Will I be too old for nursing school? - page 6

:uhoh21: I started my pre-req's for nursing in 2004 - 2005. I took chem, A&P1, Bio, and Psych. (I had previously earned an Associates) I stopped to have another baby #3 (my last baby) and we... Read More

  1. by   Finnalillawisk1
    Seriously? You're 35....that's not too old. There's a degree of maturity that comes along with age. In addition to years of work experience, you have years of life experience. I think it would be a shame for you to look at yourself as too old. I hate to reminde you of this but you've got another 25-30 working years ahead of you. Shouldn't you be doing something you'd enjoy for the next 25-30 years?
  2. by   Loadbetty
    "PLEASE don't give up. I just graduated this past December with my RN from a 2 year ADN program and I turned 59 this past December. Had no nursing experience..."

    CONGRATS!!!! I know many people including yourself are VERY proud of you - as you should be!! I hope to "be you" in the next couple of years.....

    The trouble with signing a contract (agreeing to work X nbr of yrs in exchange for school money) around here is the only "big" (too big) hospital that does that makes absolutely no bones about their 60%+ turnover rate - their philosophy is they are a teaching hospital with an unlimited amount of "free" help - i.e. students and a constant employee pool. They want you to know they don't worry too much about how your treated....don't get me wrong - I'm a pretty tough "old" broad, and not overly sensitive or easily scare-able - HOWEVER, this place goes overboard - I worked there part-time during my first few quarters of surg tech school - let me just say WOW...they re-defined treating you like poop-ola....needless to say, life is (and was) WAY too short to not only be treatly poorly daily by the "corporation" as a whole, but to also be actively pursued by 20 and 30-something first time "boss" infantile egomanias that had a hard time with simple speech because they were too busy looking like idiots tripping over their new found cyneregtic buzz word of the day...
    What I was doing was not rocket science - nice little 16 hr a week part time what I thought was thinking ahead - getting in on the ground level part-time while going to school, ensuring I'd not only have a place to apply my new skills, (scrubbing) but also to take advantage of tuition assistace and progress to RN, BSN, etc etc etc.....ahhhhhh - NOT! I can and do take A LOT of B.S. - but I can't (and shouldn't have to) take someone making it a point to ENSURE the "little people" KNOW that they are the boss and the daily ritual of trying to make you feel like nothing, you can't and never will do anything right, and if not for THEM - you wouldn't have a job cleaning gum from sidewalks - all of us "sheep" are SAVED again if only by their skill and grace....
    OH PA-LEEEEASE!!!! These little gnats as I call them (because they are just as irritating) only do this because they don't know how to do their own jobs and their bosses are tired of their little pointy noses up their rear ends and told them to go do their job - which of course, they don't know how to do - and finally because they've made enemies out of the only people that could help them (us, the little people) - they can only run around in circles and threaten people about which they know nothing.......I've been "a boss" for over 20 yrs - that tactic never works, shouldn't exist, and the people that encourage these generation X-Y-Z-ers to act like the uneducated entitled little chits they are should be shot too......
    WOW - not sure where all that came from - just having flashbacks of a really bad experience I guess.....unfortunately, big hospitals tend to put the young inexperienced kids in positions of "authority" and it ends up hurting everyone, most of all the kid that was given the job......they, like some surgeons I worked with always seem to have to learn the hard way.....they keep ticking people off because they are GOD afterall and you MUST acknowledge this at all times until they back themselves into a corner so far that they (most of them) FINALLY get it....hey - if I act like a human, keep my mouth shut and listen to all the "lesser" people that surround me, I might actually learn something and make a nicer environment to work in!! WOW!!

    Anyway - before I get off on another rant, I am VERY leary about taking 'scholarship'/grant monies from the bigger hospitals....at least around here they offer that carrot for a reason - to make you legally obligated to take all their abuse or face the threat of having to give the money back NOW - it was bad enough when I wasn't legally obligated to them - I can't imagine how much worse it could get if they knew you "had" to be there.....I have (as last time) saved some money, and am eligible for quite a bit of "free" money in the form of scholarships and private grants from my college - I got quite a bit the last go round - you just have to sit down and write a letter of why you're "worthy." It's amazing to me that the kids don't do more of that - there's a TON of money out there! I actually asked the fin aid person one time after receiving like my 6th or 7th scholarship how was I getting so much so often! She told me that the kids just won't sit down for 20 mins and write that simple little statement letter - so the people that do (typically us "old" people) get the money the most......wow.....heck I'll take it!

    How did you get into ICU?? I'm asking because I think that's where I'd like to be.....I love surgery, but I can see where that would get old quick (in the role of RN) - what's it like? Did you take any extra classes/CEU's,etc to get there???

    I hope to be joining you with the RN license in my pocket in a couple of years.....I'm going to be a REAL cranky old broad if the bottom falls out of the RN market after I graduate!!

    Congratulations again - I know it wasn't easy - you deserve the best.
  3. by   CinnScorpStudent
    This question is one I asked myself 2 months ago, "am I too old"...which was answered by my advisor at college, "I was a RN at 19 and didn't get my BSN until I was 45, so NO, you're not too old"...and so I filled out my financial aid forms, crossed my fingers and was back in school this past Monday.

    I had attended college in an unrelated field 20 years ago, never finished as I was simply too young and more interested in the experience and social contacts of college rather than the degree. Now, at 42, I've been married, divorced with 2 teenage children, been running a business for 15 years and felt that I needed to apply the disciplines I've learned to a brand new field of study that not only gives something of myself to my fellow man but I'll be honest, seems to have security and career advancement in a field where you're only bound by the limits you set for yourself.

    A Chinese proverb stated "If we don't change the direction we are headed, we will end up where we are going"...for me, that direction offered no challenge, no tangible contribution to society and had no real security looking ahead to when I would retire (not to mention the upcoming monetary contributions to my own childrens' continued educational needs). So, here I am less than a week into my pre-nursing prerequisites and I'm thrilled ! Unlike years ago, I could care less about the social aspect of school, I actually sit in the front of the class, I'm prepared and focused on the lectures, I'm clearing the cobwebs and for the first time in a long time feel like I'm DOING something positive.

    Doubt I fell arises from a fear of the unkown, self doubt without investigation into that unknown creates a reality, once dismissed, this doubt can be focused on the task at hand which is to overcome the challenges we've set for ourselves to reach our goals. With that said, hello to everyone, this is my first post. My goal is to get into nursing school, become a RN and then BSN (heavy on the sciences) and then decide.....CRNA or med school? Still haven't figured that one out yet...but I'm ONLY 42!
  4. by   Loadbetty
    Wow - are we sisters of a different mother?? I know - you're the YOUNGER one, but wow - sans the kids, we've had the same experience....I sat on my fat you know what for 25+ yrs waiting to retire from a yes, exciting to some career with an "old established" company - then was laid off.....EYE OPENER!! Did A LOT of for not taking advantage of my free educational benefits for that long....what a dope I am!! But as you said, with age comes wisdom....the only wisdom I had at 18 was I don't want to go to school and no body is going to make me! So I didn't waste my family's money on something I didn't want to do, didn't like, and would never finish.....so there I was....44 yrs old and starting from square one going for the surg tech, then RN with 2 Associate's degrees.....as you said - I found that I LOVE it!! Where in the heck did that come from??? I was a REAL child of the 60's/70's if you know what I mean.... why didn't I discover just how cool school was then?????

    I think you'll find that not only do you like school (because you're serious now, that's why) you'll be killing yourself to not let any "young punk" professor try and ruin your 4.0!! :chuckle It's going to happen - it really is....

    It's cool being old....the kids in my college say "I'm the chit" for "being so cool and hangin in school"

    The other thing that's so weird about your post is I'm done with the Surg Tech/AAS- no jobs scrubbing, so working again in unrelated field, but currently doing the RN, already accepted to the RN-BSN school and when I started this "long strange trip" I'm on, my goal was CRNA.....it's fun to dream about - but that last one is probably the most far fetched at the moment....I CAN do it of course - but do I want to? Realistically by the time I have enough letters after my name to qualify - I'll be - let's say 60 - it's a MINIMUM of 2 yrs (at U of Cincy) and you can't work (meaning having to live on my retirement money) - it's THAT intense.....so that's a minimum of 62.....as I said, when I was laid off at 43, I only had 7 more yrs to retire.. like I should be retiring next year!........I was REALLY looking foward to that!!!

    So the question becomes not whether you CAN......it becomes do you WANT to?? I think I would be scared to start - only because when I get into something, I'm WAY INTO it.....I know what would happen - I'd get the CRNA, start working, and when I looked up again I'd be 85, ready to kick the bucket and never got to enjoy the "fruits of my labor...."

    I dunno............I think Nietzsche is right....."Reality is not real, it's perceived by your perception..."

    I know - maybe I got WAY too far into the 70's!!!:chuckle
  5. by   WDWpixieRN
    I was hired in to a fellowship at the ripe old age of 52 at graduation last spring. While I won't say this is my "ideal" job, I also didn't apply to any other specialty areas or hospitals. I think I saw several older students in the critical care fellows group though.

    I had applied for the NICU and didn't get it, but I didn't particularly feel like it was my age. A lot of factors go in to the decision making such as BS vs. AS, experience, whether or not you are a tech on staff already, etc. If it was my age, I would be very disappointed to hear that. I know I was in the running up to the final cut. Oh, well.

    My med/surg experience will hopefully direct me in to a position I really want eventually.

    Oh, I also received a contract-free scholarship while I was in my 3rd semester AND got a 6-week internship the summer between 3rd and 4th semester in an ED.

    I honestly can't say I've had too much of anyone give me so much as a sideways glance except maybe a pt or two when I mentioned I was a "student nurse" during clinicals. In other cases, it was often assumed I was a very experienced nurse I'm sure because of a few of the laugh lines on my face, lol.

    Forget numbers in this business....I haven't found it to be a factor. The job market may be tightening up a bit, but there was just ANOTHER article a day or so ago on MSNBC about the fact that number of nurses graduating just will not be able to keep up with the demand for years to come -- something like a shortfall of 60,000/year.

    The question is -- will you be willing to settle for med/surg to gain the experience you will need to move in to the specialty areas if need be?!?!

    Good luck all you old timers....we're going to be around for many years to come!!
  6. by   WDWpixieRN
    I was hired in to a fellowship at the ripe old age of 52 at graduation last spring. While I won't say this is my "ideal" job, I also didn't apply to any other specialty areas or hospitals. I think I saw several older students in the critical care fellows group though.

    I had applied for the NICU and didn't get it, but I didn't particularly feel like it was my age. A lot of factors go in to the decision making such as BS vs. AS, experience, whether or not you are a tech on staff already, etc. If it was my age, I would be very disappointed to hear that. I know I was in the running up to the final cut. Oh, well.

    My med/surg experience will hopefully direct me in to a position I really want eventually.

    Oh, I also received a contract-free scholarship while I was in my 3rd semester AND got a 6-week internship the summer between 3rd and 4th semester in an ED where I stayed on as a tech for another semester of school and realized I would need the med/surg experience for this location that wasn't set up for new grads.

    I honestly can't say I've had too much of anyone give me so much as a sideways glance except maybe a pt or two when I mentioned I was a "student nurse" during clinicals. In other cases, it was often assumed I was a very experienced nurse I'm sure because of a few of the laugh lines on my face, lol.

    Forget numbers in this business....I haven't found it to be a factor. The job market may be tightening up a bit, but there was just ANOTHER article a day or so ago on MSNBC about the fact that number of nurses graduating just will not be able to keep up with the demand for years to come -- something like a shortfall of 60,000/year.

    The question is -- will you be willing to settle for med/surg to gain the experience you will need to move in to the specialty areas if need be?!?!

    Good luck all you old timers....we're going to be around for many years to come!
  7. by   Loadbetty
    Well sure - I think you have to keep your mind open and your eye on "your" ball - you have to be willing to do anything that will get you where you eventually want to be.....it's easy to be distracted or think you can circumnavigate the "system" but that never works - age and the wisdom that comes with it is the advantage there! A med/surg and/or "floor" nurse I don't think is my cup of tea - I scrubbed for 2 yrs in clinicals and really like surgery - I always knew I would - but is that the job I want in the role of RN? I don't know for SURE - I think I would like ICU - but again, without having the experience in any of those (except surgery as a scrub) I cannot nor will not make an opinion about any path that RN's can take - I do know that I have always wanted to work neuro, specifically rehab for spinal cord and brain injuries....I don't know enough about it to know what the best path to get there is YET...

    My point (and answer) is this - yes, I think you have to be ready, willing and able to do whatever it takes to get to where you want to be - that isn't very popular in todays culture, seems there's a huge entitlement attitude nowadays - "you owe me, and I shouldn't have to work to get there" type attitude.....that certainly isn't me - but I'll admit I do get frustrated when people, corporations/hospitals reward that behavior by giving people like that what they want - then can't figure out why they weren't successful......there really is a purpose to "paying your dues" so to speak......it gives you the experience and knowledge to move on (if you want to) and most of all be better at your job....that helps everyone....

    Great to hear your story - it's inspiring.....I remember things like that when I've been up for 18 hrs and have a 19 yr old preceptor being a nasty little creep, not teaching me anything and trying to give me lessons about "life..."

    :chuckle
  8. by   nurse2b2010
    Absolutely not too old! Go for it if it's your heart's desire! I started back to school at age 48 and just turned 50 on Jan 5 and I'm in my second semester of nursing school now. We have several 50+ students in my class as well as a lot of 20 somethings. Age doesn't seem to be a huge factor at this point. I still have quite a few years until age of retirement and the fact that I will be a nurse at the age of 51 (hopefully if all goes well and I go straight through the rest of the semesters!) is exciting to me know that I will be doing the kind of work I am passionate about. Definitely not too old!! Good luck! :spin:
  9. by   DJ Bertrix
    No way ... you're never too old to go back to school! My mother went back to school for nursing when she was in her early 50s and did so well in all her classes. It's been about 10 yrs since she finished school and she's still working! She loves her job. I'm sure you will too. Please don't think you're too old. I'm sure you'll meet other people in your class older than you, but that shouldn't matter b/c age is just a number. Good luck!! :wink2:
    Last edit by DJ Bertrix on Jan 10, '09
  10. by   netglow
    Well, this is my second career, just to let ya know, I delayed this because of the same reasons, wondering if I was too old to start down another road. But I can tell you that I am at the top of my class, and have a lot of experience that seems to add to nursing. You'll find that while the young ones are wondering what to do next, you'll have that second sense that will guide you. Most of my classmates are also older too, which does mean competition, from people who have all sorts of other degrees upon entering nursing! I'd say one thing though, that being older means fitting in a little nappy when you can!:chuckle
  11. by   RNKat23
    I'm 37 and in the middle of the pack of my nursing class - the oldest is around 48, and the youngest is 23.
  12. by   futureOBnurse
    I'm 37 and in nursing school. I was scared to death at first but now see there are many people my age and sometimes even older. Don't sweat the small stuff! Go in there and learn, just like everyone else. And you might be surprised to find out that us ole whippersnappers have something called "life experience" under our belts and can sometimes school a young kid or two
  13. by   mike1973
    I am going to be 36 when I graduate in the spring (fingers crossed) and I feel that I would have not made it through the classes if I had been a "traditional" student. I have more drive and really want this career change. You can do it!

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