42 Years Old - Is it too late to become a nurse? - page 4

Hello Nurse Beth, I am a 42 year old wife and mother of 3 children 9, 4, and 3 still at home and considering a career change. I have had a life changing experience which has pricked my heart to... Read More

  1. by   Adams137
    You're an inspiration to me. If all goes as planned I will graduate with my BSN in Dec 2018 at 57 years young!
  2. by   Atomiccafe
    To all the the 40s and over. Thank you for sharing. You're all an inspiration. Sometimes I question myself if I can make it through, and reading your posts validate that it's never too late for our age.
  3. by   virgogirl
    That's 5 years of schooling (3 at CC and 2 at a private university). I live in an area where it's very competitive and difficult to get into nursing programs. I wanted to continue unempeded...I chose a school that I knew I could get into if I jumped through all the hoops and it worked! Many friends had to reapply over and over and it took a couple of years to get into school...some called me crazy but I got my BSN 2 years before they did. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do...
  4. by   Adams137
    I've already replied about how I'm 55 and just finished block 1. Some people mentioned the expense but I'm doing a nursing program at a community college and my bachelors in nursing at a university online at the same time. It's very affordable. If you really want to become a nurse and you have a great support system you can do it! This is my second career and the career I really wanted to do when I was young but for different reasons did not pursue it. Now that my kids are grown I get to pursue my dream career.
  5. by   Mr Pitstop
    Don't do it! At 42 years old you will still have at least 5, maybe 6 years before you get your Bachelor's Degree, which you will need in order to get hired. This will bring you close to 50 and unless you plan on retiring at 75, expect to work for the rest of your life. In any event, you will need at least one year experience in the hospital setting to get any type of permanent position which can take a few years to accomplish. Before you know it, you'll be 50 in a field recruiting 25-year-old new graduates.

    I can only give you my opinion based on my experiences. I decided to "start a new career" at 43 and it was the biggest mistake I've ever made. After nearly 5 years, first taking all the required prerequisites (sciences have a 10-year expiration so any science you've taken in college years ago, will have expired and you will have to take them over) then getting through a two-year nursing school program, and finally passing the NCLEX on the first attempt, I was still not able to be considered to be hired unless I enrolled in a Bachelor's program, which I did.

    After enrolling at a state university and beginning the program the best I could get was a job in a nursing home with a 40-1 patient-nurse ratio. Since I was a new nurse, I couldn't keep up with the 3 minute per patient med pass pace and it did not work out well. I resigned before I ended up losing my license. After many attempts to get hired at a hospital, I took another Nursing position at a nursing home, this time as a charge nurse. Unfortunately for me, my med pass nurse had a med error and in the nursing field, if a med-pass nurse is fired so is the charge nurse, since I was responsible for what she does.

    So, at this point, at 48, I have no references, no hospital experience and I still don't have my Bachelor's degree. But here is the worst part; I can no longer afford to finish school so I am one semester shy of graduating. I cannot afford to "look for work" which is a full-time job in and of itself sending out resumes one hundred at a time, and I have spent my life savings to the point where I live day to day working part time as an auto technician, the field I spent 20+ years in and what got me to the point of deciding to become a nurse.

    Moreover, I hate being a nurse. Go on any thread here and you will read all the horror stories, and they're all true. Overworked, overtaxed, understaffed and under-resourced. And no matter what I do, how I do it, it always seems to be wrong. Don't do it that way, do it this way. Don't do it this way, do it that way! You document too much, you don't document enough, you need an order for that, you don't need an order for that, whatever!

    I'm done with it. I am 50 years old now. I wasted eight years of my life and a hundred thousand dollars. I alienated all my friends and family buried in books and sleeping in the library, studied all night for tests that have no correct answers, only most correct, and wrote papers on subjects I couldn't care less about; all for nothing.

    I worked nights and slept away my days and I never even finished obtaining my Bachelor's. Soon my registered nurse license will expire and I have no desire to renew it. I went back to my old field, I now work full time repairing cars, overhauling transmissions, diagnosing check engine lights and doing head gaskets on Dodge Durango 3.7 liter engines at least once a month. And I love it. I should have never left the field.

    I'm giving you the other side of the coin. Sure, it's noble to grant you best wishes, "go for it," you only live once. There are so many success stories to go by. But there is not always a happy ending. Think long and hard about it before you take the plunge because the day you start nursing school you will be treading water and one dosage calculation problem could mean sink or swim. But that's just one man's opinion.
  6. by   DianeHuber
    [QUOTE=Nurse Beth;9371088]Hello Nurse Beth,
    I am a 42 year old wife and mother of 3 children 9, 4, and 3 still at home and considering a career change. I have had a life changing experience which has pricked my heart to attend nursing school. I am really nervous. Can you give me an honest answer, is too late to change careers?

    As another poster said, if you are not dead you are not too old! I was 54 when I graduated with my ADN. By 2015, I had completed my BSN. And, I have been accepted to FNP graduate school starting in the fall 2017. I will be 63 when I start that program, and 66 when I finish it.

    You are only as old as you think you are so go for your dreams regardless of age! No regrets is my motto!
  7. by   jodi'sdream
    Hello! It is NEVER too late. I am 50, working on a second degree (BSN) and have just finished my junior year. You can do this! Several of my classmates have children, a prior degree, and are various ages. I say it is better to have tried than to look back and wish you had. Best wishes!
  8. by   marysuehil
    I am 53 and just completed the first year of my program. It is doable. Just go for it.
  9. by   LuKeeU
    Why is that?
  10. by   LuKeeU
    With God all things are possible. Your situation is yours, not hers.
    God bless you in your struggles.
  11. by   JimShemwell
    As a 51 year old that passed the NCLEX at 50, I can say it is never too late! While I have had a hard time finding a job, I would not change a thing in terms of going back to school. As a matter of fact, I am back in school again for my BSN. After that...I may go for my NP. You are never too old to follow your heart. Go for it!