I am 42 and hoping to go back to school in a year or so if accepted into a program. I am taking my pre-reqs during that waiting period. I already have a BS in Psych so can apply to most 2nd degree programs. Here is my dilemma:
The accelerated program I am looking at is at ETSU, Johnson City, about 90 minutes away from me. It will take me 5 straight semesters to go through and graduate from the program. I will just have turned 45 when I get out of the program. My main concern is the speed of the program and all of the traveling time I will incur, especially during clinicals.
The other route I am considering is the AAS/RN program at Walters State Community College in my hometown of Morristown. NO driving time! It's a 2 year program and I could be accepted as soon as this fall to start classes January 2012. I would most likely make the fall 2012 start up if not accepted early. Either way, I'll be closer to 46 when I graduate but ONLY with an associate's degree. Then I could take the on-campus satellite program through King College which also takes 2 years. Classes meet once weekly at night so the program is created for the working RN. So, now I'm almost 48 when I get done, but things would be at a slower pace and I wouldn't have any extra driving time for the 4 years that I am in class.
However, I'd rather not be working going to school. I'd rather just go straight through and get my BSN. My ultimate goal is to get my FNP, possibly in psychiatric nursing. A program in that is available at LMU, 50 minutes from me. Of course, that is another 18 months or so, so I am looking at a LONG term of schooling and starting classes when I'm 43.
Cost for the 2 options is equal when you consider the cost of gas to drive to ETSU so much, so money is not a factor.
Does anyone have any advice having "been there, done that?" I'd also appreciate any sharing of experiences at nursing program at ETSU, Walters State, King College or LMU.