Late Career Change Advice

  1. Greetings. After nearly 30 years in various high tech jobs, I'm considering getting an RN via a community college or an accelerated BSN. I have two BAs and an MA from the early 80s. If accepted, I'd be starting a program at 56 years of age.
    1. Would my age make me less likely to be accepted into a nursing program?
    2. Would my age work against me in getting hired once I get a degree?
    3. Which path, RN via CC or Accelerated BSN makes the most sense for someone in my age bracket?

    Any input will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  2. Visit olderandwiser profile page

    About olderandwiser

    Joined: Jan '12; Posts: 1


  3. by   2bEsqtoRN
    Hey olderandwiser, welcome!!

    To aonswer your questions:

    1. No
    2. No
    3. Accelerated BSN, not due to your age bracket but moreso your educational qualifications. The BSN is also become the preferred degree to have by employers.

    And please remember, age is nothing but a number!
  4. by   laflaca
    Hey olderandwiser....I'm older (though maybe not wiser) too, applying to programs in my 40's. I also have a BA and a master's degree. There are so many pathways into nursing that it really gets confusing.

    Your age probably works FOR you in getting into a program - many seem to actively seek nontraditional or underrepresented students (older students, men, diverse ethnic and linguistic backgrounds). Don't know about hiring, since I'm not there yet myself. There is certainly age discrimination against people in their 50's and 60's, but I can't believe it's any worse in nursing than in high tech.

    More than age, I think these are the main things to consider as you decide where to apply:

    1) Where you plan to live, what job/role you want, and employers' requirements in your area. Where I live now (in TX) a lot of hospital nurses, probably most of them, are RN's with 2-year community college degrees. Where I worked previously (in MN) hospitals had a strong preference for BSN's. Seems to vary a lot by state/community. In my own case I know I want to be a nurse practitioner, so a master's degree will be required.

    2) Whether or not you have the financial resources, or can take out loans, to throw yourself into the craziness of an intense, accelerated program. If you need to have time to work and a reasonable income no matter what, a traditional BSN or a CC program is more flexible.

    3) How the prerequisites work out for the programs in your area, and the time frame for finishing them. This was a major issue for me, as each program had dramatically different requirements (some with zero pre-reqs, some requiring nine or ten classes). I originally wanted to do an accelerated BSN, but Texas has a bunch of weird rules for bachelor's degrees (courses in Texas history, performing arts, all sorts of things my college didn't require - didn't make sense to spend 18 months on that stuff).

    You could also consider direct-entry master's programs in nursing, which typically take about three years to finish. Otherwise, I'm guessing that a BSN would make the most sense - you'd take mostly the same classes either at the CC or the BSN program, so why not come out with the higher degree? Good luck, whatever you decide!