"Older" Healthsouth CNA interested in Nursing School: private vs. public? Dallas Texa

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    I am currently employed at a Healthsouth Rehab facility as a CNA. I would like to become a nurse, either LVN or RN. Today, as I started to pay for tuition at El Centro College for my prereq's, I stopped and questioned whether I am doing the right thing. I am 50 years old - and although I completed a Medical Billing and Coding program a couple of years ago, and my CNA training last fall at El Centro - To get into the nursing program at El Centro, I still have to take my prereqs, which is what i was registering for today - SCIT 1407 and SPCH 1311. Then, I still have my ENGL 1301 prereq to get.

    I looked at Concorde and some of the other private schools but immediately dismissed the thought of attending after seeing the costs. However, i am having second thoughts - I surely don't want to be paying for my education for years but on the other hand, being realistic, i need to complete my education ASAP. I currently work at HealthSouth and, as I understand it, tuition reimbursement is available upon completion of the class with a B or higher. I am not sure if HealthSouth will reimburse one of the high end tuition school?

    And this loan forgiveness and nursing loan program? anyone familiar with it? Looking over the documents required for it - I wonder if our hospita has it - seems odd that I haven't heard anyone mention it. ANY HELP GREATLY APPRECIATED - now unsure if I should go forward and register for my prereqs or see about this other route?
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  4. 7 Comments so far...

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    At 50 years old, are you sure you want to incur nearly $30,000 worth of student loan debt for a private program when you are so close to retirement age? The payments will amount to more than $500 per month.

    Although Healthsouth offers tuition reimbursement, I seriously doubt they'll cover the majority of that amount. The quicker route for schooling might end up costing you in the long run.
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    I don't really think I am that close to retirement age. My mother is 72 and still working full time and my father is 68 and still working full time. I know I'm no spring chicken but I have a lot to offer. I am able to concentrate more on my job position than my younger co-workers. I am never late due to daycare or school issues. I can concentrate because i was not up late getting Suzy's homework project completed, nursing the baby, or having relationship problems. My mind is clear, no hormonal problems or anything like that. I think it is the perfect time to go to school. Clara Barton began her nursing career in her 40's, working the front lines in the war. At 60, she founded the Red Cross. At 80 years old, she created teh original "First Aid Kits" used in homes and schools and supervised first aid classes. Maybe you just hit a sore spot with me....or maybe, like Clara Barton, I have 40 more good years left.
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    Yes, but the real question is -- will your future potential employers will see it that way? Will you be able to convince them that they should hire you as a new graduate over the numerous younger new grads knocking down their doors? Will they be willing to invest their limited time and money in training you, over the younger grads? I say this with complete respect for you, because I am in the exact same boat, age-wise. No one has ever come out and said, "You'll find it difficult to get hired as a new grad," but the subtle signs are there.

    And maybe you'll be the one to break down the door and get hired. Who knows!! You certainly have my vote!! But just be aware that, despite all the protective laws in the world, age discrimination IS out there in the current competitive job market for new grads.
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    I know......you are right. Age discrimination definitely is out there - right or wrong. I think my best bet is going to be going through the community college which will take longer, but so much cheaper. And even if I don't end up with a degree, i will be learning alot I can apply to my job, or perhaps I can get my LVN, or even my RN degree. It's frustrating to have to take my prereqs and see time ticking away - but i'd rather be going somewhere right now, than going nowhere. In the last 2 years, I completed the Billing and Coding program and the CNA program at the local college. I am signed up for fall classes to complete my prereqs and, at this time, becoming a nurse is my goal. But that could change. Recently, I have come across positions involving FIMS coding, and I am quite interested in that also. At this point, the only thing I am sure of is I am going to keep learning something. I appreciate your comments and input. Of course, my age is something I wish did not matter but I know it does - if I were the hiring person, I would take it into consideration - you have too. But thank you again for your input and suggestions - greatly appreciated.
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    AnnieDallas, I am curious to know what your final decision was concerning the pursuit of your degree. There are so many obstacles to overcome at all stages in life---nothing is ever clear cut, and things that may or may not work for one could possibly turn out quite differently for another individual. I recently came across the following article after reading your post. I certainly found it to be quite encouraging considering my own personal journey towards pursing a nursing degree---in my case I'm changing careers entirely. Either way, if you decided to pursue your degree or not, may your journey towards higher heights be blessed!

    Mother & Daughter Graduate from Nursing Program Together - Columbus Technical College
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    Can you squeeze in Eng along with SCIT and speech this semester? If so, you can apply to the lvn program this Fall and get things started! The last thing you need is 20-25k loan debt. I would suggest el centro or other colleges like weatherford, Collin, NCTc. I wish you the best of luck!!
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    Hello. Thanks for your comment and the link to the story about the mother and daughter. My daughter and I are both in college also. My daughter, however, is living on campus at an in-state school and I'm going to community college.

    I am pursuing an Associates degree in Radiology at this time at El Centro. I have been able to take most of my classes on line so far. I have quite a ways to go though. Every few months, I find myself trying to come up with a different plan but so far this one is the one I am going with. I have decided against a nursing degree - 1)because my ankle hurts after a couple of 12 hours shifts, 2)I don't want that responsibility (meds and lives). (I see/hear/experience nurses multi-tasking, having so much responsibility and so many patients- my hats go off to them- I sure wouldn't want to be responsible for giving a person their meds, while doing 3 other things at the same time.)
    My hopes in pursuing a degree in radiology are performing sonograms, or working in the treatment of cancer patients. I enjoy working with people, helping others, especially when they are going through such a trying time - physical therapy.
    If you have any suggestions, I would really like to hear what you have to say.
    Before I became a CNA two years ago, I worked in the administrative side, doing basically secretarial work. This whole medical field is new for me. I decided to get into because it was so hard to find a job a few years back, that I figured with all the baby boomers getting older, this would be the field to get into. However, after working at an inpatient physical therapy hospital, I have to say, that I think this is a great place to be for a CNA. We, actually, do see people get better. I don't know that I could work in a nursing home. It seems like that would get old and depressing.
    Thanks for asking about my status.


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