rnMomm, I was thinking similar things when I began the Family Psychiatric Mental Health NP last August. I wanted very much to be better prepared to do counseling/behavioral coaching and be there for clients I now care for in a somewhat different context. But I was 55 when I began the program -- part-time, as I have young adult offspring and work full-time. Would people view me as being strange, as not up to date, "too old"? Our program is part online, part in person. In my first classroom course, I was even older than the teacher! It will take me four years, part-time, to complete the program, so I'll be 59 upon graduation.
I found that I DID still have the necessary attributes to succeed in school, and that teachers and fellow students had no problem with my age. I do find it a little awkward wanting to socialize with classmates, and there being so few in their 50s. It is difficult for me that people tend to be so busy that even the middle-aged ones don't/can't make time for a classmate who needs some camaraderie (go for coffee, whatever). The trials of the sandwich generation!
Learning new computer skills wasn't tough at all -- I did have a good basic knowledge of computer use. Teachers and classmates alike seem to appreciate the different perspective that I can bring to our studies, from the experience of being in another generation and of having 34 years of nursing and life experience since I earned my BSN. I have sometimes heard people say they feel more comfortable with providers close in age to themselves or older, rather than younger. I don't think one is necessarily better than the other, but I don't think patients will care that you're in your 50s.
I am considering moving from upstate NY to an underserved area when I first graduate (to offer service, and to take part in a loan-repayment program). Then, when I'm more experienced, I'd love to come back to this area, and possibly have a mobile counseling practice, where I see clients in my office = an RV, or in their homes, obviating the difficulty many clients face keeping app'ts due to transportation or child care problems.
I've never regretted starting my studies when I did. It's not a physically strenuous specialty, so if I choose to and am able to work beyond 65, as I hope to, I should still be able to manage it.
Best of luck to you!