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As a new nurse (ASN), age 56, is it worth it to get BSN??

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by Hazel1959 Hazel1959 (New) New

I am a new RN, without a job, though I am looking all the time, and I am 56 years old. Many years ago when I first started my pre-nursing classes, and worked as a CNA, getting a job as a nurse was easy. Now most of the hospitals in this area want you to have a BSN, or proof that you are enrolled in a BSN program. I might note that I have only had one job offer in a year and 10 months of being an RN. I did not remain there long, (4 months). My question is, at age 56 and with lots of student debt from the first degree, would it be worth it to go for the BSN?? That would mean more debt with no guarantee of a job. Thanks for any advice!!

Miss Infermiera2b, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Oncology. Has 2 years experience.

I would say, absolutely. Getting a BSN will make you significantly more attractive as a job applicant.

Mavrick, BSN, RN

Specializes in 15 years in ICU, 22 years in PACU. Has 30 years experience.

Since the 2008 recession, Nursing Jobs have been for the experienced or BSN prepared nurse. Unfortunately your age, lack of experience as well as your degree places you at a disadvantage. Which one of those can you change?

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 15 years experience.

Earlier this year I completed an online RN-to-BSN program in 10 months while working full-time. The tuition was $5,800 at Western Governors University.

At $5,800, you could easily recoup the cost of this added educational credential within a few months. In addition, it will render you more employable.

However, be cognizant that ageism might be a factor since you are in your mid-50s. Good luck with whatever decision you make.

applesxoranges, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER.

I paid about 6,000 to 8,000 for a BSN from Ohio University and it took me about 8-9 months to complete (end of March to beginning of December).

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

If you could get that BSN for $6K, I'd say go for it. However, I certainly would not advise you to incur any serious debt to do it. If you amortize the cost over your remaining work years, it should give you a clearer picture. In most areas of the country, ADN nurses are still very employable -- just not in acute care settings. There are a lot of other places to work.

Congratulations on your achievement & best wishes on kick-starting your nursing career.

LilstrideRN

Specializes in Labor and Delivery.

No real advice, but I feel your pain. I am watching my cohort get interviews and residencies and I don't even get a call. I am seriously wondering if it is because of my age (46). The people I am seeing getting jobs are no older than their mid 30's. I applied to WGU's RN to BSN program, because I think it will make me more marketable. I have also decided I will take an ACLS course online as soon as possible too (maybe even a PALS) I just need to find a facility to do a skills check for a reasonable price.

I am feeling really discouraged! I have a lot of positive attributes to offer an employer, but I can't even get an interview! Maybe I should also take my resume to a professional resume writer. Have you done that?

amoLucia

Specializes in LTC.

In one word - yes. For job marketability - initial employment, advancement and job security/retention. Unless you have some alternative career/job skills options and can rely on other income sources, this will be a necessity. Am not sure exactly which fields you may be checking out, but you limit yourself when only pursuing hospital positions.

Good advice information by other posters.

To OP & Lilstride - ageism does raise its ugly face in nsg job searches. Sad, but true, and difficult to prove. Just some advice - make sure your resume is free of info that may reveal your age, esp the part re past work experience. In any conversations, incl en face ones, avoid any reference to age. You got to get in thru the door first, so try to bypass that obstacle.

Good luck to you both.

NurseGirl525, ASN, RN

Specializes in ICU.

I am a new RN, without a job, though I am looking all the time, and I am 56 years old. Many years ago when I first started my pre-nursing classes, and worked as a CNA, getting a job as a nurse was easy. Now most of the hospitals in this area want you to have a BSN, or proof that you are enrolled in a BSN program. I might note that I have only had one job offer in a year and 10 months of being an RN. I did not remain there long, (4 months). My question is, at age 56 and with lots of student debt from the first degree, would it be worth it to go for the BSN?? That would mean more debt with no guarantee of a job. Thanks for any advice!!

Can I ask why you left the first job? Is there a very good reason you left the first without having a second lined up? Are you only looking for hospital jobs, thus limiting your job prospects?

I'm going to say with fair certainty, there are several reasons why you are not being interviewed or receiving job offers. I think if you have a fabulous resume (by that I mean a well written one, not necessarily experience wise), and can interview well, your age should not be an issue. But I think at this point, where you are coming dangerously close to that 1 year mark of being a new grad without much experience behind you, I do not think the BSN is going to be worth it. You are already a RN. So getting your BSN is not going to get you a reset on the new grad thing. You will become a BSN that is not a new grad with very little experience. I would have researched the job market thoroughly before decided on the ASN or BSN route. If the job market had changed once you became licensed, I would have immediately enrolled in that BSN program and taken a job and stayed there until I graduated with my BSN plus had the RN experience under my belt.

You are between a rock and a hard place right now. I would focus on getting a RN job now. Not just in the hospital setting. Look in home health care, ltc facilities, rehab, any where and everywhere. Also, look into how to write a great resume and brush up on your interviewing skills. Do you have a friend out there that maybe works in HR somewhere or does the hiring at a place that can give you some constructive criticism? Can you have someone proofread your resume? I small error that you may not see may be glaring out at someone and your resume could be getting tossed. Are you adequately explaining in your interviews why you left your last position? Especially without having another lined up. Your age is going to work against you. It's a fact of life. But are you properly explaining why some place should be investing their money into training you? Why should a company be investing around $30k in you over a 25 or 30 year old person that can physically do the job better than you? These are things you should be anticipating and be able to answer off the top of your head.

You have so many factors at play here, you can't just pinpoint this on one thing. Look at the big picture and get on that job trail ASAP.

amoLucia

Specializes in LTC.

PP Heather brings up some good info, but I am believing that OP still has to continue working and she has some 10 or more years to go before retirement (good health prevailing). It's a given fact that employers want the BSN, be it for initial employment, advancement, or even if just for longevity (until OP can retire).

Unless OP has a 'sugar daddy' or a winning lottery ticket, she needs the BSN for a nursing position. She has option for 'working on the BSN' so taking on more debt can be done so gradually. It is true that that anyone having finished, currently enrolled, or even just considering an Associate degree is taking (took on) a BIG risk that may well leave that person in a situation like OP faces now.

I hope that OP is seriously investigating job positions beyond the hospital setting to improve her securing a job. That and to research BSN options.

Good luck to you, OP.

gibsongirl

Has 33 years experience.

Enroll but spend as little time and money as possible while you determine whether or not it changes your marketability. I'm your age and I understand the job situation. I do have a BSN and I am still having difficulty securing a full-time job. Have you tried home care? I am in that area now and it is the one with many openings. FT in homecare is not an option for me but I am confident that is where a full-time job is available, even to me.

Hi Hazel59,

I'm 53 and just finished my BSN in 2007 after being a nurse since 1983. My BSN has opened some doors for me that I never thought would be open for me. If you want to work as an RN, I would suggest taking what classes you could afford and at least you can say you are working on your BSN. It took me 20 yrs to get my BSN but that's only because I let life get in the way.

Good luck!

TNnursejane

gibsongirl

Has 33 years experience.

Tough to get around when you are asked for graduation year. Mine was 1982.

gibsongirl

Has 33 years experience.

Tough to get around when you are asked for graduation year. Mine was 1982.

Tough to get around when you are asked for graduation year. Mine was 1982.
Very true! I actually graduated in '81 but didn't get my license until March '83. I'm just glad I got my BSN, because I'd still be working the floors. My knees can't handle it anymore!

NurseGirl525, ASN, RN

Specializes in ICU.

I don't disagree that the BSN would be beneficial, but it's not going to help her if she has no experience. She's already a RN. If she just focuses on the BSN and not get a job, the money will be wasted.

She is almost a year out from graduation and left a job after a couple of months. It was her only job. She's thinking it's her age as to why she is not getting a job and that having a BSN will automatically get her a job. I don't think that is the reason.

Now ow if she currently had a job say in home health and wanted to get into the hospital, would that be a good idea? Definitely. I just feel like there is a bigger issue at play whether it's her resume or the way she interviews. Plus the fact she has already left a job. Employers will question that and she needs a good answer for it.