Husband wants to try nursing at 44

  1. I am his second wife and ever since he's known me I've been doing prereqs, on the waiting list, in nursing school and now, finally - an RN! So here I am a new grad RN and he has decided belatedly that he would like to try nursing.

    His background is this: BS in Computer Science, many desk jobs in programming and teaching programming, some experience working in retail management. He is a GREAT teacher, and a GREAT salesman. He also is a dive instructor so has some experience with search and rescue and helping drowning people, etc. He is also fantastic with kids (has five of his own), the kind of big teddy bear type of guy that kids and dogs just love. He has been burned out on programming/retail for awhile now and hates the 9-5 desk thing. He has been staying home the last year to raise our 1 yr old while I finished school.

    I think that actually he would make a fantastic nurse but we are both sort of daunted by the idea of starting all over again - with the prereqs, the classes, the studying, the NCLEX, etc. Is it worth it for him to try? Is it too late? Anyone other males out there who decided to recareer as a nurse at this age?

    Melissa
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  2. 60 Comments

  3. by   fins
    Melissa,

    I started nursing when I was 41 years old. I'm never going to get younger, so it was the youngest that I could do it. It's only too late once you're dead.

    That doesn't mean he should do it, necessarily. There are practical questions to be answered, of course, about time, family finances, etc. They are important questions to truly attend to, and not sweep it away with some vague "we'll make it work." If you'll make it work, figure out HOW - BEFORE you start.

    There is also the huge question of whether he really wants to be a nurse, or if he's just sort of toying with the idea because he's burned out at work. It would be truly a shame to go through all the hard work and sacrifice for something that turned out to be only a passing fancy.

    But if he truly wants to be a nurse, and you guys can make the finances and the family life work, then why not? He's not going to be any older if he goes to nursing school, than if he doesn't.
  4. by   mstigerlily
    Thanks for your response - I'm going to let him know there is a guy out there who started in his 40's too. May I ask what you did before and what drove you to nursing?

    I think he had never seen nursing as a man's career before. His dad is quite the man's man - a 30 yr veteran of the marine's. Now his dad is gone though and his family is supportive of him being an RN. Recently, he saw the two men in my nursing school and the numerous new grad RNs that got hired along with me. Now he is interested. We'll see how he does with all the prerequisites, it's a long hard haul!

    Melissa
  5. by   rencio99
    I thought I was the oldest in our class. I'm 32.
  6. by   HONEYBEAR
    Quote from mstigerlily
    I am his second wife and ever since he's known me I've been doing prereqs, on the waiting list, in nursing school and now, finally - an RN! So here I am a new grad RN and he has decided belatedly that he would like to try nursing.

    His background is this: BS in Computer Science, many desk jobs in programming and teaching programming, some experience working in retail management. He is a GREAT teacher, and a GREAT salesman. He also is a dive instructor so has some experience with search and rescue and helping drowning people, etc. He is also fantastic with kids (has five of his own), the kind of big teddy bear type of guy that kids and dogs just love. He has been burned out on programming/retail for awhile now and hates the 9-5 desk thing. He has been staying home the last year to raise our 1 yr old while I finished school.

    I think that actually he would make a fantastic nurse but we are both sort of daunted by the idea of starting all over again - with the prereqs, the classes, the studying, the NCLEX, etc. Is it worth it for him to try? Is it too late? Anyone other males out there who decided to recareer as a nurse at this age?

    Melissa
    Melissa,
    My husband will be graduating in 5 weeks from nursing school, this will be his 2nd time going back to school, he has been working for an airline as an engineer since 1999. I graduated from nursing school in 2002, after September 11th, my hubby has been laid off, called back, and laid off again more times than I can remember. So after I graduated, my hubby said he wanted to try nursing......yes the road has been long, but we see the light at the end of the tunnel......it is never to late to go back to school....I say go for it....... my hubby will be 40 in November.
  7. by   nursemike
    I'm 48, and just had my last class yesterday. It hasn't been easy. You should have a pretty good idea the amount of time you have to put in. But, on the whole, I'd say it has been worth it. And, really, people half my age had a pretty tough time, too.

    I would have to say that my health has suffered, a little. I don't think it's anything permanent, but late nights and early mornings take their toll, and I would advise anyone starting nursing school, especially in middle age, to be as healthy as possible before you begin, and practice the best health you can while you're in. Try to allow for adequate sleep, eat sensibly (that Nursing 20 won't come off nearly as easily as for a younger person) and get some exercise, of some sort, somehow.

    I do find that life experience has been helpful, though. It gives you a different perspective on some things. Some things seem less important, some things you appreciate more than you might have. Talking to patients is a bit easier, and staff is less likely to treat you like a baby.
  8. by   lady_jezebel
    Quote from mstigerlily
    I am his second wife and ever since he's known me I've been doing prereqs, on the waiting list, in nursing school and now, finally - an RN! So here I am a new grad RN and he has decided belatedly that he would like to try nursing.

    His background is this: BS in Computer Science, many desk jobs in programming and teaching programming, some experience working in retail management. He is a GREAT teacher, and a GREAT salesman. He also is a dive instructor so has some experience with search and rescue and helping drowning people, etc. He is also fantastic with kids (has five of his own), the kind of big teddy bear type of guy that kids and dogs just love. He has been burned out on programming/retail for awhile now and hates the 9-5 desk thing. He has been staying home the last year to raise our 1 yr old while I finished school.

    I think that actually he would make a fantastic nurse but we are both sort of daunted by the idea of starting all over again - with the prereqs, the classes, the studying, the NCLEX, etc. Is it worth it for him to try? Is it too late? Anyone other males out there who decided to recareer as a nurse at this age?

    Melissa
    It's so worth it, since this is what his heart is telling him to do. Yes, he needs to go for it. If he decides after a few classes that it's not for him, then he really hasn't wasted time -- for a lot of personal growth takes place just in the pursuit of a dream!
  9. by   prmenrs
    I would say yes as well-go for it! As one poster said, he's not gonna get any younger!
  10. by   BSN14John
    Melissa,

    Former software male here who begins an accelerated BSN program May 16th and will have a bachelors in 14 months. I have really looked into nursing over the past couple of years, took prereqs while working etc. Really excited about it and have planned it financially to the best of our ability. Tell him to take some prereqs and see if he would be interested in it.

    I have classes with students who are working in hospitals, clinics and public health and are very glad to give their comments about what to expect.
    Personally, I KNOW it is a great decision to go into nursing and actually help people.

    By the way, I am 42---get a few smirks once in awhile from young classmates but I just act like I am 20 something again even though I don't look near 20 again!

    John
  11. by   malenurse1
    Hi Melissa! I say he should go for it if that is what he truely wants! I just turned 40 in April and I graduate this December! I agree with the need for us middle-agers to be physically fit prior to begining cause the long hours can be draining ... but as an RN yourself ... you know that. It is all worth it in the long run though and I love being a nurse!!!
  12. by   mstigerlily
    Wow, so many responses! Thank you so much esp those of you who e-mailed, my husband is really feeling more confident about trying the program and most likely he will be attending National University instead of the local community college where I went (wait list is now way too long!) so maybe there will be some older students. We are going to try to make it work. He starts his first prereq class in June so I will keep you all posted. He already graduated from National University with a BS in Computer Science so hopefully it will be easier for him to meet their graduation and admission requirements.

    Melissa
  13. by   sschouest
    Melissa:

    I'm only 20y male....I say tell him to go for it...

    Like someone metioned before....It will make him feel younger by being with the traditional college students....They have many "non-traditional" students in NSU's BSN program and they all hang out with us.. I know they feel great by having friends their kids age....hopefully he will like it
  14. by   casualjim
    I'm with the "go for it" group. I'm 43, just retiring from the Navy and in pre-reqs now. Look at it from the other end of the telescope, what'll he do if he decides not to be a nurse? Back to a job that already burnt him out? It's do-able, and as you well know, worthwhile.
    aloha
    Jim

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