I will be starting an entry level master of nursing program next week and I am excited! However, my greatest nightmare is to be $60,000 in debt and no job because of ageism. You see, I will be 56 or 57 when I am done!( I am 53 now). A little background- I have a B.S in Microbiology with a minor in chemistry from 1983. I went on to become a licensed Medical Technologist after working in R&D for a nationally known company for a year before. Due to a devastating family tragedy, and the fact that my husband was just starting his professional career, (we had 2 small babies at the time), I stepped out of the professional working life and became a full time mom very active in my community. Fast forward. My youngest of 3 is 20 so I thought "What am I going to do with the rest of my life?" I always wanted to be a doctor, and found out about the accelerated program to get an RN-BS and then an N.P which is pretty darn close to my dream of being a doctor without going to medical school! So -off I went to Community College, did all 10 prereq's in a year with a 4.0. Got accepted into a good private Christian college (important to me). AND- I am scared to death that I may do all this and be overlooked because of my age even though I think I bring a lot to the table. I want to work in a Doctor's office or a clinic and volunteer to go on mission trips to help others less fortunate than me. But I can't stand the thought of putting my family into a financial hole (we have no pension because my husband is self-employed and due to the recession, have used most of our savings!) with nothing to show for it. I would love to hear some thoughts, suggestions and yes, encouragement, that I am not crazy to be pursuing my dream at my cough, cough, "advanced age".