Is 61 too old to start Pre-Nursing?

  1. Hi, everyone!
    I am interested in changing careers. I just finished the CNA courses this summer. I really liked it and thinking I might want to do more.

    BUT, I am 61 years old. You that have been through Nursing school, please be honest with me. I am a good student, but I don't want to spend time and money if it is unrealistic.

    I have registered for A&P I and II in the Fall. Good/bad? Please submit your comments and do not be afraid to be brutally honest. I only need these classes to be able to apply, as I already have a BS

    Thank you.
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  2. Poll: Is 61 too old to start Nursing School?

    • Yes, sit back and enjoy knitting.

      44.19% 19
    • No, go for it. We need grandmas in the field.

      48.84% 21
    • Don't know.

      6.98% 3
    43 Votes
  3. 66 Comments

  4. by   caliotter3
    Do this if it fulfills personal desires. Do not do this if you intend to rely on making a living at nursing (outside of your social security benefits in a few years). Age discrimination in hiring is alive and well in nursing. You can not depend on being gainfully employed as a nurse once you are licensed.
  5. by   Simplistic
    Honestly, for me, that is too old :/
  6. by   amber14
    That is way too old to pursue a degree in nursing. You're almost at the age of retirement and changing to a very demanding and high paced career would just be too much. By the time you get done with your prerequisites and finish the nursing program, you are already looking at roughly 3 years. When you apply for jobs, you might not get hired because of your age. Hospitals want nurses who are not close to retirement because they are investing their time into training you to become a good asset on the floor and due to your age, employers might think that you do not have the mental capacity or stamina at the hospital. I'm not saying that you're like that by any means, but that could be a possibly of what employers might think of you. If you are financial stable, I would say forget about nursing, but if you truely feel that your heart is calling out for you to do nursing, then go for it.

    Also, I would not take both A&P I and II in the fall. I would start off by taking A&P I first because just like any class, you need to know the basics first before jumping to an upper-level class, otherwise you will indeed struggle. A&P I gives you the basic foundation and is mostly anatomy with some physiology, but that physiology will help you A LOT in A&P II because the physiology is slightly similar in all body systems. A&P II is mostly physiology so it is best if you already have some basic knowledge of A&P before starting this class. If you were to take BOTH classes at the same time, it will be a huge struggle and out of all the prerequsites, A&P I and II are the most important ones because once you start nursing school, nursing instructors will not reteach you what you have already learned from your previous classes.

    Good luck.
  7. by   VampyrSlayer
    if you have the stamina, go for it!
  8. by   meanmaryjean
    How many more years do you intend to work? Because, realistically, you're looking at 4-5 years to get an ADN with pre-requisites and gaining admission and completing the program and getting licensed. How's your health? Mobility? All of these things have an impact on your longevity in nursing.

    I'm 62 and have been a nurse for 40 years, 38 of them at the bedside. I was fortunate and got away from the bedside and into academia before I had a major injury or degenerative condition strike. And age discrimination is VERY real.
  9. by   Ilikeletters
    Quote from meanmaryjean
    How many more years do you intend to work? Because, realistically, you're looking at 4-5 years to get an ADN with pre-requisites and gaining admission and completing the program and getting licensed. How's your health? Mobility? All of these things have an impact on your longevity in nursing.
    I have these same questions. Also, if finances are an issue at all - I had a prior BS degree, as well, and to get my BSN (I did ADN, then RN-BSN) was probably close to $20K total. So best case scenario is that you're 64 when you get your BSN, and out $20K. Is it worth it to you to get in 6-10 years?
  10. by   ItsThatJenGirl
    I think it depends on your end goal. Do you want the personal sense of accomplishment of having a degree in nursing? What age do you plan to retire?

    I agree with someone who commented above - taking A&P I and II at once is going to be tough. One class builds on the other and taking them both at the same time is going to be information overload.

    Best of luck with your decision.
  11. by   shibaowner
    I started an Accelerated BSN at age 53 and graduated with an MSN (NP) at age 56. I got hired within 2 months of graduation. But it sure was hard! I was always a straight a student and the ABSN was the hardest academic program I have ever done. See how you do on your prereqs. I do know a woman who started med school at age 65 and she did ok.

    There will be some age discrimination, but there will also be plenty of employers who won't care. There are some 60 somethings in great physical shape. Most hospital nursing jobs are very physically demanding. However, there are nursing jobs that are not so physical - psych, school nurse, public health nursing, case management, etc. Be honest with yourself as to your physical capabilities. Also, if you work in an underserved area or with an underserved population, age discrimination won't be such a factor.

    There are scholarships available, so the total cost will depend on the school you go to and the financial aid you receive. Johns Hopkins is expensive, but over 70% of the students get scholarships and some are full-ride. Check with each school. Sometimes the more expensive private schools have better financial aid because they have huge endowments.

    Good luck!
  12. by   Susie2310
    The OP said she only needs A&P I and II to be able to apply to nursing school as she already has a BS. OP, depending on where you choose to go to nursing school you may find there is a waiting list of up to several years, so I suggest looking around at nursing schools if possible. You didn't mention what your career goals are or whether facilities (hospitals, nursing homes, etc.) in the geographical area where you plan to work require a BSN for employment; you would be wise to research this. You also didn't mention whether you will be relying on a nursing salary to support yourself through retirement, or whether financing nursing school will be a concern for you. All of these things would factor into whether I could say that I think nursing school is a good idea at 61 or not. Keep in mind that an ADN at a community college will take two years and a BSN at a university will take longer. Accelerated BSN programs exist, but these are more expensive.

    If this is something you are highly motivated to do, and you can commit the time and energy for studying and for clinicals', and you can do it without incurring financial worry and are able to be fairly relaxed as to how quickly or even if you are able to find employment after becoming an RN, then I would say go ahead. I wish you the best with your decision.
  13. by   soutthpaw
    I would suggest taking A&P I in the fall and look for a condensed winter break A&P II class these are ususally 4 or 5 days a week half or all day for about a month. I did A&P II that way in the summer. As long as you have the time to study it's not too bad. I am old enough to literally be dad to about 3/4 of my fellow classmates right now. I am definitely not going to say you are too old. My dad is 75 and healthier and in better shape than a lot of 50 year old patients I see in the hospital. So you have to know yourself. Good luck on whatever you decide, Locally where I am going to school the do not have waiting lists, if you have all the qualifications, you will get an interview for the upcoming program start. Some people have tried several times before getting in and other got in the first go around. Look at how the entrance criteria are evaluated. Usually it is a combination of entrance exam, core prerequisite GPA, interview, references, health care background etc. Every program is different. Being older and hopefully wiser with a lot of life experience will be to your benefit when interviewing I would think.
  14. by   lindseylpn
    I graduated LPN school with a lady that was 65. She graduated 2nd in class (just barely missed top of class) and took a job in a clinic. If it's what you want to do, go for it.
  15. by   traumaRUs
    How long do you intend to work?

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