Anyone start as a CNA in their forties?


I'm now 44 and I've been an office worker in all different capacities for twenty years and the thought of being an RN keeps nagging at me and I thought I'd start my path at CNA; do I know what I'm getting myself into?

I know this would be a big change, :eek: because I was in a CNA class I had to drop six years ago due to my husband's health issues. I worked in a retirement home when I was 16 and did some volunteering in an E.R. six years ago and that's as much of the medical field I've seen. I found it scary but rewarding.

There are classes coming up and don't want to sign up until I know I can see it through, or how to get through it the best way possible. Sure would like to hear from others like me or those who can share their knowledge. Thank you!



Has 1 years experience. 58 Posts

I got my CNA at 38 and working it while going to school. I have noticed many people in our age group starting out in nursing as a second career. Also, see if you can work in assisted is much better than a nursing home because you seem to have more time tGo get things done and not such a heavy work load. Good luck.:up:



97 Posts

I have been a CNA for 10 years and feel anyone that wants to be a nurse should CNA for at least 1 year. Some of the best nurses I have had were once CNA's. I start the LPN program in August, and plan to do the RN bridge the following Fall. Good luck and go for it!



Has 2 years experience. 250 Posts

Take the training. You will find out if it is for you during clinicals. I'm 49 and loved the training which i recently finished. I will be a CNA to determine if i want to go on to nursing degree. I do know i like working with seniors.

Good luck with whatever path you take!



47 Posts

Thank you everyone! Thanks for the Assisted Living tip Sunshine; seems like a great way to transition. I appreciate the encouragement from all of you, thank you.



9 Posts

And to all you soon to be LPN's just remember you are never to good to help a CNA once you get all high and mighty. I have seen so much of that in the past few weeks on a job it's sad.

I'm a 48-year-old CNA, I started last August. I also worked for many years in medical administrative jobs and transcription, then I had a 12-year stretch of not working due to family issues. This has been my first medical job in a very long time, but since I don't have the financial support to go on to nursing school, I'm really wanting to go back to what I did before because it pays so much better and doesn't leave me so drained at the end of the day.

Being a CNA is a fantastic way to start a nursing career, it really gives you a great foundation to build on. The practical experience is invaluable, the work is very rewarding, and the pay potential for nurses is a huge plus. And for those who choose to be a CNA rather than continue to nursing school, for whatever reason......I say thumbs up to you!! The healthcare field needs people like you !



Specializes in done LTC and Hospital and Home Health.. 33 Posts

well restarting as a CNA at the age of 42 but plan on getting my lpn soon!



2 Posts

Heartbeep, Hi, I have been following this site for months as I recently made my decision to change careers from Office and Real Estate work (24 years) to Nursing. I am taking a CNA course next month. I feel my decision was the right choice. I was hesitant, at 44 years young, to take a path that is so different from what I was doing and very good at.

I can only say that the feedback and support has been positive. Everyone I talk to says it is rewarding and because of my age, and compassion for others, I would make a great nurse. In addition, I realize that the work is hard and challenging at times, but I am ready!! I have always taken college courses where I am "older" than my class mates, and I've always felt that my life experience helps me excel because I know what I want.

I'm glad I found this site. The topics range from very experienced Nurses who give great advice to use "newbies" looking for guidance. I love the support everyone has for each other.

So. . . . . go for it and be the best you can be. Good Luck.:yeah:

Baubo516, RN

Specializes in Skilled Nursing/Rehab. Has 3 years experience. 405 Posts

I am 38 years old, and just about to start my first CNA job. I am going back to school to become an RN after working as a music teacher for 7 years. I am excited to start at my new CNA job, which won't pay as well as teaching, but will give me health-care experience and will also have NO HOMEWORK so that I will have time to study and do my schooling!

If you are drawn to nursing but not sure, the CNA class is a great way to start/get your feet wet. Good luck!



3 Posts

I'm 39 and just got my CNA. I worked for years in the IT field, so it's all new to me. I originally went to college thinking I would be a nurse, but I certainly wasn't ready for college and dropped out after 2 years. I think the hardest thing is having to remember how to study! But I felt becoming a CNA was an awesome way to begin in the profession. I may stay a CNA, I may go to nursing school, or maybe I'll go into something different. I don't think we are ever too old to chase our dreams!


boogalina, ADN, ASN, BSN, MSN, LPN

Specializes in Acute Rehab, IMCU, ED, med-surg. Has 9 years experience. 240 Posts

I am 44, and decided to become a CNA because I wanted to learn proper bedside nursing skills, and make sure that healthcare was right for me. My journey started last December with application into a program at the local CC, completion of the course/clinicals in March, licensure in April, and starting my job at a combination skilled/rehab+LTC facility in May. It's been interesting!

If I had a top ten reasons why it's great to become a CNA for a person interested in nursing, here they are:

1. Nurses supervise and work alongside CNA's. The best ones know how to be supportive and appreciative, while still maintaining firm, consistent expectations of the CNA's. No better way to learn than by having walked the mile(s) in the moccasins!

2. CNA experience can help the transition into nursing skills and clinicals. Every nurse I talked to while I was deciding whether to become a CNA said that they either wished they had done it (because their peers who had been CNA's ran circles around them in clinicals) or were glad they had CNA experience.

3. You will get first-hand opportunities to observe nurses, and how they do their jobs. Whether you are helping position a resident/patient for a treatment, or have a chance to hear a nurse handle a resident/patient behavior situation, it's all educational.

4. You can figure out what brands of scrubs, shoes, etc. work best for you, day (or night) in and out. Proper shoes are a MUST! Buy your scrubs at the second-hand store if you need to save money, but do not scrimp on shoes!!! Whether you prefer Dansko clogs, Wolverine nursing shoes, or good quality tennis shoes, get something that is comfortable and safe. Keep in mind that you will be on your feet on hard floors, and you will need toe protection from wheelchairs and the wheels on mechanical lifts, shower chairs, etc.

5. You will learn to appreciate compression socks and/or stockings! If you already have varicose veins, don't make them worse!

6. You will learn that people in their 20's are happy to be helpful if you are willing to learn and don't have a knowitall attitude because of being older. I found it reassuring that the Gen Y'ers I work with are good teachers and team members.

7. Residents/patients all present opportunities to learn how to handle different skills and situations.

8. You will not need a gym membership, particularly if you work with total care and/or bariatric folks. I've lost 8 pounds since I started working as a CNA!

9. You will learn time management relative to the healthcare setting. Yes, these are 24-hour facilities. However, it's great to get all cares & tasks done before shift change so your oncoming CNA's don't hate you!

10. You'll learn how to protect your body so you have many productive years working as a nurse!

Good luck!