Nursing at 41..Just starting out

  1. I have been seriously contemplating returning to college to study in the nursing/health care fields. I am a 41 year old male living in NY and was wondering if my age or gender pose any potential problems for finding employment after graduation?? Does anyone have any further advice they can give me? Thanks!! Is community college a good place to start??
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   MollyJ
    Your age will pose no problem!! You present age is approximately the average age of all nurses and many, many people come to nursing from other fields. Other male nurses could speak more to employability but I have never heard it to be an issue. Community colleges are fine places to start your endeavour, but look around at the full range of nursing programs (ADN, BSN, diploma). Try this web site www.nursingprofession.com
    Good luck.
  4. by   cuddlefish
    I will graduate next year and will be 36 years old. I feel that nursing is such that life experiences can only enhance your ability to be a good nurse. Go for it!!!! Good luck. :-)

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    cuddlefish <///><
  5. by   tinkertoys
    GO FOR IT!!!I returned to school and received my RN at age 39. In observing my fellow students, and other nurses, the more mature ones are often more focused and dedicated to the nursing profession. An unspoked "plus" that educators and employers both may see is that a more mature student is generally a better "risk"...less likely to drop out, change jobs, or need extended time off. As to the gender issue, I don't see it as a problem. Actually, a male nurse is often an asset--many patients simply respond better to a male "authority figure".
    Community college is a good place to start, but first try and determine what direction you want your career to take, then check out all your options. Get the opinions of several nurses that you respect. They can give some very sound advise about your education.
    GOOD LUCK!!! I'm sure you'll do fine!
  6. by   missouriman
    i graduated with my BSN in nursing from a local college, i have not had to interview for any positions really. i send in application.. (ps. as you go through school collect letters of recomendation). as for being male, and older, i am 36 and have found it to be very helpful. my regret right now is that i took out so much in student loans.
    good luck
  7. by   judith
    Nursing is all of the above: incredibly rewarding, fun, intellectually and physically challenging; absolutely maddening, depressing, frustrating. actual patient care is one of the neatest things a human being can do. Practicing nursing of any kind in today's HMO driven "healthcare" environment is infuriating, because no matter how good you are, your patients just will not get the care they deserve.
    That being said, age can be a real asset: it gives you a base of emotional and itellectual maturity and a wide range of life experiences which can only enhance your care of other human beings. You may also find that your learning processes are more global and in-depth than when you were 18 or 20.
    On the down side, the older we all get, the less flexible we may be in terms of rotating shifts, staying awake all night, hard physical labor.
    Carefully consider he educational options (AD vs BSN0 as to what you think you want to do, and what $$ you ahve available. I would suggest that if you go with the ADN, you'll want to count on continuing your education to acquire the BSN at some point in the near future.
    Gender should not be an issue...although men seem to gravitate to the critical areas (ICU/ED/OR and administration.
    Good luck Judith
  8. by   rnanita
    I was 33 when I started at a community college and 35 when I finished my ADN. The oldest person in my class was 44 when starting. We had a good number of males in the class. My first job was with the Veterans Administration. My head nurse was a male.
    Good Luck
  9. by   deathnurse
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by redhookid:
    [B]I have been seriously contemplating returning to college to study in the nursing/health care fields.

    I don't know if you've been browsing this site, but look before you leap.
    Go here:
    http://www.allnurses.com/jump.cgi?ID=914
  10. by   lita1857
    I agree with alot of what's posted...my 2cents is get a BSN then consider MS...If you can 1 year med/surg as a base. If you could get any ICU or ED experience you'll get paid more thus inc your base with each new job and once you've done critical care your experience will make you able to work almost any where.
  11. by   peanut
    After reading all the notes--more of which outlined negatives than positives--regarding recommending nursing as a career, I am still not discouraged. I realized from the start it is a thankless profession. I am a 37 yo woman, and have been working in Computer Graphics for 14 years, after earning a BA in Fine Art in 1984. I've been very dissatisfied with my job in particular, and the corporate world in general, MOST of that time. Although my salary is quite good (currently I make $37,000 working in the Washington D.C. area for a Navy subcontractor), most of my tasks are very routine, and I never really go home feeling any job satisfaction. Immediately after the birth of my second child this past October ('99), I was overtaken by an intense desire to do something more meaningful and satisfying with my life, and the FIRST thing that came to mind was Nursing, believe it or not. I am MOST interested in being a Maternal/Child nurse (taking care of new Moms and their babies), as I love people in general, and babies in particular, but because it also seems like an area of nursing where one would not experience as much emotional stress from babies dying or from having to constantly clean up patients' wastes and body fluids, and from the many less pleasant aspects involved in nursing. My main reasons for going into nursing would be to make a difference in peoples' lives, but also to be able to continue being around/taking care of babies long after mine are grown. I have been doing "research" as to how to go about getting my nursing degree, and plan on starting an ADN program in the Fall of 2000 or the Spring of 2001. The main drawback right now is that I am the only breadwinner in my family (my husband is trying to run a home business part-time while he cares for our two girls, but the money is minimal and irregular), so I will have to continue to work full-time once I return to school. I would gladly take a job paying less as an LPN while I'm in school, (to start getting more nursing experience) if I could afford it, but I will probably have to continue at my current job, or something similar, to make ends meet, AND hope to qualify for a student loan to pay for school, as in this metropolitan area, my income allows us to make ends meet, but forget much in the way of unexpected expenses or more than occasional "frills". My husband has not been overly encouraging since I revealed to him I want to become a nurse. He suggested that I open a daycare center if I want to be around children (he missed the point, obviously), or to get a dental hygienist degree so I can make more money (like I want to spend my workday looking into one mouth after another, scraping tartar off people's teeth!). I realize dental hygienists make great money, despite the limited knowledge the job would seem to require, but the money ISN'T my main reason for wanting this significant career change. I just feel that, as long as I HAVE to keep working, I'd like to be doing something meaningful (and if I enjoy it as much as I think I will, I will continue to do it even if one day my husband makes enough that I don't have to work). Anyway, to come to the point, if any of you who are in the nursing field--whether you're happy or not--wants to tell me the REAL truth about the average workday for a Maternity/Child nurse, I'd appreciate it. I'd like as much information and background on everything--pros and cons--in every aspect of the nursing field, so I will go into school with open eyes and won't have all these illusions in my head.
  12. by   ganurse
    I have a story to tell you.

    When I was 32 and with 3 young children, I left a full-time good-paying job to be a full-time nursing student with NO MONEY! How scary was that? And at my age? Now, 3 years later, I have received my BSN and am practicing in a field I ADORE!!

    Here's the fun part.

    My husband, who is now 45. Has now decided that he is going to return to school...for his NURSING DEGREE!!!

    Because he already has a BS degree, he was supposed to flow directly into the clinical portion of the nursing program. Unfortunately, because his science classes are all over 20 years old, the school is having him retake these same classes...so he's considered a PRE-NURSING STUDENT!!

    But he is more involved that I ever was. He immediately became a member of the National Student's Nurses Association (NSNA) and now holds a national office on their executive board! As well as positions with the state and local chapters.

    Check out this website: www.nsna.org (Click on "About NSNA" and again on "Editor")The web page will give you LOTS of tips and advise as a student nurse...regardless of age or gender! It'll also give you an organization that will support you as a student.

    My advise: Go for the BSN! It doesn't take much more time and most job advances require you to have this already.

  13. by   braall
    CONGRADULATIONS ON YOUR DECISION.I AM A 38 YO MALE CHANGING CAREERS AFTER WORKING AS A SALES MGR. 19 YRS.AT THE SAME PLACE.MY WIFE HAS BEEN A RN F/15 YRS.I HAVE ALMOST FINISHED MY PRE-REQS WHILE WORKING FULL TIME.I AM FIXING TO TAKE THE BIG PLUNGE, QUIT MY JOB AND GO TO NURSING SCHOOL FULL TIME. I HAVE BEEN OFFERED A JOB AS A TRANSPORTER AT THE HOSPITAL, I THINK THAT WILL HELP ME SEE WHATS GOING ON (MEET PEOPLE} MY WIFE LOVES THE PROFESSION AND REALLY THINKS I WOULD BE A GREAT NURSE.
    GOOD LUCK I KNOW YOU WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE. GOD BLESS
  14. by   Angjula
    i am also strongly considering going into nursing... i'm 25, graduated with a business degree and took on a couple of positions in sales and accounting which i hated the morning drive to and despised working the 14 hour days. i recently left the company i was with in order to decide on a new career path. meyers and briggs are telling me nursing is the right degree (for those of you who know what i'm referring to, i'm an esfj)... i'm also interested in a gaining a real life nursing-perspective. what is a real day like for a registered nurse? how did you decide what specifically to pursue? if i already have a bach. of arts how many years of college will i require? what is the hardest part and easiest part about being a nurse? what kind of salary can i reasonably expect?... although nursing does have its other benefits despite monetary, of course i'm curious. thanks for your help, all advice is appreciated.

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