How Old is Too Old

  1. Hello everyone, this is my very first time to post here. I am a pre-nursing student I guess???? I'm in Pharmocolocy this quarter, wow, this is tough one, I thought Chemistry and Biology's were rough.
    How old is too old to start school to become a nurse? Just seeking evey body's opinion. I am middle aged, have always wanted to be a nurse, life circumstances didn't allow it. Now I am in a position where I can do this and have been going to school part time, (working full time). Sometimes I feel as though I will never finish at this rate and at my age should just give up. (this is usually when I'm so tired of studying I think I'll die). But then I think about the opportunities that are available for nurses, the different fields etc. and I LOVE helping people, nothing is more rewarding.
    So in your opinion, how old is too old to become a nurse?
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   SuesquatchRN
    When you're dead.

    I went back at 52, passed the NCLEX-PN just shy of 53, and am now working in LTC and continuing on via www.excelsior.edu for my rN. After that, I hope to get into SUny Stonybrook for my BSN, and then the same place from my MSN - NP Adult Health.

    You're gonna age in or out of school. You might as well be stimulating your mind and growing.
  4. by   hlfpnt
    You're never too old to see your dreams come true! Please don't give up...the satisfaction of finally reaching your life's goal is priceless! Hang in there & good luck to you! :wink2:
  5. by   Tweety
    I moderate the Introductions forum, and almost half if not more of the people who introduce themselves are middle aged people seeking a new life in the 2nd part of it. You'll be in good company when you graduate, because the average age of a nurse is 40something.

    You're going to age regardless, why not age with your dreams intact. Do you want ten years to pass and say "I should have kept on keeping on". It took me a long time to become a nurse, part time, one class at a time. I'm 47 and still realizing my dreams by pursing a BSN and perhaps an MSN.

    The only questions would be: how is your back, your general health, your knees, your blood pressure, can you handle stress.....etc.
  6. by   midcom
    I agree with the others. It really doesn't matter how old. I am almost 56 and started PN school last fall. I am definately the oldest student in the nursing program, including the instructors. Funny, the only 2 students on the dean's list from our class were the most non-traditional, the old one (me) & a retired Navy corpsman( 46) who was the only male in our class. Says something about maturity, I think.

    But to be honest, I find myself wondering just how far I want to go with my education. At my age, retirement isn't very far away. Do I want to spend precious earning years going to school to advance my education, for instance bridging to RN after I graduate next fall? I am not physically able to go to school & work at the same time so that would be even more time out of the working sector, not to mention the extra expense of more school.

    I would love to be an RN. I'd love to be able to work just about anywhere instead of just certain hospitals, LTC, or doctor's office. I wish I'd been able to do this 10 years ago. I'd have no doubt I'd be continuing on. But there is a need for LPNs. So far I love what I am learning to do so will most likely stay at that level.
    Dixie
  7. by   LMRN10
    I agree...your never too old to pursue your dreams!!
  8. by   Jules A
    Exactly how old are you, Gdsgrl??
  9. by   jov
    Quote from gdsgrl
    So in your opinion, how old is too old to become a nurse?
    I agree with the previous poster who points out time lost from work going to school needs to be balanced with earning potential post degree.

    In other words, when I become an RN, I have an earning potential of $50,000 a year. If I don't work as an RN for two years while I earn an NP degree, then I'm $100,000 in the hole for wages. If my NP degree only earns me $25,000 a year MORE than my RN degree, it takes 4 years just to recoup my wage loss from going to school.

    Another factor to recognize is that the aging body can't continue to do everything. If you think at 56 you can lift like a 26 year old (regardless of body mechanics, etc.), then we'll see you in PT rehabbing from disk surgery. Your eyes will go, your energy will go, your back will go, your knees will go. So something to be said about thinking about a job that you CAN DO in your 60's, and then working towards that ideal.

    One reason I plan to continue on for an NP degree is that an NP can work part time and make $50,000 a year. If I'm still working at 62, I might last longer working part time. And if I'm an NP, I can also work in a doctor's practice, seeing sore throats all day, instead of lifting some poor sap with a hip replacement.
    Furthermore the autonomy is r e a l l y attractive to me and I'm willing to give up some wages now for having that later.

    I'm all for following your dream, but dreams have a funny way of evaporating when reality comes aknocking... so try to work with both of 'em!
  10. by   2bNursewith7kids
    Hello! I am 38 years old and the married mom of 7 kids. I have been taking a few classes over the last few months while awaiting acceptance into the nursing program. I finally got the notification of acceptance a month ago and I start my first actuall full-time day tomorrow! I am starting off-schedule from the lucky ones who entered in the fall. BUT the good news is that I am taking one extra semester to do the non-nursing courses. This will ease my load when it comes to the really challenging nursing courses. Perhaps something like this will be beneficial for you? I know what you mean about the expense. I'm attending a school that costs Over $20,000 yr. which does not include books and other costs. To some that may not be much, but to me with all the kids, that is a very high cost...and it all has to be paid back.
  11. by   WDWpixieRN
    I just turned 51 and completed my first semester of NS for my RN. There is at least one gal who is older than me and another handful or more who are close in age. One of the upper classes that came in to class after us had 3 or 4 folks who looked close to 60!

    My husband (chiropractor) has a pt who told him her father, after a long career as an engineer, went back to school at 62 for his RN and now works part-time during the winters in the Phoenix area....he travels during the summer and I think he's late 60's or early 70's now. I have read on these posts about 70-something's working in LTC facilities and running circles around youngsters.

    I think you can make this work as long as you're fairly physically/mentally intact and willing to be flexible and realistic about your capabilities. I remember my grandmother seemed ancient at 50; I feel nowhere near that.

    Best wishes!!
  12. by   gdsgrl
    Thank you all so much for your kind replies. I was feeling down and frustrated, and I came to the right place. I am 45 and have been taking part time classes now for a couple of years. The school I am going to has about a 2 year waiting list to begin clinicals, I am finally just a few quarters away, and actually about half way done with all my classes, only 13 classes when clincials start, 13 out of 30 sounds pretty good to me.
    Sometimes I just get overwhelmed, working, school, home and studying, a hubby who says he understands but doesn't lift a finger to do any extras around the house. Who knows I have a big test and won't even help cook or clean. (he's a good man, but wants more of me than I have to give at times). Can anyone relate to that?
    I'm not quitting, but I will definitely come back here, I don't think anyone truly understands what this is like unless they are/have gone through it.
    Thanks all, for the support!!:roll :roll :roll
  13. by   allthingsbright
    You're never TOO old to learn and help others! You bring wisdom and experience to the practice and I think it's great you are living your dream. There are many people over 40 and several over 50 people in my RN class. They are loving it and doing very well grade-wise.

    Best wishes!
  14. by   nurseangel47
    :yeahthat: Suesquatch!

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