Going to Nursing School at an Older Age

  1. 1
    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 said, now at your age (I am in my 40s) you have 10, maybe 20 years of nursing, but if a younger candidate gets your seat they can practice nursing for like 40 years, so why should you get a seat? It's more beneficial to train a younger nurse. I was rather tacken aback by the question & said something to the effect the more nurses the better and it is illegal to discriminate based on age, and she said the nursing shortage is a myth and age discrimination happens, no matter what! While I always believe education is throughout one's life and one should pursue one's aspirations, it got me thinking. (In some countries where their are no age discrimination laws this does happen). Is it really socially more desirable to prefer younger candidates? And does this factor into admissions decisions?
    rockwell108 likes this.

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  3. 264 Comments...

  4. 2
    I say that's a bunch of poo, although perhaps I'm not objective since I'm a 40 YO nursing student. Not to mention, if the nursing shortage is a myth, then why should she care about how long any given nursing student is going to work as a nurse after graduation.

    I can't speak for other programs, but the one I'm in doesn't seem to discriminate based on age. There are a lot of young-uns in my class but also a fair number my age and on up.
    wannabeanurse2012 and DolceVita like this.
  5. 1
    My mom is in her mid-40's and she is in nursing school with me. I say go for it if it is really what you want.

    While I understand the point your co-worker is trying to make, there are many factors considered when hiring.

    Your co-worker is right about the nursing shortage being a myth. As in, there are a shortage of jobs, but not a shortage of nurses.
    mariposabella likes this.
  6. 16
    I went to an accelerated BSN program at age 45 and was hired at age 46 to a unit where I'm older than all but one nurse (including my manager and the two CNS's)... And the one nurse who's older than me is just so by 2 months. I've never experienced age discrimination.

    What older new nurses bring to the table is a wealth of life experience that helps us to better relate to many patients.

    If you want to do it, go for it!
    johnsonny2fl, chorkle, Saflanut, and 13 others like this.
  7. 11
    If it is a school that goes strictly by your GPA etc then age wouldn't even be considered. Most of the people in my class are in their 40s and 50s.....and they are doing just fine. One is pushing 70. I don't see why they would care how long you plan on being a nurse after you go to school. What about the young ones who get into and realize they hate nursing? Or quit after 1-2 years to stay home with children. No one knows what will happen with each person. I work with a 78yo nurse who has no plans on retiring any time soon....so there is your 30+ years on the job for ya!

    If nursing schools is what you want to do then go for it! Don't let people like that hold you down.
    rosiekay, chorkle, MAmom81, and 8 others like this.
  8. 6
    I am in my 40s and starting a direct entry MSN in a month. The program encourages older applicants who desire a change in career. Students in the program come from a wide range of educational backgrounds. Life experience in any field makes for a more well rounded student!
    rosiekay, MAmom81, kty1, and 3 others like this.
  9. 13
    you are never too old to accomplish your dreams!

    my friends grandmother was a housewife all her life, she took care of all the 5 kids including a set of twins, she maintained the house, she did everything, but her dream was to be a lawyer.

    she finished law school in her 60's, two years after completion she passed away with cancer. but my point of the story is that eventhough she passed away. she ended up accomplising her dream of being a lawyer.

    she is a true inspiration to me to accomplish my dreams.

    and I am sure that if I can dream it, and work towards something, I can accomplish it!
    sunnyside11, studentrn4me, MAmom81, and 10 others like this.
  10. 61
    In November, 2007, I thought I would try to change careers and get into nursing school. The application date was June, 2008. I took some pre-reqs that were necessary for consideration - A&P, Micro. A&P II was online. I had to dissect a pig in my kitchen! I applied and made it into a very competitive evening program. Perfect, as I had to work full-time along with school and clinicals.

    I graduated with honors this past May, took the NCLEX in June - loved seeing that blue screen after 75 questions.

    Applied for a local internship program. Had one interview. I start in two weeks in the Surgical Trauma Unit ICU.

    What a great 55th birthday present

    BTW, my previous job experience included nothing even remotely related to the healthcare field.
  11. 6
    I was hired for my first nursing job with no experience. I was 45. The manager who hired me said she preferred "mature" candidates with life experience.

    As for the nursing shortage being a myth, I disagree. Unfortunately for recent grads, there is a temporary shortage of good nursing jobs due to the economy. But all research suggests that in the long run -- and I'm talking between now and 2025 -- we will face a critical shortage of nurses. The economy has always been an indicator of the nursing shortage. The worse the economy, the less the shortage because veteran nurses put off retirement or go back to work. That's what we're seeing right now.
    rebecca41, aliveword, mariposabella, and 3 others like this.
  12. 8
    Lots of us have done nursing as a second career. I became a nurse at 34 but believe me I will be working at least until 70 and probably beyond.
    MAmom81, ahnniem, apoppyfield, and 5 others like this.

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