God I hope 32 is not too old to start! I am 40-something and am starting Nursing school
. Small world tho. I was just laid off by WorldCom as well this last go-round. I volunteered tho. I made a decision to go into nursing in late spring/early summer. Did a lot of research and soul searching. I was tired of all the BS in the company and industry. I was being paid well but the job satisfaction just wasn't there anymore. At the end of the day I was asking myself why I/we were doing this and what did it mean or accomplish. Never got a good answer.
I decided that nursing fit my background and interests. I had previous firefighting experience, coach youth soccer, and enjoy helping folks. I was a manager and enjoyed growing my people. But I was flattened and so the career was gone. From what I have seen for nursing you can get a job anywhere in the country and there is a definite shortage. Won't have to worry about that perverbial axe to drop in a downturn.
I was first going to get my ADN and get into it and follow-on with BSN. At the time there was a 1yr difference to achieve the BSN (I have a BS in another major so a lot of Gen Ed was still good.) But I found out that the summer session I was planning on taking was only available to LPN-RN transitioners. So that put another semester on the table for the ADN. Now there was only 1 semester difference. It became a no-brainer now. Go for the BSN.
Plus, I am seriously looking at an advanced degree to become an NP or CRNA. Gonna need that BSN for either of those. If you are starting from scratch I would say go the ADN and get in. From what I can see there are numerous opportunities in nursing and more are growing. With a hi-tech background you may want to look into nursing informatics.