Dear Nurse Beth,
I am a 37yr old procrastinator, who is full of regrets and is wondering if it's too late to start nursing school. I beg of you to bear with me as I'm full of questions and having never attended college a day in my life. To start, I have a GED and have been skating through the work force on vocational certificates and experience for the past 20 years.
Now I'm unemployed and I'm finding it harder and harder to get a job without a degree. I've decided to go to college but I'm afraid that by the time I'm done with school, my age will be a road block in attaining employment. Am I too old? That's my first question.
Secondly, for a person of my age seeking higher education, what's the best course of action to take to start a nursing career? What I mean is, where should I start? Should I go for the LPN cert, the AAS in Nursing or just the full on Bachelor's degree in nursing? What do you think would be the fastest and/or more efficient and effective road to take towards my goal of becoming a nurse?
I have no idea on how to even begin the process. I've read about prerequisites, and remedial classes. There's also entrance exams and not being accepted in a nursing program. I feel so lost and overwhelmed that I just want to kick myself for not having done this years ago. What should I do? I live in NY (NYC) and things seem super complicated here. Can you help me figure out what to do?
No, you are not too old by any means. As far as being lost, we were all lost when we started.
The first thing to do is start. Apply to your community college and start taking general education classes. Call them tomorrow. Make an appointment.
General education courses are classes that everyone has to take such as English and Math. Your college will give you a placement test to determine which English class to best place you in. Don’t worry, it just helps you get started.
You may want to start taking only one or two classes to get acclimated. Many colleges offer night classes to help adult students.
A little further down the road, you can learn about nursing pre-requisites, but you have time. You will be talking to other students, and a counselor (often you learn more from other students). Basically, nursing pre-requisites are science classes such as Anatomy and Physiology.
You have time to decide whether to pursue an LPN, ADN, or BSN. It will depend on your long-term goals and how well you adapt to school. Career-wise, an LPN is the most limiting option, then an ADN, and then your BSN.
Don’t kick yourself and don’t compare yourself to others. The past is the past, but the future is whatever you make it. I will cheer you on, friend!
My best friend in nursing school was in her early 40's, newly divorced and looking for a new career. I was young, naive and barely focused. I admired her immensely. After we graduated she went on to get specialty training as a surgical asst and got a great job in her hometown. We lost touch but I will never forget her
Last edit by lavenderskies on Nov 1, '15