back to school in your 30s?


hello everyone!

i have been lurking for a while, working on upgrading my high school courses so i can apply to the Psych nursing program (bachelors)

im sorry if this is the wrong place, but its where i spend all my time lol anways, i was just wondering if anyone here had gone back to school for this in their 30s? im at a cross roads because it is a 4 year full-time course, but its something that i really want to do!

everytime i read the boards i wish i would have figured this all out in my early twentys, but i guess its the experiances that i have had through out them that has brought me to this path.

any comments from 'older' students that did this also would be greatly appreciated!

once again, i apologize if this is in the wrong forum, but i figured it belonged here because its about this specific career. Thanks again!


morecoffeepls, BSN, RN

3 Articles; 122 Posts

Specializes in Psychiatry. Has 5 years experience.

You said a mouthful when you mention your past experiences have led you to this path. I feel the same way. I got a couple degrees in mental health/human services a lifetime ago and worked in that field briefly. Since then, I've changed careers several times, including having been a used car salesman (!), a banker (?), and running a restaurant. My wife and I sold the business when we had our first son - I was working 12 hours a day 7 days a week, and wanted to be present for his upbringing. I was what? 34? at the time, and although I'll never make as much money in nursing as we would have had we kept the business, I know I made the right choice. It wasn't easy, but I finished an accelerated ADN program in 15 months or so after banging out the pre-reqs, was hired right out of school on a psychiatric unit I thought highly of, and will receive my BSN from a ridiculous online program from a decent school at the end of this year. Being 'older' has been a real advantage, in my opinion. I always say, "I wish I had done this 10 years ago", but I don't mean it. Those 10 years prepared me for this, in many regards. My brain may not work as well as it once did, but the perspective and motivation I now have compensate for that in spades. I would have probably sh*t the bed if I had been at the "crossroads" you mention in my early 20's. I barely remember my early 20's, for that matter. Again, I honestly feel that the professional and life experiences of my early adulthood have brought me to my current path and that they benefit me as a student and as a nurse. Based on your post, it appears you may be in a similar situation, and I hope it all works out for you. It's been worth it - it may not feel that way initially when you commit to this track, but you sound focused and determined & I wish you success.


21 Posts

Specializes in primary care and psych..

I didn't know what I wanted to be in my 20's. A nurse yes, but that was it. I think my career experiences and a little maturity led me to where I needed to be. If this specialty is calling you, don't let yourself wonder what if! I am going back to school for NP in mental health. Im probably a few years older, age was never a consideration.. just doing what I love. Good luck to you and let us know what you decide.

Whispera, MSN, RN

3,458 Posts

Specializes in psych, addictions, hospice, education.

I started nursing school when I was 38. I knew I'd be 42 when I got my BSN, but I would have been 42 anyway. It's what I wanted to do, so age was just a number...


116 Posts

Specializes in Adult Acute Psych Inpatient.

I went to school right out of high school. In my graduating class of thirty or so, at least half were over the age of 30. It seemed those that started out young were more likely to get caught up in 'campus life' where as those that were older, or more serious about an actual career, were those that succeeded. I think it would be a great idea to go back to school with full knowledge of exactly what it is you want to do. Sound like you would have a real advantage.


1,062 Posts

Go for it! Never too late to learn and start a new career.

I was in my late 20's when I started nursing school and I have had

a wonderful 23 years in various specialties.

You will bring lots of experience and wisdom to your nursing program,

so no more lurking....join us!:nurse:

Best wishes in whatever path you decide on....

Long Term Care Columnist / Guide

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

142 Articles; 9,981 Posts

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 26 years experience.

I was 34 and the mother of four young children when I finally got myself together enough to work toward a nursing degree. I graduated at 38 and have never regretted my decision (although on days like today, I tend to think "maybe I should've become a Wal-Mart greeter?" :lol2:) You have nothing to lose but regrets for the road not taken.......Go for it!!

morecoffeepls, BSN, RN

3 Articles; 122 Posts

Specializes in Psychiatry. Has 5 years experience.

VivaLasViejas: You would have made an excellent Wal-Mart greeter.

cdoesc: Are you in school now? I think I may be headed in the same direction, despite the conversion to DNP.

jahra: "... so no more lurking ... JOIN US!!!" That's kinda creepy.

Mashira: "... full knowledge of exactly what it is you want to do." No such thing.


Whispera: Only 2,371 kudos from 1,003 posts? You've been robbed. Are you jealous of Viva's volume & ratio? Do you look at it and go, "Some day." Me neither, I'm just saying it's impressive, okay?

Marilyn: I like you. Do you like me? Also, a bachelor's psych nursing program? I'm not sure it works that way, but I wish it did.

Listen, I had way too much coffee and am avoiding some awful homework. I apologize for being silly & wasting your invaluable time. Also, are Wal-Mart greeters paid? Or are they volunteers or fulfilling community service obligations? I would like to be one I think (p/t), regardless of the answer. I can't stop typing ...

Purple_Scrubs, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 1,978 Posts

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 8 years experience.

I think whoever decided that we should know what we want to do with our lives when we are 18 years old was off their rocker. 30 is nowhere near too fact I am of the belief that it's never too late as long as you have the ability and will to do the work!


36 Posts

Has 1 years experience.

I'm with y'all. Started pre-reqs for nursing in my 40's. Got my associates and will hopefully be starting on my bachelors next year when I clear out some of this student debt. I am at an age where I may not always know what I want, but I definitely know what I don't want! It's pretty cool most of the time. Plus like Whispera said, I am gonna get older no matter what so why not go for it? (Masters eventually)


1 Post

i've always known I have wanted to be a nurse, but I got married at 18 and had three kids right away so i was never able to go to school. now i'm 26 and going to be going into nursing and will have to pay out the butt for child care just to go to school. determination and motivation are important no matter your age.

Specializes in Med/Surg, DSU, Ortho, Onc, Psych.

Marilyn I was 41 when I graduated so you are not too old or anything like that.

During my last 6 week clinical, I found cos I was older though I couldn't bouce back so quick inbetween shifts, & on a Friday night, I had noooo thoughts of going out & dancing - all I wanted was a glass of wine, a good DVD to watch and bed! (Yes, I have no life!)

So it does get harder as you get older - my knees hurt some days, my feet have been killing me lately and I creak a bit more when I bend. But nursing is worth it I think. I've hardly been out of work since I got experience, so the work is steady, my mobile pretty much rings off the hook. Though work depends on where you are - are u in the US of A?