Too young/ early in life to be in Nursing Program?

  1. 2
    Hi all,

    I'm currently a sophomore in a BSN program. I will be 20 years old this march. I went straight from high school to my college and started prerecs, got accepted into NS first try and now I'm almost done with my first year of nursing school. I'm currently volunteering, but the only "real" job that I've ever had is fast food. I still live with my parents for now, to save money. We aren't rich by any means but they try their best to support me. I choose not to work during the school year because I know myself that it would be difficult for me to keep up with the program if I worked. I don't have my own car because I can't afford one... I use one of my parent's. Sometimes they have to give me rides to school and itís embarrassing because everyone else has their own cars and are on their own.

    I can't afford a car because I don't work except for summers but that's what I chose to do because It's how I'm getting through the program.

    My question is... am I too young/inexperienced to be in Nursing school? Most of my classmates are older than me, very many with cars and their own homes and children etc, and here i am still at home with my parents helping me get through school so that I can be a nurse. I know for a fact that some of them look down on me because Iím not ďindependentĒ and my parents are helping me get through this.

    I even heard a few older students talking and I guess they didnít realize that I was there, but they said that they wouldnít let people straight out of high school get into nursing schoolÖ they should get out for a few years and be more experienced and then go and be a nurse. How true is this?

    Will I not be as good as a nurse because I am young? Because I donít have much life experience? Isnít the fact that I can pass nursing school what really counts? Iíve talked to my friends and parents and they say that itís best to get it done while youíre young. But Iím insecure and I feel like Iím out of placeÖ and Iím starting to wonder if maybe they're right.
    Last edit by Joe V on Jan 7, '13 : Reason: spacing
    rmariee and Joe V like this.
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  4. 8
    I just graduated this past December from a BSN program and I am 21 years old. I feel that we are going to be the new generation of nursing, and you starting out young in life is putting yourself at a great advantage. What do they believe is "life experience"? Are you supposed to be partying it up and getting in trouble to get this life experience?

    There is this amazing book I read by Dr. Meg Jay called The Defining Decade, Why your twenties matter. I think you would benefit greatly from reading this book as I myself had doubts about starting my life without doing any "fun" things. I was able to secure a job BEFORE graduating school which not many people can say, and I don't have a ton of life experience either. I lived at home my first 2 years of college and the only reason I had a car was because I fortunate enough to find a cheap one at auction & have had family helping me. Even so, I rode the bus to school most of the time. I did work on and off through college because I liked having extra spending money.

    Try volunteering at the hospital or a clinic to gain some experience in a healthcare setting if you are worried about not having any clinical experience. You could even get a job as a home health aide somewhere (no formal education needed). What do those people expect you to be doing if not getting a college education that will set you up for the rest of your life? I think you're on a great track...
    rmariee, TNT365, besaangel, and 5 others like this.
  5. 12
    FuturesctRN OMG! Let me just say first off congratulations to you!!! Congrats to you for being such a disciplined young lady and getting your degree young. I wasn't as focused at the age of 20. If your family is fine with supporting you while you're in school then who cares what others think. It doesn't matter right now that you don't have a car of your own. As long as you are making it to class and clinicals on time that's all that matters right?? The ones that are talking about you are doing so because they're jealous they don't have the same situation. Who wouldn't be???? Here I am 38 and finishing pre-reqs with three children and a husband to take care of. Whew!!! Anyone in yr class would love to switch places with you!! I would love to not have to worry about: what's for dinner, laundry or grocery shopping. Trust me the list is endless... Listen take those comments with a grain of salt!! Once you graduate and land your first job you can buy the car of your choice and possibly even a house!!! Keep on keeping on girl people are going to always have something negative to say. Unfortunately, it's the world we live in. More importantly, don't let it steal your dream or your excitement for nursing.

    Sent from my iPad using allnurses.com
    rmariee, TNT365, Carpediem1012, and 9 others like this.
  6. 0
    Quote from sno963
    I just graduated this past December from a BSN program and I am 21 years old. I feel that we are going to be the new generation of nursing, and you starting out young in life is putting yourself at a great advantage. What do they believe is "life experience"? Are you supposed to be partying it up and getting in trouble to get this life experience?

    There is this amazing book I read by Dr. Meg Jay called The Defining Decade, Why your twenties matter. I think you would benefit greatly from reading this book as I myself had doubts about starting my life without doing any "fun" things. I was able to secure a job BEFORE graduating school which not many people can say, and I don't have a ton of life experience either. I lived at home my first 2 years of college and the only reason I had a car was because I fortunate enough to find a cheap one at auction & have had family helping me. Even so, I rode the bus to school most of the time. I did work on and off through college because I liked having extra spending money.

    Try volunteering at the hospital or a clinic to gain some experience in a healthcare setting if you are worried about not having any clinical experience. You could even get a job as a home health aide somewhere (no formal education needed). What do those people expect you to be doing if not getting a college education that will set you up for the rest of your life? I think you're on a great track...
    Thank you I guess I just felt like the only one that was in this situation, although logically I know I'm not, it seems that way because most of my classmates are older. I guess they expect me to start a simpler career and then become a nurse, because that somehow makes you more "experienced", lol. In reality, that's what they've all done so that's probably why they think it should be like that.

    I'll check out the book! It sounds really good. I don't really have time to do things that someone normally would my age due to school. A lot of my old friends party and I study. I'm happy to study though, because this is my dream and I'm just thankful to be in nursing school. Still though, the looks I would get sometimes would bother me.

    I could tell that a lot of my classmates kind of shake their head at me if I get a decent grade in a class and they dismiss it as "oh its because she doesn't work." I mean... I bust my butt for every decent (and by decent I mean B, because B seems to be the new A) grade that I get. I work very hard on my school work. I dedicate my time and energy to it. It's not like i'm sitting around doing nothing...

    I guess it just got to me and I wanted to see if anyone else shared their mind set, and maybe if they could explain it to me. And also to see if anyone shared my view point about it, which you seem to do. You've made me feel so much better!
  7. 0
    Quote from Nurse2b7337
    FuturesctRN OMG! Let me just say first off congratulations to you!!! Congrats to you for being such a disciplined young lady and getting your degree young. I wasn't as focused at the age of 20. If your family is fine with supporting you while you're in school then who cares what others think. It doesn't matter right now that you don't have a car of your own. As long as you are making it to class and clinicals on time that's all that matters right?? The ones that are talking about you are doing so because they're jealous they don't have the same situation. Who wouldn't be???? Here I am 38 and finishing pre-reqs with three children and a husband to take care of. Whew!!! Anyone in yr class would love to switch places with you!! I would love to not have to worry about: what's for dinner, laundry or grocery shopping. Trust me the list is endless... Listen take those comments with a grain of salt!! Once you graduate and land your first job you can buy the car of your choice and possibly even a house!!! Keep on keeping on girl people are going to always have something negative to say. Unfortunately, it's the world we live in. More importantly, don't let it steal your dream or your excitement for nursing.

    Sent from my iPad using allnurses.com

    Awwww... you're so sweet! Thank you! My parents told me similar things but I didn't really listen to them because I felt like they were saying that just to encourage me... They are very supportive and are determined to do whatever it takes to help me get through. I am SO blessed! At first I believed what you did but by the end of last semester it had been bothering me quite a lot. I felt like the baby.. but many of my friends failed out of school last semester and most of them worked A LOT of hours. So that's why I decided not to work. I figured if i can put myself in this situation so to speak until I get out of school then I'll be glad I did later. There was a point where I felt ready to move out and get married and have a "life" etc but I decided that I was in a good situation now and I would be foolish to pass it by.
    I just hate being looked down on... But you're right. I just need to keep that in mind and brush off everything that has been going on.
  8. 6
    Eh. Brush them haters off. Plenty of people live at home with their parents to save money while in school. Including long-time adults with kids of their own. Lots of people choose not to work while in school. Young and old. Regardless of how easy you may seem to have it, we all have struggles, and all of our successes should be celebrated.

    Of course you'll face an individual set of obstacles being so young entering in the nursing field. You're still growing up, still maturing, still learning your way through the world. But so are all of us in some ways.

    And just like people who go back to school when they're 25, 35, 45, 55, you'll also have things that are easier for you, thanks to your circumstance.

    It's awesome that you've accomplished so much at such a young age! Be proud
    Last edit by Stephalump on Jan 6, '13
  9. 2
    I'm not as young as you, but I am 22 and I still feel that way sometimes as well. Most of my class mates are 28-35. No one has ever said anything negative to me, but I do get eye rolls when I answer questions or get things right.

    In my opinion, no time is a bad time to get an education. You are bettering yourself, and planning your future. I don't see why it matters how old you are at all.

    Maybe the reason some of the older students in your class act that way towards you is because they wish they would've started out younger.

    Dont let anyone hold you back from getting an education you obviously deserve.
    RunnerRN2b2014 and futuresctRN like this.
  10. 1
    Ah, I love AN. Finally some down to earth people that understand! Thank you!
    Kandy83 likes this.
  11. 2
    Hey futuresctRN! Im sort of in the same situation as you. I did my pre reqs in high school. I finished my LPN when I was 19 and now I am 20 doing going to start my RN on Tuesday (lpn to rn program). I have no kids and I am also supported by my parents since I don't have a car or job yet. This isn't something you should be ashamed of. Its never to early to start nursing school. If you feel you are mature enough to handle it then you will be capable to finish nursing school if you put your mind to it. I sometimes feel the same way you do but I often receive many compliments for starting my nursing career early. Im very proud that I did. I know I will feel out place since I will probably be the youngest in my class but that doesn't matter to me. As long as you do well nothing else matters. Good luck on your journey as a nurse
    rmariee and futuresctRN like this.
  12. 2
    Now is the PERFECT time for you! Keep your head held high! You CAN do this. Chances are your professors and instructors were more like you, young in school! Didn't hurt their patients and it won't affect yours!

    Missa
    BSwasBS and futuresctRN like this.


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