New Male Nurse

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    Hey all,
    New to this site. I've gotten a lot of great info so far.
    I am a 38 yo gay male. I already have a BA in Psych and have been a generic caseworker for a long while. I just started nursing school this month. I am on my "new career path", I hope. One week in. Already bogged down with the reading. I'm questioning if this is worth it... if I can hack it... if I'm too old to start this... if the horror stories of nursing school are true... Any other older guys in my shoes? Any tips from those that made it? How do you organize all the stuff you have to get done?

    Signed
    -doubting in Florida (mike)
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    Morning, Mike:
    Well, let's see - first off, I'm 49 years old, just signed up for some pre-reqs for an LVN program at a local CC & have been working on a CNA training program since before Christmas. As far as horror stories - well, no doubt it's tough (the CNA program I'm in is downright brutal - 4 1/2 weeks to cover what a traditional covers in 9 weeks, plus the class has been a disorganized mess) but do-able.
    My take - if you want it bad enough, it'll happen. A lot of whether you'll succeed really boils down to motivation; the younger students (for the most part) are not as well motivated as the older ones (let's face it - if you're 18-24 y.o. being cooped up in a room with a bunch of study material when you'd rather be out partying with friends just plain sucks) but tend to assimilate new information more easily. So, there are pluses & minuses for everyone.
    As far as organizing - helps if you've got someone that can take over the most time-critical tasks (shopping, paying bills, etc.) but what it amounts to is that there's a certain amount of self-sacrifice involved; anyone who's been a parent can tell you all about that (I haven't - but I did take care of my late mother for several years, which has helped with the priority-juggling) and yep - plan on missing out on some things for the next few years.
    One other thing - plan on having to back-burner Allnurses periodically as well (ouch!). But, we'll still be here if you need us!

    ----- Dave
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    Congratulations on getting started. I'm your age and started an ABSN program 6 months ago after a long time in a different career. I was definitely doubtful in the beginning and even went on a few job interviews, thinking I might drop out of school after the first block.

    I looked at it this way, I still have a lot of working years ahead of me, so why not try something that might be a better fit. I figured I could always go back to what I was doing, but at least I'm giving nursing a try. It's definitely intimidating at first, there are just so many things getting thrown at you, especially in the beginning. Try to stay organized and you'll figure out what's important pretty quickly. I stopped trying to read everything early on, and just focused on the important points. You'll figure out what works best for you, but I put all of my deadlines, test dates, etc. in a calendar and make a list each week of my priorities.

    So far, I have not experienced any 'horror stories' - almost all of my experiences have been pretty good so far. Smart, dedicated instructors, great clinical experiences. I can't believe how much I've learned in just 6 months. I think being a bit older is an advantage - I'm definitely more organized than I was at 20, and have more life experience that turns out to be helpful.

    Best of luck.
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    I'm 46 and starting my ADN classes on Monday. If you are too old, then I'm definitely too old. With age comes wisdom and experience which no one can teach you. Enjoy the process, learn all that you can and do the best you can. I think a lot of the horror stories are told by those who don't know how to organize, study and work in this type of environment. You have a degree and have worked in the real world.

    Good luck!
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    Hey.
    First of all congratulations on being a new student. We need more men in this profession. Also, I commend you on being open with your sexuality. Believe it or not, we need people from all walks of life as it only enhances the working environment by bringing in a new set of ideas and culture. Don't be wary. Nursing school is strenuous but rewarding. You are still young. Fight the good fight!!!
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    Quote from Leobear73
    Hey all,
    New to this site. I've gotten a lot of great info so far.
    I am a 38 yo gay male. I already have a BA in Psych and have been a generic caseworker for a long while. I just started nursing school this month. I am on my "new career path", I hope. One week in. Already bogged down with the reading. I'm questioning if this is worth it... if I can hack it... if I'm too old to start this... if the horror stories of nursing school are true... Any other older guys in my shoes? Any tips from those that made it? How do you organize all the stuff you have to get done?

    Signed
    -doubting in Florida (mike)
    Mike, I was just there last semester. Im 38. It's BRUTAL. You must get a study guide to help you understand the main concepts (prentice hall nursing fundamentals) and answer the questions in your nursing text book JUST TO GET USE TO answering nursing questions.. Don't worry about what you score on the pre/post tests, just learn from the rationals of why your answer was wrong. As for can you hack it, I studied night and day, got a 81 as my final grade. Also, I'm a heterosexual male, but, I don't know what that would have to do with me answering your question, food for thought.

    Work hard, you will pass.
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    I graduated with a BA in Biology back in 2002.

    I decided to go back to school at 31 (as a married man with a child on the way no-less), and applied to an accelerated DE program for a FNP. Halfway through I can honestly say it's been a great experience. My cohort ranges in age from early-20's to late-50's, and out of 60 students, there were 5 males. A year and a half later, we are down to three men.

    Its a lot of work, but I find it incredibly rewarding. I have to say, it was more difficult for me at the start; learning a whole new language and way to think. It gets easier as it goes, and the more work you do early, the easier it will be down the road for you. What worked for me was scheduling reading time after class in the library, then working with a study group weekly.

    I have had no bad experiences associated with being a guy in the profession. I have had three amazing experiences where patients have publicly announced how happy they were to have a male nurse.

    Hope all is well. Shout if you need help.
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    I became a nurse at 41. If you decide to do it, then be committed and make it a priority in your life. It is an awesome career. I just joined the Air National Guard and am having all sorts of adventures.
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    Congratulations on your new career path! I know it can be daunting, especially so early in your path toward a BSN. I am in my late 30s, and went through nursing school with a family, mortgage, and all the trimmings! It can be done my man, it can be done! My program was an accelerated program as well. I got my BA back in the 90s, and going back to school was a tough decision, but well worth it. I think as an older student, I definitely had a different perspective with a different motivation compared to my younger peers in my cohort. When they were out partying, I was at home with my kids, and that was all good with me! I also found that many gravitated toward me and other peers in my age range for advice given our life experience. The majority of my cohort were young 20-somethings, and only a few of us ranged from our late 30s to 50s! It is a great profession, one with much flexibility in the event you decide to have a family (or if you currently have one). It also allows you to branch off in so many directions, as I am sure you are well aware. It is a tremendous amount of work/reading, but it can be done. I would suggest you formulate a good group for support, studying, etc. That helped me tremendously.

    Hang in there, dude. You can do it! The time does fly by quickly! Any other questions, concerns, thoughts, feel free to ask!
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    Leobear. . . We need more Men in nursing. Nursing school is tough. That is a fact for everyone. The horror stories that you hear may be true and may not. A lot of that depends on the school and program that you attend. We began our RN program with 32+ Students and finished with about 14. Nursing school will test your time management skills and put you under a lot of stress. If I had to guess I would say some of the stress is intentional to see if the student can adjust to the stress of the job. You will have to read a LOT, you will have to work for free in clinical rotations and you will be exposed to infectious and suffering people. Its nothing you can't handle . Typically the older people in my nursing class did better. They were used to navagating the politics of the workplace and they didn't seem to have as much of a desire to go out bar hoping during their free time.

    Your class performance usually will be graded objectivly based on test scores.

    Your clinical performance usually will be graded subjectivly based on what your instructor thinks of your performance. Be nice, show up on time with a good attitude, and work hard. If you hear someone complaining about a worker or another student do your best to stay out of the mix.


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