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 it's 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 I'm not "independent" and my parents are helping me get through this.

    I even heard a few older students talking and I guess they didn't realize that I was there, but they said that they wouldn't let people straight out of high school get into nursing school... 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 don't have much life experience? Isn't the fact that I can pass nursing school what really counts? I've talked to my friends and parents and they say that it's best to get it done while you're young. But I'm insecure and I feel like I'm out of place... and I'm starting to wonder if maybe they're right.
    Last edit by Joe V on Jan 7, '13 : Reason: spacing
  2. Enjoy this?

    Join thousands and get our weekly Nursing Insights newsletter with the hottest discussions, articles, and toons.

  3. Visit  futuresctRN profile page

    About futuresctRN

    From 'Dayton, OH'; Joined Oct '12; Posts: 67; Likes: 49.

    84 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  sno963 profile page
    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. Visit  Nurse2b7337 profile page
    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. Visit  futuresctRN profile page
    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. Visit  futuresctRN profile page
    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. Visit  Stephalump profile page
    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. Visit  Kdrenee profile page
    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.
    RunnerRN2015 and futuresctRN like this.
  10. Visit  futuresctRN profile page
    1
    Ah, I love AN. Finally some down to earth people that understand! Thank you!
    Kandy83 likes this.
  11. Visit  nursea92 profile page
    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. Visit  Missa96 profile page
    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.
  13. Visit  futuresctRN profile page
    1
    Quote from nursea92
    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
    Wow! that's impressive. Goodness... I'm so glad there's others out there! So you're in a very similar situation... that makes me feel so much better and more confident in myself. I felt like I was abnormal and weird and almost didn't belong in my program even though I was passing my classes and everything... I just felt like I was out of touch with everyone else. It seems like everyone has their own kids and jobs and lives and I'm living with my parents and they're helping me... so in a way I felt like because of that I was less mature than them. But you're right. I need to stay focused on doing well and ignore everything else. It didn't really bother me at first but as time went on it started to get to me because I knew that some people I know didn't like when I made an A or B and figured it was because I didn't work. I consider it a blessing that God allowed this to work out for me. Thank you
    nursea92 likes this.
  14. Visit  LoveNeverDies profile page
    2
    FuturesctRN
    I am 19 years old and in an ADN program. Starting out young is the best way i can see, i have so much respect for the men and woman that come back with familes and full time jobs. Frankly living at home without all the bills and added stress makes everything MUCH easier. I have worked as a Nurse's aide for 2 years and it has helped me tremendously, i have my own car (gift from my parents for doing well in school), and i work a few shifts a month simply for experience. Perhaps you could find a PRN job and only work 3 shifts a month if you are worried about experience. However, if you are worried about getting behind DO NOT WORK, especially if you do not have to. Lastly, please do not let anyone put you down, i have had a lot of people say the same things about me being young. But i have also had a lot of other people, and nursing students commend me on it. This is your life and your future, do not be discouraged.
    futuresctRN and nursea92 like this.
  15. Visit  Virgilio profile page
    2
    OMG, don't listen to these people. There are so many people your same age in pre-med, pre-law and applied physics which are equally academically challenging. There are people your same age who are in the military and working as corpsmen/medics, or civilian firefighters cops or EMTs which are equally emotionally draining jobs. These people go to school then work every day and they started at your age.

    This is your time to do what you are going to do.

    It sounds like the people you described are being wretched vultures who are propping themselves up at your expense. I'm now 38, but I went to paramedic school at age 19. I remember hearing some of that in school but I ignored it and was eventually hired at the most desirable 911 job in the area. I mostly remember people saying things like " I wish I was in my twenties and didn't have to support a family." or "I wish I could go anywhere in the country I wanted."

    That being said the most challenging part of my job was that I was 20 and all of the other medics were 36 or older and there was a big generation gap. Let me tell you right now there is no amount of working at a crappy Walmart job that will prepare you for what you will experience in the ER. You don't HAVE to have children to work in Peds. You don't have to have cancer in your family to work in oncology. Anyone who thinks they have an advantage over you is a fool, you have many more years ahead of you than they do.
    Last edit by Virgilio on Jan 6, '13
    llg and futuresctRN like this.


Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and find your dream job.

Top