Going to Nursing School at an Older Age - page 2

I have been planning to go to nursing school (direct entry MSN) & have been progressing in that direction. The other day I was having a conversation with a coworker (a non-practicing nurse!) and she... Read More

  1. by   sunnycalifRN
    To the OP,

    your friend's comments are bull excrement, IMHO. You can be a great nurse at any age, 18 to whatever!! Nursing programs cannot discriminate based on your age, so you need not worry . . . I started nursing at age 54! I say "Go for it"!! Nursing is a great profession!!
  2. by   reimundijanet
    It's great to have more nurses no matter the age as long as you got the passion for it. I started my nursing career at 28 after raising my 3 children and it was a great challenge and it's only been 2 years and it's been very fulfilling and wonderful experience and yes I started a little bit later in the race but I'm way ahead of a lot other girls that started nursing right out of high school and also I only got an ADN and have way more field training than the girls that been studying for 4 years. So your nursing career is what you make of it not what is expected of you.
  3. by   Chinook2
    Quote from AmaurosisFugax
    Is it really socially more desirable to prefer younger candidates? And does this factor into admissions decisions?
    Maybe I have a jaded view of the administration of nursing schools, but I would think that the primary factor as to who is admitted to a nursing program is how successful they are likely to be on the NCLEX (based on prior gpa). The program's accreditation, and to a large extent reputation, are directly tied to its NCLEX pass rates. They have a far greater interest in selecting candidates who they think will pass the NCLEX on the first try rather than in selecting candidates based on potential length of career. I doubt that anyone tracks how long a nursing school's graduates stay in nursing, but in most states if a school falls below 80% NCLEX pass rate they lose accreditation.

    As an aside: As I was thinking about your post I dug around looking for studies that look at correlations between NCLEX first time pass rate and demographic/educational factors. Most seem conclude that most demographic factors like gender have no effect on NCLEX first time pass rate and age may have a marginal effect (students over 23 may do slightly better). By far the strongest indicator of future NCLEX pass rate is (no big surprise here) nursing school gpa.

    So I'd ask your friend if she would rather have nursing schools turn out nurses that are less knowledgeable (as measured by the NCLEX) but who will practice for longer or nurses who practice for a shorter amount of time with more knowledge.
  4. by   tokidokifantasy
    My mom was 57 yr old when she got her RN and it took her long time to pass the test since English was her second language. Now she works for the state hospital and is not looking forward to retiring until her body gives up. so, don't give up!! If being a nurse is your dream, then go for it. Have no regrets!^^
  5. by   PostOpPrincess
    I saw go for it. You will bring the maturity and life experience. That is great. The one "discriminatory" thing you won't experience is your patients questioning your knowledge--"are you sure you're not a kid?" "Are you sure you're old enough to be a nurse?" I fought that for years, and only now...reverse age discrimination? LOL.

    Anyway, you should go for it!
  6. by   wannabecnl
    It's awesome to read all the responses from people like the OP and myself, especially those who have finished school in their 40s and are out there working.

    I just turned 40 and am in my first year of a 2-year direct entry masters program. Our class ranges from a few 23-year-olds all the way up to about 54. I had a young ICU nurse (probably in her late 20s) tell me the other day that she loves to work with the more "mature" students because we bring a lot of experience and diligence to the job. She said she found our demographic to be very competent, with life experience that changed how we interact with the patients. I remarked that we are in this program because we want to be, on our own dime and on our own time, often away from family and our lives on hold. I'm more invested now than I ever was as an undergrad.

    Now, I have a huge amount of respect for the "kids" in the program, most of whom have a great bedside manner and a lot more energy than the old-timers like me. I just know that if I had done this in my 20s, I would have been a totally insufferable, arrogant, doc-hating nurse. I've learned a bit in the past few decades, and assuming I do manage to find a job, I hope that I'll be a better nurse for having waited.

    As for being a student at this age, it's tough. I'm a good student, always liked school, etc., but I'm tired pretty much all the time. Date nights with my husband? Once a month if we're lucky, and then probably just dinner so I can get home and study. I've been blessed to be home for a lot of my kids' stuff, but the reality is, I am missing a lot more at home now than I would have if I had gone to school when I was younger.

    Still, I believe God has a plan, and the timing is part of it. And let's be realistic: it's not like we're going to get any younger! Go for it, but be realistic about what you can do on the side (almost nothing, but you'll find your outlets to stay sane). Good luck!!!
  7. by   Hospice Nurse LPN
    I'm 53 and am in a LPN/BSN bridge program. One of my classmates in 58. We'll be 55 and 60 when we graduate and will probably work another 10 years. As far as taking seats from younger students...oh well.
  8. by   ThePrincessBride
    Quote from A4L4S
    Oh, I know that! I highly doubt she will find a job. As horrible as it sounds I sure wouldn't hire her myself. At least she will become a licensed RN and no one can take that from her. But, the OP was asking about whether it was wrong to take a seat in the school from a younger person, which I say everyone has the right to an education.
    As long as her GPA/test scores are high, has some volunteer experience, and has a solid application, then she wouldn't be taking that spot from anyone. Now, if she were below par, then yes, I would think that she would be taking something away from another student.
  9. by   HamsterRN
    More than half of all students starting nursing school today are entering nursing as a second career (or third or fourth). Of the 30 students in my nursing program, only 4 were under the age of 25. There is something to be said for the energy and longevity of youth, but in nursing there is also a big advantage to the wisdom gained from a wide variety of life experiences.
  10. by   SoundofMusic
    Let's see -- I started school at 43, graduated at 44, and am now going on 47. I can't say I've experienced all that much discrimination, although the younger set never seems to let me forget that I'm older. However, I get along great w/ ALL the nurses, including the older ones, and I can handle myself a lot easier in difficult situations. Something about raising 3 kids, having a home and family has just seasoned me well. Many patients don't know the difference ... After 3 years now I'm pursuing my masters and hope to be an NP by 50. I will consider myself still young w/ 25+ years left to practice, Lord willing.

    I always say ...you'll be 40, 50, 60 anyway, even if you don't do it -- so DO IT if you want to!

    I have yet to run into a situation where I am the oldest person hanging around ...still haven't. However, nursing IS hard work, and you need to be in good shape to do it w/ lots of energy. It helps if you can joke and laugh w/ the younger ones, which I have no problem with.

    One younger nurse confided to me one time. She said she hoped that one day she'd have My life .. .a full one w/ a family and a good career. I think i've finally reached that, but I didn't have it all at once ...it took time to build.
  11. by   GODfavorsme!
    If nursing is what your heart desire, then let no one or no thing stray you away.
  12. by   Future O.R. Nurse
    That person you had that convo with just tried to steal your joy bcause she has none. No dreams, no aspirations, no desire to do better! So, ofcourse, she'll say something to discourage you from going after your dream. That was a poisonous statement, and it affected you to the point that you are questioning your decision to go after your dream or reach a goal!! Shrug it off and go for it! Future R.N.
  13. by   DutchRN
    I graduated from nursing school 3 days before my 49th. birthday. I'm now 61 years old. I have worked full time on a med/surg unit for the past 12 years. When I first began my practice, it used to make me chuckle when a patient would say, "Oh I'm glad to have a nurse who has more experience instead of a younger nurse who's just starting out". I never let on I was a new-bee! If nursing is your dream, please, don't let others discourage you. I always wanted to be a nurse and my high school guidance counselor told me I wasn't that good in math and I'd never be able to pass the algebra and chemistry requirements to be a nurse. Unfortunately, I believed him and did not pursue my dream until much later in life. I did just fine in algebra and chemistry by the way! Continue with your dream of becoming a nurse. Don't wake up one day and say, "Oh I wish I had..."!
    What I see from younger nurses is they get married, have their babies and want to work part-time or they quit to raise their children. An older nurse has already raised her babies and can devote herself to her career. There is a shortage of positions for new nurses right now because the older nurses are keeping their jobs and working longer than they expected to due to the economy. Best of luck to you!