Tips for older new student?

  1. I have a BS in Fish and Wildlife Management and have worked as a fish culturist for 18 years now. I've held EMR and EMT certification over the years and was a Captain on our volunteer fire department until this past summer. I have decided, at 45 yo, due to the extremely physical working conditions at my current job (outside in below zero temps, standing in 35-47 degree water for up to four hours at a time, repeatedly lifting 40-60lbs of fish from below feet to above head, etc) that I need to do something different in order to still be upright and able to enjoy retirement.

    Our local community college has a well respected ADN RN program that ties in to our state college's BSN program. I am planning on taking the leap and starting school this Fall. What are some helpful tips for someone my age and amount of time away from school to get back in the swing of learning? I'm thinking maybe a "brain game" app or two, taking an easy online course like Medical Terminology this summer. Any other ideas from older students?
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  2. Visit wyofishgirl profile page

    About wyofishgirl, EMT-B

    Joined: Mar '18; Posts: 5; Likes: 4

    21 Comments

  3. by   Apple-Core
    Hi -

    I took online classes in order to get all the pre-reqs I needed to apply, and that helped me get back into "school mode". I'm in my late 40s and just started nursing school last year. I would suggest considering taking a class at the local college so you can get a feel for things, maybe? Best of luck to you - your current position sounds brutal!
  4. by   direw0lf
    Well if I may be a voice of reason you may not be lifting fish or cold but nursing is hard work on the body too. I walked around 13,000 steps during one shift! And I'm up by 5am, out the door at 6am and don't get home until after 8pm. And it's a lot of bending down and going up, boosting patients, transporting them, etc.

    Anyway, I think the medical terminology class is an excellent idea and even better would be a CNA class (by me they are about 4 wks long, and some are free if you are currently unemployed)

    Good luck!
    Last edit by direw0lf on Mar 10
  5. by   Apple-Core
    Quote from direw0lf
    Well if I may be a voice of reason you may not be lifting fish or cold but nursing is hard work on the body too. I walked around 13,000 steps during one shift! And I'm up by 5am, out the door at 6am and don't get home until 8pm. And it's a lot of bending down and going up.

    Anyway, I think the medical terminology class is an excellent idea and even better would be a CNA class (by me they are about 4 wks long, and some are free if you are currently unemployed)

    Good luck!
    LOL - yes, you may not be knee-deep in freezing water, but you'll be knee-deep in poo some days!
  6. by   direw0lf
    Quote from Apple-Core
    LOL - yes, you may not be knee-deep in freezing water, but you'll be knee-deep in poo some days!
    I had my first code brown the other day. They were not kidding!
  7. by   Apple-Core
    Quote from direw0lf
    I had my first code brown the other day. They were not kidding!
    Oh lord - code brown doesn't even come close. Code "re-decorating the room brown" would be closer some days. Mouth-breathing is an essential thing to learn!
  8. by   direw0lf
    Quote from Apple-Core
    Oh lord - code brown doesn't even come close. Code "re-decorating the room brown" would be closer some days. Mouth-breathing is an essential thing to learn!
    That summed it up!
    Luckily I don't gag easily, one time I was close, when I watched wound care on an obese man who had a perforated intestine and it was a massive infection over all 4 quads and watching wound care cut away and debride and pus was oozing and the SMELL of rotting flesh and ooze.... phew code brown was not that bad!
  9. by   nursinglove30
    Since tuition is money coming out of your pocket, may be better to just go ahead and take the classes needed for the program. Nursing drains financially so don't invest in classes that are not really needed much.
  10. by   mantidqueen1
    I just finished my ADN, and passed the boards at the age of 43. Unlike yourself, I didn't have a bachelors degree, I just picked up a AA-general studies while doing pre-requisites. I did it with an eye towards getting my BSN. Fortunately, my hospital will pay for a RN-BSN bridge.

    Taking pre-requs for your program will help get you into academic mode, but nursing classes will probably be different than any other you've taken.

    It is physically demanding, but in a different way than you are used to. I worked as a zookeeper and at a not-for-profit bird sanctuary, so I know what you mean, outside in all weathers, hauling up, draining, and gutting deer to feed the birds, unloading 50 pound feed bags, etc. Nursing is physical as well, but in a different way.

    More than academics, I found having my personal life as organized as possible helpful. Make sure, if you have a significant other, they are on board 100%. If you have kids, make sure you have back up, depending in their ages.
  11. by   Ame_0818
    Hi so I may not be an older student myself, but I am an academic tutor that has been working with older students who have not been in school for years. My advice yes I think that is good to ease yourself into getting into your study mojo, but don't take classes that you don't need because the money adds up. There is a great alternative though and that is that you can take free college classes online that are by actutally universities. They are not transferable unless you pay, but I believe that they are still very useful. The website is: Coursera | Online Courses From Top Universities. Join for Free

    The classes that I think that will be useful for you are the following:
    Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects by UCSD (This class gives you great tools and strategies that help you learn)
    Clinical Terminology for International and U.S. Students by University of Pittsburgh
    Vital Signs: Understanding What the Body Is Telling Us by University of Pennsylvania
  12. by   fille_canadienne
    Hi! I just turned 40, and I am about to graduate from BScN program. My advice is to maybe take a couple of courses ahead of time. I had a few months before my actual program started so at the advice of a university councillor I registered as a part-time student and took statistics and psychology. I was so grateful I did, it makes a huge difference, especially having such workload heavy courses out of the way. I don't know if its something your school practices but I would definitely recommend that. Besides, it helps you get back into that "school mode" Like you, I also have a degree in another field, so I was able to credit a couple of courses as electives. Good luck - going back to school was the best decision I've ever made (other than marrying my husband lol)
  13. by   wyofishgirl
    Quote from Ame_0818
    Hi so I may not be an older student myself, but I am an academic tutor that has been working with older students who have not been in school for years. My advice yes I think that is good to ease yourself into getting into your study mojo, but don't take classes that you don't need because the money adds up. There is a great alternative though and that is that you can take free college classes online that are by actutally universities. They are not transferable unless you pay, but I believe that they are still very useful. The website is: Coursera | Online Courses From Top Universities. Join for Free

    The classes that I think that will be useful for you are the following:
    Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects by UCSD (This class gives you great tools and strategies that help you learn)
    Clinical Terminology for International and U.S. Students by University of Pittsburgh
    Vital Signs: Understanding What the Body Is Telling Us by University of Pennsylvania
    Wow, these will help immensely. Thanks so much!!!
  14. by   wyofishgirl
    Thank you all for your ideas! I'm really looking forward to starting this new phase of my life

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