Jump to content

Anxiety about becoming a nurse over 50

Pre-Nursing   (1,124 Views | 9 Replies)
by tammystt tammystt (New) New

288 Profile Views; 4 Posts

Hi everyone ...

It's 2:00 AM where I'm at and I can't sleep. I have some major life changes going on - taking a break from a boyfriend of 4 years, house is being foreclosed on in 3 weeks, and was scheduled to start nursing school in a month. I was accepted into the nursing program at a local community college but because I'm still reeling from the break up and not knowing where I'll be living, I've decided to put it off a semester and reapply in the spring.

Even so I am still plagued with fear. I've never been in the medical field though I was a 'candy-striper' for about a month 23 years ago. The reason I stopped was because I was pregnant with my daughter and the pregnancy was difficult.

I was a stay-at-home mom for quite some time after my two kids were born but then I ended up divorced and took a job as a customer service rep with an airline. It could be awful at times but mostly I loved my job. Unfortunately the events of 911 took it's toll on the airlines and after a series of cuts in pay, hours, and benefits, I took a job as an admin assist in the insurance world. It's been a good steady job but I'm not that happy with it. I've tried moving up but because my son has a medical condition that requires constant attention, I've had to miss a lot of work. Positions I applied to said they needed someone "more reliable." My son is now in college and doing fine.

So after all that, and at the encouragement of the boyfriend, I decided to take classes to become a nurse. I've never been in college before but I have a 4.00 GPA. After 2 years of completing the pre-reqs while working full-time, I'm set to start nursing school.

But now I'm terrified. I have to drop down to part-time work in order to finish school and I don't have any support. My parents have agreed to loan me enough money to subsidize my income during the first year but I don't know what I will do after that. I can't get loans (other than small government ones) because I'm in bankruptcy. I don't know where I'm going to be living either. I'm having problems finding part-time work that will be flexible with my schedule and provide some decent money. I'm scared about how to get health insurance. I'm scared I won't like nursing or I won't be good at it. I'm terrified that I will bomb out or not be able to find a job after all my hard work and at my age (50), starting over is really scary.

This has become so bad, I'm having panic attacks. In fact I've almost thrown up twice just typing this out. I am actually doing intensive outpatient therapy right now because I'm overwhelmed.

I want to turn my life around and make it better but this panic is crippling me.

Has anyone else had similar issues?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RunBabyRN has 2 years experience and specializes in L&D, infusion, urology.

3,677 Posts; 26,917 Profile Views

I just want to give you a hug! It sounds like you're so overwhelmed! Hopefully, things will calm down some, and the initial shock of losing the house and the break up will have worn off a bit by the time school starts in the fall. I'm glad to hear you're in therapy- that will help you to figure out the right tools for you to manage all of this stress.

The age thing is common in nursing, and as you spend more time on the site, you'll see there are many nursing students your age and older. I'm sure some will respond to this soon!

Are you able to get work as a CNA? If you aren't already certified (some programs now require this prior to school starting), you can generally start working as one after your first semester of nursing school. It might be something to consider, and it might help you to gain connections that will help when it comes time for the RN position search.

Congratulations on getting into your program! Best of luck to you moving forward with everything!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

4 Posts; 288 Profile Views

Hi RunBabyRN and thanks for your words of support.

I am a CNA - I was certified last year but I have yet to actually work as one. I am looking at that right now. I'm going to keep looking for jobs between now and January (which is when nursing school starts) and hopefully I'll find something.

Someone close to me thought I should just quit my job and start school (since I have just enough money to live off of for a year) but I don't feel totally comfortable doing that. And the bigger scare is how do I pay for my second year? I'm fortunate that my education itself is being paid for by a state government program but I need money to live, too.

I'm hoping I can find Scholarships or grants somehow but all this unknown has me scared.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HouTx has 35 years experience as a BSN, MSN, EdD and specializes in Critical Care, Education.

9,051 Posts; 45,280 Profile Views

Frankly, nursing school itself is very stressful. If you are still in an unsettled situation in the Fall, I would suggest postponing for a semester if possible rather than sacrificing your health. Direct care nursing is a very physical job. It wouldn't make any sense to struggle so hard only to find that you're unable to work because your health has taken such a pounding.

Take care - wishing for good things to come your way soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NurseGirl525 is a ASN, RN and specializes in ICU.

3,663 Posts; 32,507 Profile Views

Why would you drop to part time work when your house is in foreclosure and you are in bankruptcy? It sounds like to me you need to get your finances in order before attempting nursing school. It is stressful and hard work. You need to take care of the necessities first like housing and food before going to nursing school. Please consider this first. I know life can throw all kinda of obstacles at us but you really need support to be able to do this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

151 Posts; 1,999 Profile Views

dt70, THANK YOU for sharing the link. I am 43 years old and found the inspirational posts very inspiring!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

4 Posts; 288 Profile Views

I don't want to drop down to a part-time job but I'm told it's impossible to work full-time and go to school. My current job is 8:00-5:00, M-F and conflicts with the school schedule. I am trying to improve my situation by becoming a nurse.

The financial end of this (trying to support myself and go to school) is what scares me the most. Like I said, I have enough money to get me through the first year but I don't know how I can make it work in year 2. I'm thinking that I need to find a job as a CNA, nursing assistant, or unit secretary before I get in school and see how that goes. Trying to find something flexible seems to be a challenge.

Thanks dt70 for the link. Thanks everyone for your input.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

4 Posts; 288 Profile Views

One other comment ... as I stated, I am doing IOP therapy and was initially put on Wellbutrin. Wrong medication for anxiety. After 2 weeks I was worse so I was switched to Cymbalta. I'm just now starting to feel better. I think the other medication still has me rather ramped up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

windsurfer8 has 13 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Psych/Military Nursing.

1,277 Posts; 11,182 Profile Views

You made the jump into the pre reqs and had success so that is good. Give yourself credit for that. ...if you absolutely cannot afford it then I guess that you will have to do something else. I would talk with the school counselors and finance department. Lay it all out there and see if they have any suggestions or ways to get it done. Fear is often of the unknown...wondering what will happen or how. Knowledge helps alleviate fear and panic. And if it doesn't work so be it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
×

This site uses cookies. By using this site, you consent to the placement of these cookies. Read our Privacy, Cookies, and Terms of Service Policies to learn more.