Going back to school for RN after many, many years

  1. i have orientation for an associate's degree rn program tonight at a local community college. boy, am i nervous - about anything and everything. in high school, i was pretty smart - honor roll. now, i'm 35 and not really sure how smart i am anymore.

    i'm going to school because i've always wanted to be a nurse. i work full time during the day and that adds to my nervousness since i will have to work, as well as go to school. but there are night/weekend classes and i am all up for that. i've decided to go for my rn just to get the ball rolling. what i am thinking is that once i am an rn and i make more money than i do right now, hopefully i can work for an establishment that will have tuition reimbursement to get my bsn. plus, right now i am looking at 3 years of school going part time just for my rn. adding my bsn right now would mean a lot more time in school and less time of me making more money. any insight into my opinion?

    first step is to take the teas test - test of essential academic skills - which will basically tell me which classes i need to take, in addition to the prerequisites for my program. i'm picking up my book tonight, so i can study and prepare for my first test in lots of years.

    another worry of mine is financial aid or getting loans to go to school. my credit isn't the best - nor is it the worst - but it will be almost $12,000 for school and that's a lot of money.

    i'm just looking for some outlook on my situation, maybe what other people have gone through - esp people who were out of school for an extended period of time and then went back. i'm sure some of my questions will be answered tonight, but i'm looking for people who have lived this.

    thank you!
  2. Visit KA Stritt profile page

    About KA Stritt

    Joined: Jun '11; Posts: 3


  3. by   iPink
    I want to congratulate you for moving forward to make that RN dream come true! Don't worry about your age. That is the beauty about the nursing field, age is not of great concern as long as you can function in body and mind.

    I think your path of going for the ADN first then (with fingers crossed) having your future employers pay for your BSN program is a good plan. Many people are taking that route. I don't know if $12k for an ADN program is good or not, as I'm in an ABSN program and wished my program was that cheap.

    I hope you asked about financial aid at the orientation. See if they have several scholarships available for their students. Any little bit helps.

    Good luck.
  4. by   lollila
    I am a 42 year old going back to school in October for RN...I am doing the same thing, getting my RN first and then will bridge to the BSN after I am working and can get help paying for that. I was laid off in March, and had always said that if I got laid off I would go back for nursing. I am very excited but very nervous as well. My brain just doesn't work the same way it used to. I did fairly well on my TEAS, I was very nervous and was freaking myself out. Just really review it and take those practice tests, it does help. I wish you the best of luck, you will do great!
  5. by   jimithing112
    That does sound about right, tuition-wise. My ADN program will be about $11K, then the 3rd year for my BSN will be about $17K because it's at a university. All that for my 2nd BS. Lol...Oy. Good luck!
  6. by   KCMedicRN
    I was 34 when I started back to school part-time at night, had a baby during my pre-reqs and am now in a BSN program with a 2 yr old!

    I would not start with taking the TEAS for a few reasons. First you probably need the knowledge from the pre-reqs, especially in the sciences, second if you take it now by the time you are ready to apply they may have a new version of the TEAS, and thirdly some programs limit the number of times you can take the TEAS.

    Also regarding tuition assistance for the RN to BSN, take a look around your local market. Some markets have a strong preference for BSN's making it more difficult for ADN new grads to find jobs and with all the cost saving measures, tuition assistance isn't as available as it was just 5 years ago...when I started back to schools all the major acute hospitals in my area were were sponsoring students in an ADN program- they paid tuition, books, and fulltime wages and benefits if you worked for them 20hrs a weeks and agreed to 2 yrs employment, those same hospitals now will give you a seat and an interview.

    Best of luck!
  7. by   RNMOMof3Letmebe
    SO glad to see that someone else is going through the exact same situation as I am! I am starting back to school in August for RN, am also 34 and have not taken any classes since high school. I will have to keep working full time with three kids and a husband on a different shift and feel already that I will be challenged. Looking forward to it though! Just keep telling yourself that you CAN do it! :heartbeat Good Luck to you! :heartbeat
  8. by   zbb13
    I went back to school after twenty something years. I was also quite anxious so I started slowly, one course a semester. It took me a few weeks to get into the reading/studying routine (I did worry when I didn't think I was retaining information very well), but it came back to me. I am much more disciplined and motivated now, and it showed in my grades.

    I'm starting nursing school (Associates) in the Fall, at the age of 46. I figured the same thing--earn some money, hopefully get the employer to pay some of the tuition bill for further education. I know it is really tough out there to obtain a first position, but perhaps things will change by the time I complete the program. I can't afford a BSN at this point (I won't qualify for federal or state aid because I already have a Bachelor's). If it is impossible to get a non-BSN position in my State, I will either do the BSN or MSN next. I think the Associates is an affordable education, but then I am applying for and hoping to receive a significant scholarship from my community, and the State will hopefully cover my youngest's tuition bill while I am in school. I'm also applying for an honors society stipend, which I hope will pay for me to get extra help at home (wishful thinking, I am sure!!!)

    I have a lot of obligations at home, but I am positive and excited about starting. I know I can do this if I just take one step at a time.

    You'll do fine, and you'll find other mature students there (I did). Good luck!!
  9. by   tex42cares
    I am so glad you posted this topic !!!! Thank You

    Welcome To My Journey As Well!!!!

    I am going back to College too!!!!! I have been studying my tail-feather non stop for the past 3 days to cram -relearn - re spark my old HS Algebra days and the general math for the college placement. I have not used that part of my brain in 23 years. In fact back then I was not the best student (meaning -I did not study and apply myself as I should have) Now I am begging for the opportunity to go to College & to Nursing School. I am 42 and for the passion I have about Nursing ..I am excited and challenged to really apply myself. I have to test next week so I can enroll in my fall classes. I also am allowed to take a Summer2 class in Developmental Math to prep me for Algebra 1314. I must pass this test next week with at least a 65 or better to even be allowed to take my AP1/Lab,Micro,Math1314 and Intro To Soci 1301 for Fall. heartbeat I wonder if any of you have had this predicament yet?? Have you taken your Accuplacer or Compass yet??
  10. by   lollila
    I've taken the accuplacer test, and it wasn't that bad. I am also 42, and was so worried, but it went pretty well. It helped me because alot of what my 4th grader's math was, was on the test...so some of it looked familiar. I am just no good at Algebra, thankfully there wasn't a ton of that on there. Good luck! It's great hearing from other over 40 year olds!
  11. by   mgrn2b
    I am 35 and just completed my summer Nursing Fundamentals course. My school does a conditional admit; if you pass the summer course then you start nursing school in the Fall. I am also in an ADN program and have a previous bachelor's degree. I started working as a PCT at a local hospital. I was very concerned about paying for school, as I could not afford to pay for classes out of pocket. In addition to tuition reimbursement offered through my employer, they also offer scholarships in exchange for service and foundation scholarships with no service requirements. I also have found NUMEROUS scholarships that are available. Most of the deadlines seemed to be in the spring. It appears that you will not be starting this Fall so it may be something you want to look into and begin working on the essay and other requirements. You could essentially have your first year paid for with change to spare. Best wishes!!
  12. by   tex42cares
    Did you have any Prerequisites to complete before your conditional admit??
  13. by   tex42cares
    Quote from lollila
    I've taken the accuplacer test, and it wasn't that bad. I am also 42, and was so worried, but it went pretty well. It helped me because alot of what my 4th grader's math was, was on the test...so some of it looked familiar. I am just no good at Algebra, thankfully there wasn't a ton of that on there. Good luck! It's great hearing from other over 40 year olds!

    WHHOOO HHOOO All The 1960 's to 1970's Boys and Girls Here!!! redpinkhe

    I keep telling my girls (18 & almost 10) that I loved growing up in the 70's and 80's Things sure are creepy scary for kids today. They can not believe we had NO computers ... I tell them we had something called the dewey decimal system-(research ) They just do not understand how we made it..... uuuggghhh and with out a CELL phone too!!!

    I am so nervous about this accuplacer/compass..I have bought almost every test prep book known today.. was it more basic math than the advanced Algebra & Geometry ???
  14. by   Mrs. Bee
    Hello ALL,

    It's amazing that we are all returning to accomplish the same goal. I'm 34 and a new mom and wife.. I decided that I was in a career that I'm not happy in AT ALL.. I have always known that I wanted to be a nurse,.. An I'm finally doing it..

    I started in the spring taking Pre reqs - I'm sure this whole process will take me about 3 yrs.. But the future looks soo bright..

    I'm much more focused on school now than when I was younger.. LOL -

    I wish you all the BEST of LUCK... Congrats to your future..

    Mrs. Bee