Confused about next steps

  1. Hi, all. I'm not a nurse, but many years ago, I'd thought about becoming one. Back then, my high school counselor dissuaded me from that choice. "Why on earth would you want to do THAT?" she'd said, so condescendingly. Hurt, I decided to study journalism instead. While in college, I earned average grades in my journalism classes but received my first A+ in anatomy/physiology! I was thrilled about anything medically or scientifically related.

    To make a long story short, I became a freelance editor, a newspaper reporter, and a health care writer. All the while, I was building a family, too. And my husband was moving up the corporate ladder and is now a television executive. I became a stay-at-home mom and have been one for 10 years.

    My dilemma is this...I am now 48 years old. I have a 13-year-old girl and a 7-year-old boy. I manage the health care of my mother-in-law and father-in-law. In the back of my mind, there's this nagging feeling that I should return to school and become a nurse after all, even though I am almost 50. And although my husband earns a lot of money, I feel that he doesn't manage it well. And his industry is changing quickly (and he seems blind to it all). As a back up for providing a future for our children, I'd like to be able to contribute financially even though I don't really have to at this point. Does that make sense?

    Above all, I want to give back to society somehow and leave this world a tiny bit better than I found it. Nursing could be one way to do that. There have certainly been nurses who have made my life better...made me want to face another day after the myriad crises I'd met with (Postpartum depression, breast cancer, pneumothorax, miscarriage). I will NEVER forget any of those nurses...especially Dave...because they were God's way of saying to me..."I've got your back."

    I want to love and care for others the way my nurses loved and cared for me.

    Fortunately, my dear husband is very encouraging and will pay for any and all classes I'd like to take. I'm at home all day just cleaning and working on my scrapbooks, so there's plenty of time for me to go to school and study before the kids come home from school.

    I am a fast-learner, and an energetic and friendly person. And I genuinely love helping people.

    But is it TOO late? Am I TOO old? What kind of physical requirements would I be expected to fulfill, and would I be able to? I am healthy now, but time and chance happen to us all (so says the Good Book). Can I combine my journalism background with my love of technology and nursing?

    I don't want to make a mistake.

    Sorry for the long post, but I had to get all of this off my heart.

    While I wait for y'all to respond, I will pray that God sends me a "Go or No-Go" .
  2. Visit Shange profile page

    About Shange

    Joined: Jan '10; Posts: 4; Likes: 9


  3. by   tnbutterfly
    Hello and welcome to

    It is not too late to pursue your dream of a nursing career. There are several members who started their nursing journey later in life. You might want to take a look at this thread Anyone start their career late in life? It has alot of discussion about this. There are other threads as well.

    Good luck in your decision.
  4. by   Jules A
    It sounds like you are in a perfect position to start working toward becoming a nurse! Good luck.
  5. by   jjjoy
    Many have started a career in nursing later in life (eg after raising kids). It's most definitely do-able, though individual life circumstances, priorities, etc may lead to it not being do-able for any one particular person.

    While you're considering your options or working on getting into nursing school, you might look into taking a nursing assistant course. Working as a nursing assistant would get you into a hands-on clinical setting where you could get a feel for how you feel about 8-12 hrs of patient care day in and out, which is what many nursing jobs consist of. It may help you find a direction to head within the many arenas of health care.

    Since NA's are often primarily responsible for assisting with bathing, getting out of bed, etc., they can offer lots of support & encouragement & comforting to patients. Nurses do this, too, but with their added responsibilities, assistants often do much of the basic patient care & thus have a lot of patient interaction. So as an NA, you could start fulfilling your wish to contribute & build skills in the area of patient care.

    Even 'just' volunteering can be very informative if you are in an area where you can witness nursing first hand. Just don't get so caught up in the volunteer work that you forget to watch what the nurses are doing! Volunteers also can be an incredible source of support to patients who may not have family to visit them. Many churches have a team of volunteers who visit hospitalized or homebound members or take patients to appointments. It would give a valuable perspective of various patients' experience with health care & start building a knowledge base of medical conditions, symptomatology, treatment options, etc.

    Best wishes in your pursuits whatever they may be!
  6. by   aura_of_laura
    Nursing is a tough career - if it's something you want to commit to, you certainly aren't too old! However, are you sure it's nursing that you're interested in? While it's a fairly reliable career, it's hardly perfect - the pay is mediocre, the hours are rough, and depending on your employer, you are frequently expendable if you won't kowtow...
  7. by   ticodutw
    You are not to old !!! I graduated from LPN school in 2005, after retiring from a job I hated. I am now 49. My problem is I never took the boards. I got remarried in 2005, built a house, etc. NOW I am trying to figure out how to get back to it again. So go for it and don't get sidetracked. Good luck, you can do it !!!
  8. by   FLMom3
    My first preceptor was a 54 yr old who had only been an RN for a few yrs.... she was one of the best! Age is only a number. But like some one else said, it's FAR from a perfect career. If you have a realistic picture of the job, then GO FOR IT! There are many 2nd career type nurses out there.
  9. by   caliotter3
    You can go to nursing school and be successful at it. You just have to make up your mind and do it.
  10. by   S.Gettes
    It is never too late to follow your dreams and do something that you are obviously so very passionate about. I think all of us have one of those things sitting in the backs of our minds just nagging away at us, telling us to go and do it. You sound as though you would be a wonderful nurse to talk to everyday, your bedside manner i am sure would be great. You seem like a very caring person which is what makes nurses so special. Maybe if you read something like this it will help you make your decision much easier, it speaks alot of truth that you may be searching for right now. Do not let your age be a barrier to you and stop you from doing things that you want so badly, you have the support of your family, you have the support of your husband both financially and emotionally etc so now it's time you support yourself in this decision and go for it. If you never try you will kick yourself over it for the rest of your life.