long since I graduated high school (plus a couple years!). How does that happen??? I am in awe of the young nurses I've had, especially when I delivered my children. They were so much more mature and just seemed to have it all together. That would NOT have been me. I was a good student and good kid, but I just don't think I would have had the discipline to be successful.
How were the classes with the younger students? Did you encounter many students around your age? I'm riveted by the fact that so many programs start with so many and then seem to dwindle after just the first term and again in the second year. What kept you focused and successful?
I am so energized to hear others out there like me. I was a little unsure as to whether this was the right path for me last year, but have committed now and am ready to jump in full on. It sure does help to know I won't be out there alone
I hope there are more out there who post! And I don't want to exclude those in their 30s, I was you just a few months ago. If you are "mature/older/sage/seasoned/advanced" and starting on the nursing journey, it would still be great to hear from you!
Last edit by laski on Jun 8, '12
: Reason: typo
41 yo male here,
I just finished the 1st year of the ADN program. I have 2 children, the youngest of which is starting college in the fall.
I have been a skilled tradesmen for a big 3 automaker for 22 years and am making a career change.
this is the dream job I thought about when I was younger, but got caught in the trap of easy money in the factory. now im going to finish my BSN and travel!
Last edit by jollylama on Jun 8, '12