Changing careers

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    I'm a medical corpsman in the US Coast Guard, and by the time I retire I would have served 30 years in the Coast Guard, but I will be 48 years old, and I have already completed my bachelors degree in Health science, and currently working on my masters degree which will be finished before I retire. The question I have is I'm too old to apply to nursing school?. I was thinking about trying to work for the health department, but really want to be a nurse. I have alredy completed some of the pre-reqs for nursing. One other item that I'm concerned with is that I'm an African American male, and I dont see hardly any African american male nurses in the field. I know regardless of color male nurses are the minority.
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    You definately are not too old.

    I can't speak for how it feels to be a person of color in nursing school, but you are correct there aren't many African American male RNs. Sadly, I can think of only two LPNs in my facility and no RNs. You could be a role model.

    Good luck to you.
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    I say go for it! 48 isn't old! As to being a minority, again, I don't think that's an issue. BTW, thanks for your service from a USN vet married to an Air Force retiree.
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    You're not too old and from what I've seen, race is irrelevant on the unit. What counts is competance. Go for it.
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    Tex,

    I retired from the USAF in July of '05. I was a space geek. I am now getting my pre-nursing stuff out of way. There are more out there like you and I than you think. And I am a black male also. There are a few of us out there. My wife works with at least two that I know of. She works in the ED and both of those RNs have EMT backgrounds.

    Wifey tells me all the time that I am not too old. She also works with at least three retired military that switched careers after retirement.
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    Quote from tex184
    I'm an African American male, and I dont see hardly any African american male nurses in the field. I know regardless of color male nurses are the minority.
    You are correct, and the numbers are always going to be very small when you're looking for a minority within a minority. But, I genuinely believe that nursing is one of those professions that you can do well in regardless of your age or what color you are---as long as you have the knowledge, the skills and the willingness to work. Would you believe that I graduated from nursing school with a guy who was 60 years old! Yes, its actually true.
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    Quote from NurseguyFL
    You are correct, and the numbers are always going to be very small when you're looking for a minority within a minority. But, I genuinely believe that nursing is one of those professions that you can do well in regardless of your age or what color you are---as long as you have the knowledge, the skills and the willingness to work. Would you believe that I graduated from nursing school with a guy who was 60 years old! Yes, its actually true.
    I was talking to a nurse on Friday ,and she said that A woman just graduated from a nursing program at the age of 65 after retirement as a teacher. I was reading Businessweek and it said that nursing is in the top 20 of second careers. This is encouraging news from that article, and the response on this post.
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    I started nursing school at 52. Where besides in health care can a person get started in a decent career at our age right alongside kids who went into their prereqs right out of high school?

    One better: although it will irk you at times to be treated like a person of zero discipline and leadership ability, recall that classes are geared to folks right out of high school with no work history, let alone military experience.

    You will have to restrain yourself when you are stifled in the expression of your thoughts in early classes. Later, your classmates will come to depend on you for your understanding of what makes people and systems tick.

    Don't worry about being a minority. Being a man means you're already in the minority: feared, stereotyped and excluded by some members of the majority, whether instructor or student. But most become accepting and some, seeing and disliking discriminatory acts, become actively supportive.

    Proportion of minorities among men who are nurses seems to me similar to ratios in the general population. Of course, this makes men of color an ultra-minority. Personally, I like not getting lost in the crowd.
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    Aditionally, your military experience is a great asset. All that training in self-discipline, critical thinking, and prioritizing will serve you well as an RN. I think you have the potential to become an awesome nurse!


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