Would you recommend nursing to a 46 year old doing a career change?

  1. I am a senior executive in publishing. I 've run a large research department, managed staff, and a $3 million dollars budget. I don't want to do this for another 25 years. Am I insance to consider starting over in this field? What would your concerns be?

    Thanks for any comments and gudiance.
    •  
  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   athena55
    Anraku:
    Follow your Dreams/Follow your heart. I personally believe that Nursing can be a calling for many. How do you think you would react to being in the presence of people who are not at their best (ill, vomiting, diarrhea, bleeding, different types of drainage from different orifices etc)?
    Okay, I will be serious: Is there someone that you know that could maybe arrange for you to shadow them for a shift or a few hours? To see what a typical day on the wards or nursing unit would be like? Are you ready to commit to four years of undergraduate work to obtain your BSN? The days will be long and you will miss out on a lot of family/friends functions because you will be studying.
    I personally would never be one to tell someone that they are too old. In fact one of my fellow students in my nursing school was a Nun and she had to be in her late 50s. Learning is a constant.
    Hey, good luck with your decision. Let us know what you have decided and what program you settled on (smile)
    athena
  4. by   ccmc_rn
    Yes I second to what Athena55 had said... follow your dreams if its really what you want, so be it... I think learning is a process & has no end even age is not an issue here, its what your heart feel... so go on... I think you can handle it!!! You're a strong willed person... and PATIENCE is also an important factor for you to become a nurse for the years of training and hardwork ahead of you.. GOODLUCK!!!
  5. by   AprilRNhere
    I ditto the other two posts...but on the other side of it..I suggest doing alot of reading on this site. I think it'd be harder to make a career change from a respected, well paid job to nursing. Honestly...its often thankless, you're not always treated like the professional you are..and it's alot of dirty work. If you really feel it's your calling...none of that will matter and you'll love it.

    Shadowing is a good idea to give you an idea what it's like.
  6. by   llg
    For some people, nursing is the right career choice. For others, it is not. They have all the best intentions, but they have unrealistic expectations of the career and of themselves at the start. When they find out how difficult and stressful it is, they drop out. As the other posters have suggested, do a whole lot of research before you committ anything. Don't forget to consider the physical stress on your body from the manual labor: there are good reasons why police officers, firefighters, etc. and nurses tend to retire early. Their bodies give out -- knees, backs, hips, feet, etc. There is also the exposure to germs, disease, and "the general public" who may not be the kind of people you are used to associating with -- some of whom are actually mentally unbalanced and potentially dangerous.

    As part of your research, you might want to volunteer in a hospital -- the type of place you would be likely to work. Get to know people: spend some time with the staff and patients. Get a feeling for the work environment. Also, research the local job market thoroughly. Find out what types of jobs are available for new graduate nurses and be sure that is the type of job that you want. Some people go into nursing assuming they will be able to get their dream job right away -- the type of job that is only available to nurses with several years of experience and/or an advanced education. Be sure that your expectations match the types of jobs that you will be likely to get.

    If after considering all of that, you still think it is worth the risk to take a chance on nursing ... then go for it. Yes, it can be done at your age. It's just really difficult and many people decide it's not worth the effort.
    Last edit by llg on Nov 17, '07
  7. by   smile123
    Quote from Anraku
    I am a senior executive in publishing. I 've run a large research department, managed staff, and a $3 million dollars budget. I don't want to do this for another 25 years. Am I insance to consider starting over in this field? What would your concerns be?

    Thanks for any comments and gudiance.
    People in your shoes often change careers as part of a mid-life change, but not many make that drastic a change. Have you had any experience working in a hospital? If not, volunteer and/or shadow some nurses. Understand your motivations. Are you just burned out from your senior exec publishing job? Or are you really interested in nursing? Nursing is physically very demanding. You may be working nights and/or every other weekend during 12 hour shifts. Is your body up to the challenge?

    What is your bachelor's degree in and how long ago did you earn it? To apply for nursing school, you need to take the pre-reqs: anatomy & physiology, microbiology, nutrition, statistics, psych, developmental psych, English writing, and sociology, just to name a few classes. Some of those classes can be longer than 7 years old, but the science classes (with clinicals) need to be taken in the 5 years for most schools.

    How is your home life? Do you have kids in school? Need to pay for their schooling? Are you married with an understanding spouse who will need to support you (emotionally and financially) during this transition? Only you can assess your situation and decide.

    What I would recommend is to take a couple pre-req classes at night and see if you can acclimate being in learning mode again, while juggling family and work needs. You can search on the various forums about nursing students trying to handle being in pre-req classes, then nursing school and transitioning to a new grad nurse. It is a challenging road, but there are people who made the change (later in life). Good luck!
  8. by   KaroSnowQueen
    I am 47 years old and have been a nurse for 24 years. My response is a resounding "NO!" If you thought your white collar job was stressful, you ain't seen nothin' yet!!!!!!:uhoh21:

    Look closely. Look hard. Research. Do a job shadow if you can. BE SURE this is what you want. All I can think is, if I had your opportunities, I might go into something in the medical field, but I wouldn't do nursing unless it was getting a Master's or PhD and doing research or something.

    I have left the floor (bedside nursing) for a much quieter, calmer, better paying job in a high rise office, doing a job that still uses my nursing license, but is sooooooooooooooooooooo much less stressful, that I pray to God every day that I can stay here til I retire!!!!!!
    My daughter is an RN and has worked on the floor for three years, and is in the process of getting her PhD so she can do research and teaching. She said going from working in a warehouse doing manual labor to nursing was such a culture shock!!!:trout: She says in the warehouse her personal integrity and thought processes, as well as fairness and discipline in the workplace, were more respected than they are in the hospital, (and no there was no union in the warehouse), and she is honestly so shocked and disillusioned by it that she cannot stand it. But she feels she has put so much time and money into her nursing degree that she has to do something to use it.
    Just my opinion, for what its worth.

    P.S. As the other posters have said, it is a hard physical job. And there are a lot of patients, families and doctors alike who are very hard to deal with. But for me the biggest problem is being stepped on daily by the management from the floor manager on up -- and I substitued "step" for another four letter "S" word.
    Last edit by KaroSnowQueen on Nov 17, '07 : Reason: adding to my reply
  9. by   Mulan
    No!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  10. by   llg
    If you want a career in health care ... I would recommend taking stock of you current skills and background to see how they could be applied to a health care job. For example, all hospitals have public relations department that publish magazines, reports, newsletters, teaching materials, etc. Perhaps you would already be qualified for a job like that. Such a job would get you into the hospital and give you a chance to work with nurses to learn more about the profession. You would also be contributing to the health care environment in a meaningful way and may like it enough to stay in that field forever.

    Nurses and nursing schools also need help from people in learning how to write and publish. Are you qualified to teach some writing workshops ... or do some editing ... etc.? You might be able to start your own business or do a little freelance consulting with nurses and other healthcare professionals and who knows where that might lead you. My employer just paid about $1200 to send me to a 3-day writer's workshop taught by someone in the editing field who now works for a university health center helping people publish. I'd be happy to spend some more money out of my pocket for someone to help/coach me to get some articles published that I have been meaning to write all year. Nursing faculty members also need help with their publishing efforts. Are you qualified to teach/coach that sort of thing?

    etc. etc. etc.
  11. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Great advice from llg and KaroSnowQueen.
  12. by   Tweety
    Great advice above. It might be hard for someone in such a profession to step down and start over at the begining, at an entry level position, with people are probably going to be younger than you, taking direction from others, often 20 years younger, and not having a say so in how things are run/bugeted, etc. , especially when you've had the responsibilities you've described.

    Also, as mentioned above, how is your health? Do you have a good back, good knees, are you a resonable weight, do you have any health problems that might be exacerbated by the extreme stress of nursing school and being a new grad (read our First Year In Nursing forum here to see how tough it can be).

    So I'm not saying you shouldn't do it. Just proceed with caution and know what you're getting into. Many many people enter nursing at later ages than you as 2nd careers and love it. Others run away screaming "what was I thinking?".

    Best of luck to you!
    Last edit by Tweety on Nov 21, '07 : Reason: typo
  13. by   caliotter3
    Why not? But realize what kind of investment you will be making. It will take all of your energy and time and a good portion of your money while you are making the change. Insure that you think it out and make a true commitment before you start. It also does not hurt to have a good support system in place and to be financially prepared.
  14. by   HM2VikingRN
    Quote from Anraku
    I am a senior executive in publishing. I 've run a large research department, managed staff, and a $3 million dollars budget. I don't want to do this for another 25 years. Am I insance to consider starting over in this field? What would your concerns be?

    Thanks for any comments and gudiance.
    If you have a passion for helping others and find an interest in nursing then I think you should investigate a career change. Check out an accelerated BSN program.

close