Older Student Getting Frustrated

  1. Hello, I'm an older student, 36. I currently have a bachelors degree in a field going no where. I have been wanting to be a nurse since I was 29 and started taking pre-reqs then. Since then, life happened and kept me from pursuing nursing. I now have a 12 month old, husband and dog.
    Right now I make pretty decent money, but we still live paycheck to paycheck. Things in the house are breaking, cars are breaking and baby is growing.
    To go back to school, I will cut our income by 60%. Hopefully I can get into the 15 month fast track program.

    I'm questioning my doing this because I feel like I'm asking my family to go into some serious debt for me and when I get out, I will be making less than I do now. About $20,000 less. BUT, by the time I'm 40 in this business, I will probably be weened out by younger people. Not to mentioned that I don't enjoy this line of work anymore.

    We need a bigger house, currently its 1100sf. I'm sooooo frustrated because I'm causing my family to digress financially. I honestly feel that if I follow through with the BSN and then a masters in nursing that I will be able to put us in a better place in the long run. Or am I completely misguided by this?

    Any input, Signed-SAD and CONFUSED

    BTW, I was talking about study habits in my class the other day and mentioned that now before a test I get a really good nights sleep or I can't focus as well as I used to. She, 20 something, responded with "Well, you know after 35, your brain just doesn't work as well. At least I have a few good years left."

    I wanted to CRY!
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  2. 25 Comments

  3. by   Gravysgal
    Quote from alliestar
    Hello, I'm an older student, 36. I currently have a bachelors degree in a field going no where. I have been wanting to be a nurse since I was 29 and started taking pre-reqs then. Since then, life happened and kept me from pursuing nursing. I now have a 12 month old, husband and dog.
    Right now I make pretty decent money, but we still live paycheck to paycheck. Things in the house are breaking, cars are breaking and baby is growing.
    To go back to school, I will cut our income by 60%. Hopefully I can get into the 15 month fast track program.

    I'm questioning my doing this because I feel like I'm asking my family to go into some serious debt for me and when I get out, I will be making less than I do now. About $20,000 less. BUT, by the time I'm 40 in this business, I will probably be weened out by younger people. Not to mentioned that I don't enjoy this line of work anymore.

    We need a bigger house, currently its 1100sf. I'm sooooo frustrated because I'm causing my family to digress financially. I honestly feel that if I follow through with the BSN and then a masters in nursing that I will be able to put us in a better place in the long run. Or am I completely misguided by this?

    Any input, Signed-SAD and CONFUSED

    BTW, I was talking about study habits in my class the other day and mentioned that now before a test I get a really good nights sleep or I can't focus as well as I used to. She, 20 something, responded with "Well, you know after 35, your brain just doesn't work as well. At least I have a few good years left."

    I wanted to CRY!
    Girl I'm almost in the same boat as you,
    except I got "let go" due to down-sizing of my job of 9 years!

    I'm 33 and married with a 5 month old.
    I am lucky enough to be married to greatest man on earth,
    he has CONVINCED me to go back to nursing school.
    Even though we are going to be struggling, it will def. be
    worth it in the long run.

    I just keep telling myself that I am doing this to better our family, and be able to have a great life for my son.
    Better to go to school now while our babies are so small, by the time they start school we will be in a VERY stable job, and already laying to groundwork for a excellent future for our families.

    Now as far as the smartass in your class,
    don't let it phase you, at the school I got
    accepted at (the 2 yr associate degree)
    the non-traditional students normally do
    WAY better than the younger students.

    Usually because we know what the "real world"
    is all about, and we know that this is a way out
    of a life time of dead end jobs and has some stability
    for our kids!!

    Good luck mamma!!
    Remember we CAN and WILL do this!!
  4. by   alliestar
    Thank you for your response. It really made me smile.
    Alliestar
  5. by   Mommycakers
    Alliestar,

    It sounds like you know what you want and all you need is a plan. You know you want to be a nurse but financially you are very stressed how your family will make it while your in nursing school. I am assuming you are taking prerequisites right now. Why don't you just wait a little while longer until you can save up enough money to help offset some of your living expenses? I know there are some programs out there that you can get your degree in the evening/weekend. Maybe that way you can keep your day job or work a part-time job.

    Also, you might want to check out www.daveramsey.com. I enjoy listening to his radio show. He helps motivate you to make the right financial decisions. I also enjoy watching the Suze Orman show on Saturday night. My daughter who is nine says I should be a financial nurse because I enjoy managing the finances and reading financial books. I told her I'm pretty sure that is not a job position. Funny!

    I agree with Gravysgal. Don't let what other people say bother you. I will be 42 when I start my 2 year ADN program next fall. I did very well in my prerequisites. I have 4 kids with my youngest one being 18 months old. If I can do this you can. You can do anything you set your mind to. Stay positive, you are on the right track you just may need to alter your course a bit. Good Luck.
  6. by   MAmom81
    Quote from alliestar
    Hello, I'm an older student, 36. I currently have a bachelors degree in a field going no where. I have been wanting to be a nurse since I was 29 and started taking pre-reqs then. Since then, life happened and kept me from pursuing nursing. I now have a 12 month old, husband and dog.
    Right now I make pretty decent money, but we still live paycheck to paycheck. Things in the house are breaking, cars are breaking and baby is growing.
    To go back to school, I will cut our income by 60%. Hopefully I can get into the 15 month fast track program.

    I'm questioning my doing this because I feel like I'm asking my family to go into some serious debt for me and when I get out, I will be making less than I do now. About $20,000 less. BUT, by the time I'm 40 in this business, I will probably be weened out by younger people. Not to mentioned that I don't enjoy this line of work anymore.

    We need a bigger house, currently its 1100sf. I'm sooooo frustrated because I'm causing my family to digress financially. I honestly feel that if I follow through with the BSN and then a masters in nursing that I will be able to put us in a better place in the long run. Or am I completely misguided by this?

    Any input, Signed-SAD and CONFUSED

    BTW, I was talking about study habits in my class the other day and mentioned that now before a test I get a really good nights sleep or I can't focus as well as I used to. She, 20 something, responded with "Well, you know after 35, your brain just doesn't work as well. At least I have a few good years left."

    I wanted to CRY!
    I am in the same position as you are in except I am a stay at home mom, I am married with two boys 5 and 3 yrs. old and my husband also wants to buy a house too!!! I am in school right now getting my Assoicates of Arts Health Administration and I will graduate in December 2008 and right now I am on the LVN wait list #85!!! at my local CC abd hopefully will start in Fall 2008 if not for sure in Fall 2009!!! My academic counselor told that I could apply for jobs now before I graduate so I figure that hopefully a hospital or medical facility will hire me and I can work full-time until I start Nursing School and then cut it down to part-time and we would still be ok financially and we would still be able to buy a house, so if i can find a way to do this you can do this!!! I really hope things work out for you, keep us posted!!! I wish you the best of luck!!!
  7. by   robotmonkey
    Hey - Just wanted to let you know you're not alone. I'm also 36. I have a 2 year old and an 8 month old. I start nursing school in the spring of '08. To be honest with you I never think of myself as an "older student", just a person who wants to be a nurse. Good luck with whatever you decide. I think in the long run it will all work out no matter what you choose.
  8. by   bluewolf9193
    did you know that the average age of a nursing student is in her 40's? heck - its not the age that matters its the attitude!

    i'm 44, 2 kids, 2 dogs, recently laid off and doing pre-reqs for the last couple of years. my dear husband, though supportive in my efforts, really doesn't help much in running the house, kids, paying bills, groceries and such. sometimes i feel i have so much baggage on my shoulders! i'm in my college's honors program (free tuition for select classes - makes my transcript look good.) on one hand, i can appreciate what i am learning in school. on the other hand, the young kids are so smart today that i think they have the advantage. they are learning about dna transcription and translation in junior high!

    the way i see it, by the time i graduate from nursing (i'll be starting w/the jan 08 spring program), my daughter will be ready to graduate from high school. yeah, it seems like it is taking forever, but when i started all this i said to myself "i'll get there when i get there!" and it looks like i'm getting there...slowly but surely!

    don't give up! you've got the will and the attitude and gosh-o-golly: you can do it! umpiron:
  9. by   Avery Luckiegrl
    Hi alliestar,

    I am new here so I hope I'm doing this right.

    I am walking in your shoes, just a few steps ahead. I have two kids, and a husband and I am frustrated! I went back to school about a year ago to pursue nursing doing exactly what you may do by leaving my family with only one income - and let me tell you that financially it is really HARD. Our spirits are wearing very thin especially now with the holidays coming.

    My husband supports me 100% but it is becoming more and more difficult for him... and for me. I REALLY, REALLY want to be a nurse, so bad that I can taste it! But lately things have been so tough that in the back of my mind I am wondering if I should just give up. I know that I won't though because I still have that "spark" in me.

    When I started college many moons ago - I didn't know what I wanted. I feel like the only way I can redeem my life is by following my dream. I feel extremely guilty about putting my family through this, but it's something that I have to do, and they understand that completely. We all know that this is for the best and once it's over it will be well worth it. So just bottle up all of your passion, strength, ambition (and some extra $$ won't hurt), and go for it. If nursing is what you want, just do it. We aren't getting any younger!

    This website is so cool! It's comforting to know that there are others like me out there. I wish you the very best in whatever you decide.

    :spin: Avery Luckiegrl
  10. by   Dottie78
    I wish you the best of luck! All I can say is please don't give up your dream. If you do, you will regret it. It will be hard at times, but in the end, it will all be worth it, and you will not have any regrets. I'm in the same boat as you. I have a job that makes "ok" money, but we're still living paycheck-to-paycheck, and I also have two young children. I think the hardest part when I start nursing school will be being away from my family, but it's only 2 years, and in the end it will pay off and we'll be living more comfortably. Go for it, and never look back!
  11. by   carveronica
    Quote from bluewolf9193
    did you know that the average age of a nursing student is in her 40's? heck - its not the age that matters its the attitude!

    i'm 44, 2 kids, 2 dogs, recently laid off and doing pre-reqs for the last couple of years. my dear husband, though supportive in my efforts, really doesn't help much in running the house, kids, paying bills, groceries and such. sometimes i feel i have so much baggage on my shoulders! i'm in my college's honors program (free tuition for select classes - makes my transcript look good.) on one hand, i can appreciate what i am learning in school. on the other hand, the young kids are so smart today that i think they have the advantage. they are learning about dna transcription and translation in junior high!

    the way i see it, by the time i graduate from nursing (i'll be starting w/the jan 08 spring program), my daughter will be ready to graduate from high school. yeah, it seems like it is taking forever, but when i started all this i said to myself "i'll get there when i get there!" and it looks like i'm getting there...slowly but surely!

    don't give up! you've got the will and the attitude and gosh-o-golly: you can do it! umpiron:
    don't give in to all the negative. i'm 42 and sometimes feel like i'm too old to be doing this. i also have eight children and never thought in my wildest dream i would be caring for all my kids alone. i just finished a cna class today and will be taking my certification saturday. i also attend california state college. i feel pretty blessed that i have the ability do what i want to do. i have been put down so much trying to pursue this line of work that it only is going to make me a stronger woman. i know it will make you stronger too. i just lost the most important person in my life (my mother) she has always told me i could do anything and now that she is not here i have no one to tell me that. i just want you to know that i'm here for you and that no matter what age you have to pursue your dream to be a nurse. learn all you can. i will keep going for my kids and my dream. carla
  12. by   karen230
    Quote from alliestar
    BTW, I was talking about study habits in my class the other day and mentioned that now before a test I get a really good nights sleep or I can't focus as well as I used to. She, 20 something, responded with "Well, you know after 35, your brain just doesn't work as well. At least I have a few good years left."

    I wanted to CRY!

    Why is it that there are 20-somethings out there that are really mature and then there are 20-somethings out there like her, giving the rest of them a bad name :angryfire. I seriously hope she is not a nursing student as a comment like that is only a sign that she is not mature enough to be a nurse. Of course that is my opinion.

    As far as your concern goes, I'm 37 and am hoping to quit working next summer but I may have to wait another year. I have 2 kids, hubby and dog and the grown up bills just like yourself. But remember, your child is still very little so he/she will play with whatever toy you give them and wear what ever you put on. So he/she will not be missing anything by your income dropping so dramatically. I would be happy to tell you how I am hoping to pay for NS.

    My plan right now is to save any extra money that I can. If daycare is closed on a day that my kids attend, I put that money into a seperate savings account that I opened, once I start NS I will need that money to help pay the daycare bill for my little guy, the older one will be in school full-time in September.

    My last pay raise has gone right into the bank and I don't even miss it. Every 2 wks when I get paid, I write the check for the difference between before my raise and after my raise and mail off to a savings account that I opened to pay for school expenses. It isn't much but it adds up.

    I have also begun selling extra stuff around the house on ebay. When something sells REGARDLESS of how much it sold for, 25% of the money goes toward paying for school, 50% towards paying down debt, and the rest I leave to pay for the listing fees and pay for the occassional thing that I may want to purchase. Then every so often I divide the money that is saved for listing fees the same way. I am diligent with this since I would really like to try and pay down as much debt as possible since I know I will have to create more debt with student loans. But the difference will be that the interest rates on student loans are always much nicer than the credit cards.

    I am also preparing to have a garage sale next summer, I have lots of baby stuff that I won't be using but I'm sure there is someone around that could really use it. Slowly I have started boxing things up, then I mark the box "garage sale", "ebay", or I just toss it out. We have tons of stuff in the attic and it is a very slow process but I also work full-time so I do it as I can.

    I have also called the NS that I want to attend and got their most current figures for the cost of the ADN program so I know how much to plan on spending. Although l assume your income is too high right now for financial aid (the questionnaire said we did not qualify either), I will still apply for it once I am ready to go full-time as well as apply for scholarships, grants, and of course I will have to take out student loans to help us out financially as well. I would prefer not to work while attending NS but if I must, my school recommends working no more than 20 hrs a week so I have also been looking for part-time jobs at my current workplace (they are few and far between but they are available here). Hopefully I can get something part-time here and my employer will allow me to keep our health insurance at no extra cost.

    I started all of this by really sitting down and writing the actual numbers down. DH and I are paid opposite weeks of each other so I know who's check is paying for what bills and his check is covering basically all of our living expenses. We too live paycheck to paycheck but take if from me, if you get that drive to do it, you will find a way. I will not save nearly enough to attend school this fall w/o loans to help us but if I wait another year, it will make a difference.

    I have noticed a huge difference in myself alone since making the effort to save for school. I don't spend as much, have actually started shopping smarter to save even more and have noticed that in general I'm not "broke" 2 days after payday anymore. Find what works for you and just do it. But believe me, start small so you only have to make one small change in the beginning as it will take getting used to. For me once I started with just saving my raise money, it snowballed to "hey I don't need this and I could get better money if I sell it on ebay then in a garage sale" to "I don't have to pay daycare 1 day next week so I'll stash that money since by the time I will need it, it will almost cover 2 days of daycare for 1 kid instead of 1 day for 2 kids now".

    Send me a message and I will answer any questions you have. I do lots of funky little things that are beginning to pay off after seeming like they were just robbing Peter to pay Paul.
  13. by   SparklyGirl
    Honestly, based on everything you said, I think you need to wait. (And I *never* say that).

    You just have sooo many stresses right now, and I don't think it is wise to spend so much money on tuition and to make even *less* when you are done.
  14. by   LaruaRN
    Just keep moving toward your dream. Don't stop. I'm 51 now and will graduate this spring. Its been hard, especially financially, but it is so worth it. You are setting a good example for your children to follow their dreams and you will be in a position to help them! Life is too short to stay in those dead end jobs.

    Carla, your mom can't tell you now, and I am sorry for your loss, but you have her words to live by. I will say that if you've come this far, you can do it. Think how proud she would be...

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