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Career change at 46.......

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by KaseyC KaseyC (New) New Student

Specializes in Enrolling in school for a career change to nursing.

Hey guys, 

Curious how many are around my age (46) and made a career change? 

 I've been a professional guitarist, college instructor and private music teacher for many years ....but health care has always intrigued me and the nursing route is something I've been pondering for over a year. When Covid hit it pretty much flattened my music career for both performing and teaching, so Im taking this blessing/curse to start down a new life path in medicine. Starting pre req's for my ADN in the Spring, and considering getting a CNA certification to start working in the field.

Anybody else on a similar path or have been? Kind of scary at this age, but I take very good care of myself physically, mentally and spiritually ....so I feel up to the challenge and am truly excited about the new venture. Thanks for any insight or just resonance! 

On 10/21/2020 at 9:19 PM, KaseyC said:

Hey guys, 

Curious how many are around my age (46) and made a career change? 

 I've been a professional guitarist, college instructor and private music teacher for many years ....but health care has always intrigued me and the nursing route is something I've been pondering for over a year. When Covid hit it pretty much flattened my music career for both performing and teaching, so Im taking this blessing/curse to start down a new life path in medicine. Starting pre req's for my ADN in the Spring, and considering getting a CNA certification to start working in the field.

Anybody else on a similar path or have been? Kind of scary at this age, but I take very good care of myself physically, mentally and spiritually ....so I feel up to the challenge and am truly excited about the new venture. Thanks for any insight or just resonance! 

I started pre-reqs at 38, RN school at 40... 

Now, it wasn't a complete career change for me, as I've been a medic for many many years, which has been helpful because the bulk of nursing school has just been building and expanding on prior knowledge, but honestly all that means is that I can get away with studying SLIGHTLY less than my classmates.

The biggest thing we bring to the table as older students is maturity and experience in interacting with people.  I watch some of my clinical partners struggle because they just haven't developed the people skills in order to "bond" with their floor nurse or patient.  

(not a humble brag, I swear) - but I start each clinical shift finding out my patient, introducing myself to the nurse taking care of them, and saying "hey, this is me, please let me know if and when you need help".  There are subtle nuances on how to offer help or remind your nurse that a treatment is due without coming across like a jerk, and I think this nuance is only learned through life experience.  Because of this, I think my clinical experience has been MUCH different than even the folks in my own clinical group.

So my tips thus far as a "seasoned" adult (I still have more brown than gray!) are:

1. Keep your head down, you will have some instructors who want to be jerks, smile and kill them with kindness..  Honestly I only have 1 who irritates me, but I smile and kill her with kindness

2. Rest when you can, and don't be ashamed of it.  I literally didn't leave the recliner yesterday, and I'm generally much more active than that.  Especially if you'll be working full-time through this, it's exhausting

 

Side note - a good PRS is the only guitar one should ever need to purchase.. 🤓

Edited by FiremedicMike

KaseyC

Specializes in Enrolling in school for a career change to nursing.

Mike,

Haha, have a 2005 PRS McCarty ....my favorite electric! You?

 

Thanks much for the response and insight. Hoping my years of teaching and performing (which is dealing with sometimes tremendous pressure and also dealing with all spectrums of people) will help! I was so certain and intertwined in my career as a musician for so long this is all a little disorienting, although nervous Im looking forward to learning new things and challenges and learning about myself in new ways. Will def. take your advice to heart when I begin. Thanks buddy!! KC 

I switched from a MIM strat to an SE standard, then bought an SE Paul's Guitar for my 40th.. I'm absolutely smitten with that guitar.. I still pull out the strat occasionally, but not a whole lot..

 

 

medicchris, EMT-P

Specializes in Starting nursing school after 25 yeas as a medic.

Started back to school myself at earlier this year at 51. Had to retire from the fire service after 25+ years due to back issues and nursing has enough diverse fields that I'm sure I can find a job that would be a good fit for me. Starting back after not having taken a college level course for over 20 years was a bit of a shock. Hell, the last time I took college classes, there wasn't even computer registration. I had to stand in long lines and turn in papers hoping the class wasn't full yet. 

The hardest part for me was trying to recall concepts I hadn't even thought about in such a long time. Luckily, most of the pre reqs I had taken years ago were still accepted. I only had to retake A&P II and psych 101 and will apply for admission to the nursing program in December. I don't know how I'd have handled taking beginning English or math again. 

I haven't found anything more difficult then I expected. And with COVID, I have taken all my classes online so I haven't had to deal with all the students calling me "Gramps" yet. I do the majority of my classwork while I work nights at a VERY slow police department as a dispatcher, so time management isn't an issue. Though I'm sure that will change when I get in to the actual nursing program.

Any questions, feel free to hit me up.

Back2School4LPN

Specializes in Currently a Dental Assistant.

I’m starting LPN IN April and I’m 45 this month. I felt way too old but I see there are so many others! I’ve wanted to do his since I was 30 but ya know... life gets in the way....... 🙏

KaseyC

Specializes in Enrolling in school for a career change to nursing.

Medicchris, 

Hey sorry didn't see this when you responded. Very cool, and sounds like you've got a good situation, and best of luck to you! I just finished a 4 week CNA cert. course and take the state test in a few days. Enjoyed the course, and confirmed for my self its the right direction, a little nervous doing the actual CNA work, cleaning in particular! However Im of the philosophy of starting at foundation and working up......doing this course has given me an appreciation of the fundamentals of the nursing process. Will work as a CNA while Im finishing some science pre reqs. Hoping work in a hospital but here it's tough without experience to land there. At least in Vegas though last I checked there was something like 190 CNA jobs on the listings, so fingers crossed. Thanks for reaching out!

 

KaseyC

Specializes in Enrolling in school for a career change to nursing.

Back2School4LPN, 

Very cool! and congrats!  Thanks for reaching out.....Curious how long was your LPN training? I just finished a CNA program and take the state test in a few days.....Going to explore gradual climb perhaps to LPN then RN. At least going through the CNA training Im glad I AM older.....Im finding that life experience is giving me a little advantage in the sense of not being over confident about my abilities .....and understanding the "actual" experience will be a bit different than what school teaches. Good luck! KC 

I'm starting next Spring into a BSN program.  I'm just finishing up my prereq's now.  I'll be 47 when I start the program, and hopefully 49 when I finish.  

So far, I've been a web designer, Perl programmer, painter, carpenter, contractor, and EMT-B.  I have at least 20 good years left before I'm infirm and can no longer work.  I have my sights set on NP, or maybe Informatics.  I should be able to do that.  

SpokesAndCoffee, ADN

Specializes in ICU.

I thought I'd see how the test went and if you have been able to start working yet.

Obviously, you're the only one who can say whether healthcare is right for you, but what I can say is that it'll probably be very different than your current/previous career, and I don't just mean in terms of the duties performed.

I came from a 15-year background in PR and writing. Since I was mainly a contractor, a huge upside of switching to healthcare was that I essentially got a $10k raise due to benefits like insurance, 401k matching, PTO, etc. I also have plenty of job security with much more clear paths of advancement.

On the flipside, coming from a more creative field has required some serious adjustments. It's a much more rigid environment with very specific policies, procedures, and chains of command. Some days your voice will be heard, and others you'll feel utterly ignored. And gone are the days of taking walks to clear your head, or saving that irksome task for the next day.

I'm not saying it's bad, just very different.

KaseyC

Specializes in Enrolling in school for a career change to nursing.

Steve Jones, 

Good luck! Im sure your varied background will help! KC 

 

KaseyC

Specializes in Enrolling in school for a career change to nursing.

Spokes and Coffee,

Thanks for the insight, very interesting......and yes I am prepared for it to be different at least as much as one can without having actually done it and realize there's pro's and con's and trade offs. I realize it's hard to see until you're immersed in it though...so fingers crossed. I just passed my state boards for CNA and am now waiting for fingerprinting to go through before I can apply, and still have science Pre req's to get through before applying to nursing school. Wish it was a quicker process BUT doing the CNA training was positive and gave m a better picture of the overall nursing process and confirmed for myself Im on the right track. 

I realized my years of training and experience as a musician esp. the preparing for concerts, gigs etc. really helped me get through the "skills" portion of the CNA......maybe it's age thing as well BUT I have a good grasp on the not being over confident aspect and understanding that the "actual" "real life"  situations will require experience and that's where the real learning takes place. 

Onward and forward! Thanks again! KC