Need advice?

  1. Hey everyone. Well I'm 30 years old and still trying to figure out what to do with my life. I served 4 years in the military as a Security Police officer but I know I don't want to be a cop. I've spent the last six years working in and out of call centers and I'm getting nowhere. Maybe I'm a late bloomer but I know I need to do something with my life. I've always been interested in the Healthcare field and I'm interested in being a PA. I've also considered Nursing. I was thinking that becoming an RN would be a good way to make a living and gain experience in the healthcare field on my way to becoming a PA.
    I guess what I want to know is that a good way to go? Am I setting my sights to high at my age? How difficult is Nursing school and how hard is it to get in? Once you are a RN, is it difficult to work and continue to go to school?
    I have many more questions, but I'll wait for answers on these. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Last edit by Big_Al on Dec 24, '05
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   TheCommuter
    If you want to be an RN, then solely pursue nursing.

    If you want to be a PA, then solely pursue physician's assisting.

    However, do not become a nurse because you think you'll gain experience that will help you as a PA. You should only consider nursing because it is what you truly wish to do. The RN scope of practice is so totally different from the PA scope of practice; therefore, earning a nursing degree might not help you realize your dream of becoming a PA. Perhaps you should focus on one or the other.

    That was just my $0.02...
  4. by   CRNAhopefulguy
    you can become a nurse and then take a few extra credits which would get you into a PA program and then when u graduate nursing school u can work part time as a nurse and do the PA thing in school. PA requires a lot more sciences, while nursing only requires a few. PA also have different sciences, like for instance you have to take chem 1 and 2, while in nursing you might only need to take chem 1 or like a specific nursing chem. check requirements for each program

    and you dont need 4 threads, i think we all see the first one.
  5. by   BigB
    I was a security Police officer in the Air Force for four years, only to get out and go to college to be a fire fighter. Then i got into nursing and it has been the best decision. Age is not an issuse....We had a 60 years old graduate with us and the average age in my class was 34
  6. by   Big_Al
    My mistake on the 4 threads. My comp wouldn't submit it so I clicked it a few too many times. I should've known better.
    So is nursing school difficult to get into? I've talked to a few people and they said most schools have waiting lists. They also said that it's tough to get through. I'm concerned because I've never been to college so I don't know what to expect.
  7. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from Big_Al
    My mistake on the 4 threads. My comp wouldn't submit it so I clicked it a few too many times. I should've known better.
    So is nursing school difficult to get into? I've talked to a few people and they said most schools have waiting lists. They also said that it's tough to get through. I'm concerned because I've never been to college so I don't know what to expect.
    If you want to get accepted into a typical RN program, first you will need to take prerequisite classes such as algebra, chemistry, microbiology, and anatomy & physiology. If your grade point average on these prerequisite classes is above 3.5, then you have a decent chance of being accepted into an ADN (associate degree in nursing) program. If your grade point average is lower than 3.5, you will encounter difficulties in gaining acceptance into most nursing programs. Also, you were right when you said that nursing programs are hard to get into due to long waiting lists.

    What I did (which may or may not appeal to you) is complete a 1-year LVN program. If you have your LVN license, then all you need is one additional year at the community college in order to complete your RN. They are called LPN-to-RN bridge programs. Once you have your LPN, you take an additional 30 units to become an RN. Basically, you get to bypass the first year of RN school and attend the second year. Then you are eligible to take the state boards that allow you to work as an RN.

    Good luck to you!
  8. by   Thunderwolf
    Big_Al, let me say, Welcome to you!

    You're 30 years old...still a babe in the woods...no, you are not too old at all. In fact, if you read our forums, you will find many future nurses and current nurses going back to school...in their 40's and 50's. So, do not let your age hold you back. You are still young. How's that for some encouragement!

    PA or RN?....Hmmm, the choice is yours, my friend, because they are both two different fields. However, many a PA programs are going towards the Masters level in order to make it more rigorous. You may want to check this out in your area. You can obtain an RN with either an Associates or a Bachelors. There may be some 3 year Diploma programs still left out there, but much has been fazed out.

    So, it depends on you....your needs, your time line, and your ability to pay. If the military is footing the bill, great!...one less worry. I'm also ex-military. Uncle Sam picked up my BSN.

    If you are single, definitely do it now....makes it easier.

    Any way, I wish you the best in your decision...and in your career.
    Last edit by Thunderwolf on Dec 25, '05
  9. by   Corvette Guy
    Quote from Big_Al
    Hey everyone. Well I'm 30 years old and still trying to figure out what to do with my life. I served 4 years in the military as a Security Police officer but I know I don't want to be a cop. I've spent the last six years working in and out of call centers and I'm getting nowhere. Maybe I'm a late bloomer but I know I need to do something with my life. I've always been interested in the Healthcare field and I'm interested in being a PA. I've also considered Nursing. I was thinking that becoming an RN would be a good way to make a living and gain experience in the healthcare field on my way to becoming a PA.
    I guess what I want to know is that a good way to go? Am I setting my sights to high at my age? How difficult is Nursing school and how hard is it to get in? Once you are a RN, is it difficult to work and continue to go to school?
    I have many more questions, but I'll wait for answers on these. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Sights too high at 30 yrs old? Gimme break... I did not even start college until I was 32 yrs old.

    Do you want to be a PA, or an RN? If its a toss up for now, may I suggest you find a degree plan of each. Then, lay each degree plan side by side and take the common prereqs first. This will buy you some time to research both fields more indepth.

    BTW, never let your age alone be a barrier to your goals. Otherwise, the "age excuse" is just that, an excuse. LOL, I'm like a good bottle of fine wine, I just keep getting better with age. :chuckle

    Good luck!
  10. by   danu3
    Quote from Corvette Guy
    Sights too high at 30 yrs old? Gimme break... I did not even start college until I was 32 yrs old.
    30 years old? I think it is too young to be a nurse at 30
  11. by   Soleilpie
    Most PA programs require you to have some sort of health care experience and thus having a nursing background would be great. The thing to keep in mind is that most PA programs are now masters programs and most of them, if not all of them, require you to have a bachelors degree. Also, most programs have prereqs that include two semesters of general chem with a lab, two semesters of general biology with lab and some require upper level bio and chem classes. You'll have to do some research on the PA schools you want to attend and plan your undergrad around that. I believe many nursing schools require intro to chem but if I were you, I would take general chem in place of that, but again it depends on what the PA schools require. I've never been through a nursing program so I really don't know just how difficult they are. My sister is an ICU nurse and I know it was very tough for her and she had a 4.0 when she entered the nursing program. I think if it's something you really want to do and you have a lot of drive, you'll be successful. Good Luck!
  12. by   kjustur
    Yes I do.... I'm very interested in becoming a nurse! Are there any programs available to me to assist me financially? I'm 42 and really work in a dead-end job where I can't afford to put myself through school!
  13. by   suzy253
    Although most diploma schools are few and far between, they still exist. You could check that out for your state/area as well. Only pre-req needed for mine was Chemistry; the other associated science courses, e.g. Anatomy, Physiology, etc. etc. are incorporated into the first two years--you take the courses while you are attending nursing school & taking the nursing courses. Good luck on whatever you decide.
  14. by   Soleilpie
    Quote from kjustur
    Yes I do.... I'm very interested in becoming a nurse! Are there any programs available to me to assist me financially? I'm 42 and really work in a dead-end job where I can't afford to put myself through school!
    There are scholarships and grants available if you qualify. The one thing that many people are afraid to consider but makes getting a degree very possible, is financial aid. The Federal Stafford Loan is a loan through the government. You do not start paying them back until 6 months after you graduate or drop out. There is the subsidized one in which the gov't pays the interest while you're in school. In other words, interest does not accumulate while you're in school.There is the unsubsidized one and that one the interest starts accumulating as soon as you get the loan. You can take out both loans if you need it. If you're a freshman and took out both loans, the max you could get annually is $6,625, sophomore is $7,500, and Junior and seior gets $10,500. I took both loans as the full amount and I now have my BS degree. You'll have to most likely attend college full-time in order to get the loan. Just contact the financial aid office at the school you want to attend and they'll get you started :wink2: It's within reach and well worth it!
    Here's a couple of links from my old school about it:
    http://www.uccs.edu/%7Efinaidse/stafford.shtml
    http://www.uccs.edu/%7Efinaidse/loanlimits.shtml

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