Age discrepancies

Students General Students


I've been reading all the discussions in the forums and it seems to me that all of the people in here are older people with families. I am only 19 years old.. is there a reason that all of the people seem to be older? I was just wandering if I am doing the right thing by starting off so early


70 Posts

Nothing wrong with starting early. I say do it and get it done with if you have the opertunity. Some people just go right to work after highschool for various reasons and get a later start with college if at all.

NeoNurseTX, RN

1,803 Posts

Specializes in NICU Level III.

If I'm not the youngest in my entire school [it's mostly grad stuff.. the only undergrad program is the BSN program..which it's what i'm in], then I'm definitely in the top 5 youngest at 20.


464 Posts

You do what you want, and forget about age (sounds familiar to us old fogeys but didn't think about it applying to you young'uns until now!)

Age, whether for the young or old, really is a state of mind. I think starting young in this profession, you will have myriad opportunities, as well as a solid career for your lifetime. There are just so many possibilities in this field -- you get bored or burned out in one area, you move on.

My sister went to nursing school at age 18, worked as a pioneer in the NICU, moved on after wanting more single-parent friendly hours to opthamology and now, after an accident left her partially disabled, is working in an insurance company reviewing charts. If she had been in any other field, all these changes would have had to happen with going back to school. Good luck!

My mom went to nursing school on a full scholarship right out of high school.

I always wanted to be a nurse too.

When the time came, my dad thought it wasn't good enough for me, and for a variety of reasons thwarted every effort I made to get into nursing. Finally I gave up and got married. It took me 13 years to finish my BA, another 2 to get a masters.

I still wanted nursing. Since he has passed, I no longer have to "worry" (sounds stupid by today's standards, I know) about whether this is good enough for him.

I start my first job as an RN a week from today. I waited 45 years (from the day I first knew) to get here. My Mom and I were just talking the other day about how hard I had to work to get where I belong.

If you belong in nursing, don't ever let anyone get between you and it.

You are not too young. You are the perfect age.

So was I! :)

Good luck!

stressgal, RN

589 Posts

Specializes in CCRN.

One of my study group members is 18. She took college courses while a senior in High School, graduated In June and began the nursing program later that month. She is AWSOME! There are times the slackers in our class are excused because of their age, but she proves age and maturity do not always go hand in hand. I respect you also for having these fabulous goals at an early age. Keep with it!


534 Posts

Specializes in private duty/home health, med/surg.

Sometimes I wish I had known at your age that I wanted to go into nursing. I did it after I'd been married & had 3 kids to look after...that made it much tougher.

I hope you can see starting nursing at your age as an asset. I really respect someone who has set career & education goals at an early age. I don't think you'll regret it!

Specializes in CCU (Coronary Care); Clinical Research.

I graduated high school at 18, played in college for a year...but graduated from a BSN program by the time I was 22 and went right into my chosen field....I don't regret starting early. By 25 I have my own house, car children or anything (but I did get married right after I graduated). There is no right way to go through the schooling process. For me it was easier to just get it done since I was still in "school mode" and didn't have anything else to worry about...and I don't regret it for a second. Go with what feels will have a lot of time to get lots of experience, go back to school, work, travel, etc...Most of all, have fun!

llg, PhD, RN

13,469 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

It used to be very unusual for nursing students to be anything but 18-21 years of age. Lately, however, high school students are not choosing to enter the nursing field (because it doesn't seem "glamorous" enough?) -- but people who have been adults for a few years are deciding that it is a good choice. That is raising the age of the average nursing student, particularly in Community Colleges that tend to attract the more mature student looking for the fastest, cheapest way to become an RN.

The generic BSN programs at 4-year colleges tend to have a higher proportion of those "traditional" college students aged 18-22.

There is nothing at all wrong with knowing what you want to do when you are young. In fact, there is a big advantage in it. You can get that BSN and even go to graduate school while you are still young enough to devote full time to your career -- before you have children, a mortgage, etc. You'll be young enough to physically tolerate the rotating shifts, etc. that are often a necessary part of an entry-level job. By the time your body begins to age, you'll have enough education and experience to qualify for a job that suits your personal needs very well.

While there is nothing wrong with starting your nursing career later in life ... it's to your great advantage to be starting it early.

Good luck,

llg -- Who had her MSN and was a CNS and a faculty member by the time I was 26.

kellyo, LPN

333 Posts

Specializes in CV Surgery Step-down.

I wish I knew what I wanted to do when I was 18! It took me 29 years to figure that out, and another 5 to get through pre-reqs, babies and life in general.

Go for it now!


136 Posts

I'm 20. :) As for your question about if starting off early was the right thing, ask yourself what you would be doing otherwise until it was "time" to go to nursing school. If you know what you want, do it ASAP!

Specializes in NICU/Neonatal transport.

I think especially here online the stats are skewed; many older nursing students (like myself) can't network and get the support system from classmates like a college student can. We might have children, husbands, other jobs or other things that require a lot of our time and attention apart from nursing school. We can't go out partying like we did when we were 18, so we it's not the same connection you get with your classmates when you are older. Not better or worse, just different.

So, online forums are a good place, especially for the older learner, to gather and get support, but they can do it on their schedule, whether it's 5am or midnight or 3 in the afternoon. We can squeeze it in between all of our other responsibilities and be able to connect with like-minded people, which could be more difficult in a program, depending on what the age of the average student is.

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