Are you healthy enough and physically able to do the job to start with. Most of the country does not have safe or no lift environments so the risk of injury is great.
Second do you have enough retirement money set aside. You are so close to retirement it would be better to save money for retirement rather than taking out student loans or using your retirement savings to go back to school. If you take out retirement before 59 1/2 years old you will have to pay ordinary income taxes plus 10% penalty federal and state at least in some cases, a loss of possibly 50% of your income right there.
I don't think you'll have enough time to make that money up. Student loans are an even worse option as you won't have enough time to pay them off before retirement. Think long and hard before doing this and read thru the many posts of people who can't get jobs or are frustrated and disastified with their working conditions because I don't think things are going to get better for nurses when the govt, employers
, and insurance companies are always trying to cut costs.
As was already mentioned you cannot get rid of student loans and social security will be garnished if need be to repay them. Could you afford to retire if that was the case?
This country puts too much emphasis on education as the way to advance financially and socially and the end result is so many Americans having spent thousands getting degrees they cannot get appropriate jobs with and then stuck in dead-end low paying jobs and trapped in student loan debt.
Congress recognized this truth which is probably the reason Banruptcy protections were taken away from Student loan debt back in 2005. They realized many students would never get decent jobs to pay the loans back and to prevent record bankruptcy defaults they took away all consumer protections from student loans.
Before you invest the time and money in this venture, please shadow nurses or take a job as a CNA and learn if you are up to the physical aspects of the job and if you like it and if you can handle the stress involved. It is unfortunate that we do not have a safe no-lift environment in nursing but with Bush demolishing the ergonomics legislation Clinton put in place so many years ago, I don't see things improving anytime soon.