Will ageism and lack of experience prevent me from becoming a Nurse Practitioner?

  1. Hello everyone! I've been to this site hundreds of times before, but never posted a question. This time I decided I needed to ask some people in the field of nursing about this cause is driving me nuts.

    I live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Texas and I'm actually 36 years-old, but I will be 38 by the time I graduate with my BS in Accounting. I do enjoy accounting, but I always wanted to be a nurse practitioner. I have worked as a CNA and Medication Aide, but could never go to nursing school because I couldn't attend the program full time as I had to work. After graduating with my accounting degree I will be able to go to school full time and would love to get my BSN and apply for an FNP program right after. However, according to my calculations, I will be around 44 years-old by the time I finish everything (BSN + DNP Program). The reason why I'm worried is because I spoke to two hospice nurses where I work, an RN and a BSN.

    1- The BSN told me that age is a big problem in nursing. She said many times hospitals, clinics, etc., only wants to hire the 20 and early 30 year-olds. She also said that going into NP school right after graduating from the BSN program and not having any experience was going to prevent me from finding a job as an NP.

    2- The RN told me she makes a lot of money in home health, almost the same as many NPs.

    I hate to think they are telling me these things to turn me off from pursuing nursing. I heard some people will do this to avoid competition in their profession. I see this all the time in business (accounting).

    Anyways, I would really appreciate any honest insights from all of you.

    Thank you so much guys!
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   shibaowner
    I started the Johns Hopkins Accelerated BSN at age 53. After graduating, I immediately started the MSN program. I graduated at age 56 with my MSN for an NP and was hired in 2 months for my dream NP job, starting at $95K and increasing to $140K within 18 months, based on performance. I also won a HRSA scholarship, which paid for the last 18 months of my MSN, along with a small stipend, in return for 2 years of public service. If I could have stayed in Baltimore, my preceptor on my last rotation would have hired me.

    With regard to looking for a job, be flexible on location. I live in California and everyone wants to live in San Francisco, LA, or San Diego. Yet, there are many jobs in other parts of the state that are begging for candidates! I got a job in a stunningly beautiful area with a population of about 100,000 and a very low cost of living. For example, to rent a one bedroom apartment in San Diego area is now at least $2,000 a month (and much more in SF or LA). Where my job is, you can get a nice 1 BR place for $600 to $700 (on the water!) a month. The downside is I will have to live there for 2 years and can only drive to my home (I own a home) on the weekends. So, research where nurses and NPs are needed and be willing to go there.
  4. by   expatpatty
    Thank you so much for your comment Shibaowner. Your story is so inspiring! I also don't think that accounting will give that sense of fulfillment.
  5. by   Nurse Beth
    This is your dream, and I would pursue it.
  6. by   mforsythe161
    I am not sure who you talked to, but I do not find that information true at all. First of all, there are very few young NP's, due to nurses finishing school (like the ADN and BSN) and want to take a break and work for awhile. Usually for 10 or so years. There is a high demand for NP's as there has always been for nurses. As the baby boomers are aging, that demand has significantly increased over the last two decades. You will be just fine. I have been a nurse for 4 years, and I am finishing my BSN in May 2018. I plan to attend NP program in 2019. I will be 45. I can tell you that I would rather have a NP make decisions for my health over a young PA. With this said, NP have experience with patients, and usually have a passion for healthcare. You will be just fine.

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