Honestly, Am I too old to become a nurse?

  1. 0
    Hi
    I am 51 years old and have a full time 8 - 5 job Monday through Friday. But I have always wanted to become a CNA and eventually nurse. Can I train to become a CNA/nurse evenings and weekends, or even on the internet (while still on my day job?). My eventual plan is to continue my day job while doing weekend and/or evening nursing.

    Friends are telling me that if I take an online course, no hospital will hire me. Is that correct? (I would like some responses from nurses... would you guys feel like I can be properly trained?) How long does will it take me if I do evening and weekend classes?

    What are your thoughts and opinions. Be Honest, I can take it.
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  4. 2
    You'll have to check with the schools of nursing in your area (assuming you don't want to move). Some schools offer evening/weekend programs and some do not. If it is a legitimate school and they offer such a program, then the local hospitals will probably have no problem hiring their graduates. However, there might not be a school in your area that offers such a program.

    The online option doesn't work as well for nursing as it does for other fields as there is no way you can get "supervised clinical practice with actual patients" online. There are one or two programs that offer degrees that way, but they are not well-respected, some states do not give licenses to their graduates, and even if they can get a license in your state, some hospitals hesitate to hire their graduates. I'd avoid going that route if at all possible.

    As far as your age goes ... you are right to ask the question. Nursing can be hard physical work -- especially working rotating shifts. A lot of "older" nurses (and I am 50 years old) struggle with those night shifts and some decide they don't like working weekends, holidays, etc. I have met many people who went into nursing as a 2nd or 3rd career who never fully considered how they would feel about those work hours and how tough nursing would be on their bodies. Some people who are enthusiastic when they are students decide quickly after graduation that they are not at the right time of their lives to want to stress themselves that much.

    Finally, don't forget that education is expensive. Do you have the money to pay for school? ... or will you be entering your new career in your mid-50's deeply in dept with educational loans to pay off? Taking out big loans at that time in your life can be stressful because you have a "shorter future" in which to pay them back.

    Of course ... you will find other people who have successfully made the transition to nursing while in their 50's. They are in excellent health and stay that way for several more years. They don't mind the extra stress and all the adjustments that a new career brings. It's the fulfillment of their dream and that makes up for all the problems.

    Only you can make that decision ... but I hope I have given you a few things to think about.

    llg
    FLg8r and oramar like this.
  5. 0
    Welcome to allnurses.com!

    llg has some good points. I was "the oldest" in my RN class at late 30's, but had some ladies older than that in my LPN classes. It is up to you.

    Suebird
  6. 1
    Quote from Natbail
    Hi
    I am 51 years old and have a full time 8 - 5 job Monday through Friday. But I have always wanted to become a CNA and eventually nurse. Can I train to become a CNA/nurse evenings and weekends, or even on the internet (while still on my day job?). My eventual plan is to continue my day job while doing weekend and/or evening nursing.

    Friends are telling me that if I take an online course, no hospital will hire me. Is that correct? (I would like some responses from nurses... would you guys feel like I can be properly trained?) How long does will it take me if I do evening and weekend classes?

    What are your thoughts and opinions. Be Honest, I can take it.
    I'm not a nurse but I am a CNA. I feel that you are never too old to do anything. When you're 85 and in a nursing home do you want to look back on this with regret, wishing you had gone for it? Be aware, that it is hard physical work. Lifting and turning patients for 8 or 12 hours as a CNA is hard.

    Check to see if there are any evening or night classes you could take to be a CNA. I know in our area there is one LTC facility that does evening classes. As far as online classes go, I think in most states (probably all) you need hands on experience with patients before you can take the state test. My CNA class consisted of 2 weeks of classroom time and then after that we spent our time on the floor working as students.

    Honestly, doing the job you have now and nursing is going to be REALLY difficult. Nursing is not only physical work but it can be emotionally draining. You can work for 8 hours and never have time to pee or eat. Breaks are standing up at the nurse's station and snacking. You are not guaranteed anything.

    Whatever you decide I wish you luck!
    Aliz79 likes this.
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    Becoming a CNA is a fairly simple class to take. It shouldn't take more than a week. Most employers will pay for it, that will give you a taste of the field to even find out if you really want to be a Nurse or not. But don't let anyone tell you that you're too old to do anything. That is hogwash. Unless your dead, you're never too old to do ANYTHING! Don't let anyone stop you from following your dreams. Go for it! You're only 51! You could be a great nurse for 20 years or more! But that's for you to decide, only you know your physical limitations. As for the online courses, I don't know anything about that. If it were me, I would find out about the local community colleges LPN programs and take their evening courses (pre-reqs) and go from there. It probably wouldn't take you very long to get through the LPN program locally. Good Luck!
    futurelvn2016 likes this.
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    You are never too old to learn new stuff. You can start a CNA program on the weekends or evenings. In my area, there are many CNA program on weekends and evenings. You can start there, and see if you like to continue school to become an Rn or Lpn. Good luck to you.
  9. 0
    As others have stated in their comments, the physical aspect of nursing and the work as a CNA is labor intensive. I know as a Nurse I can spend my whole 12 hour shift on my feet and on the go. Some nights I wish I had at least 6 arms or a clone machine would be good. I wish you the best in your decision. Keep your dream close and don't let go, you'll get there.
  10. 0
    You are not too old. My mother just graduated from an RN program in May. She was 52 at the time. However, for personal reasons she decided to not work as a nurse at this time.
  11. 1
    Notice how young most of the people are who are responding that age is not a factor. As we get older, we realize that age often is a significant factor in these decisions.

    Get your feet wet by taking a CNA course and then make a decision about nursing school after you have had a "taste" of it and a chance to work closely with nurses so that you can see if it is right for you.

    Good luck,
    llg
    Nola009 likes this.
  12. 1
    Quote from llg
    Notice how young most of the people are who are responding that age is not a factor. As we get older, we realize that age often is a significant factor in these decisions.

    Get your feet wet by taking a CNA course and then make a decision about nursing school after you have had a "taste" of it and a chance to work closely with nurses so that you can see if it is right for you.

    Good luck,
    llg
    hmm... Even though I encouraged her to follow her dream, etc. I'm 41 years old so I'm certainly no spring chicken!! Those long hours get to me sometimes, which I said in my follow up post. I also advised her to take a job as a CNA to find out if she would like nursing before she invested a lot of time and money into it first. Maybe you weren't referring to my posts.
    khakiman likes this.


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