I graduated with an ADN 23 years ago. Currently, I'm enrolled in an RN-BSN program and will graduate this December at the age of 58. I plan to obtain a Master's Degree but I'm unsure about which road to take, the MSN in Education or FNP. Both programs are 6 semesters. I'm unsure about which program will be most beneficial in the long run. I do plan to keep working on up into my 70's. Maybe I could teach? Maybe pursue DNP? What are your thoughts? Thank you in advance.
Last edit by drsrn on Aug 2
How exciting! The best to you! (I'm a "late bloomer" myself with regards to my NP). As to your question--what do YOU enjoy the most? Helping others learn? Being able to problem solve/diagnose/treat/etc? I taught 10 years before I got my NP at the age of 59 and enjoyed it. I also enjoy being a NP although it is very different. I guess it boils down to what do you want to do with the years you have left in the profession?
I see more employment for nurse practitioner opportunities, full time opportunities with benefits if that is what you are looking for. Teaching is a great career choice also, but if you look at employment at individual universities,or schools, you may find more PRN, or short term contract employment without benefits. If pay and benefits are not the driving force for your decision, then follow your heart. What do you enjoy?
To add to what others have said-- I've heard there's a push towards having NPs teach incoming NPs. Currently, I think most schools have their nursing professors teach a lot of the didactic classes in NP education. This can be somewhat problematic if nursing professor has not had recent clinical experience. Of course, I can't back any of that up with any article... it's just been the rumblings at my nursing school. But just saying-- if you chose NP, you could possibly find teaching opportunities, if that is what you enjoy. There's always precepting as well.
Thank you everyone for your input. What you are saying makes perfectly good sense. I think my worry is that there may not be much demand for a 60-something year old NP.
Yes, some employers discriminate against older workers by not considering them for employment. Retirement age has increased. Adults who are 57 years old today, will reach social security entitlement age at 68 years old (65 years for medicare entitlement). I don't think most people realize this. Hopefully your current employment situation will lead to some networking for potential future employers.
I work in an entry level job after many years in nursing. I just decided I needed a change after 27 years in a specialty. We had a MSN prepared new grad apply for employment recently. I don't think we would ever get a nurse practitioner apply for employment for this line of work because of the high demand for nurse practioners in my state. MSN degrees are good for experienced nurses looking to get into management roles and nursing education.
I have considered the NP route myself, but most programs that I have looked into run about 8 semester hours. I don't know if this also includes additional clinical hours. Working full time and pursuing a full time nurse practioner education course, sounds very demanding. I worked with a few nurses who completed the nurse practioner programs part time and it took them up to 4 years. Consequently, I decided not to pursue further education at my age. However, I do admire your spunk and stamina and wish you much success.
Moved to post grad forum.
I'm in my late 50's and still feel very viable as a job candidate. I have been an APRN for 11 years and still get calls to interview for jobs.
Some things that have helped me:
1. I keep up to date with the latest medical care guidelines regarding my specialty.
2. Remain very enthusiastic. Don't emphasize "old things". I never use the words, "well thats the way I've always done it."
3. I smile a lot and laugh. I try to show genuine interest in people.
4. I try to be very active: I eat healthy and I'm active.
I know this one isn't an option but how about crna school?
If that definitely isn't on your plate, I suggest NP. I believe there is more room for growth - both individually and career wise with that option. All the best
We had plenty of teachers who were NPs. There are no NPs who only have a MSN-Ed.
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