Colleen: Boy, do I know how you feel! I was 30 with a 4 year degree in criminal justice working as a probation officer when I chucked that for nursing school
. I am now a BSN with 14 years of experience as an RN. I passed out in my OR rotation and to this day faint when I have lab drawn on me. HOWEVER, that never seemed to affect my ability to do clinical procedures. The average non-medical person really doesn't spend a whole lot of time with blood on them so you can't tell how you'd react. I found that when it came to doing invasive procedures or dealing with stool or vomit or sputum, I always kept in mind that if this were my mom or dad, wouldn't I want them to be clean, comfortable and respected? That always worked for me.
You are very wise to research the opportunities in nursing education. There are more options today than ever although nursing education can be seen as somewhat rigid. I went to a one year accelerated program for my BSN and it was great for me. You don't have to spend 4 years out of the work place.
There are also a lot of opportunities in nursing and many have nothing to do with getting blood on your shoes. I work as a government consultant and although my clinical knowledge is essential, I no longer do hands on care. Good luck with your decision!