I am new to this board. I am worried about the old question concerning age. I am male, worked in the IT industry my whole life and will start an accelerated BSN program on January 21, 2003. I would appreciate your very honest and frank response to what age you consider really to old to enter a CRNA program and have a viable career. I will be just past 50 when I complete my BSN program!
Jan 15, '03
Well, I have to admit I think you do need to give this aspect of your decision long, hard thought.
It depends on your own vitality and vigor. I have known a few late 40-50 somethings that got through school. But, as you have to already know, they are the exception.
I know you have heard school is demanding. There is a physical component to this demand. Lack of sleep, long hours, working call shifts and still trying to study. And if you have any family responsibilities whatsoever, that only adds to it.
I guess some of the current SRNAs maybe would be better positioned to talk about the demands of school, and energy level required. I am 50 something now, and I am glad school is way behind me. But I know 60ish people who are vital and energetic, that would probably do fine.
Another issue is your chance for acceptance. There is a huge shortage right now, and large numbers of present CRNAs are near retirement age. With only so many available SRNA spots, schools are bound to give passing consideration to how long cadidates have until they too reach retirement age.
I am sorry to sound so negative. I hope you were serious when you asked for an honest, frank answer. Mine is only one opinion.
All these challenges aside, I have known people in our age range that accopmlished the task of CRNA school. Only you know your own level of energy and determination.
Good luck in whatever you decide,
Jan 15, '03
50 when you get your BSN?? I can retire from nursing when I am 56 and I am looking forward to that. I would not want to be starting a new career,especially one as hard as nursing at 50. The hours are long and rough on the body and health just for 1 reason. Good luck
Jan 15, '03
Just the financial aspect:
Generally when you go to CRNA school you can't work and must get loans. I know it usually takes several years to pay these off but I'm not sure what the average time frame is. So if you're 50 now and just graduating... you'll need one year in an ICU before CRNA school then school is two to three years. (Of course I'm assuming you'll get in the first try) So that puts you at 53-54 when you start working as a CRNA. I guess the next question would be when do you want to retire? If it's too soon after that you could potentially still be paying off those loans.
Anyway, that was just me thinking out loud. The real answer to your question comes down to yourself and what you think is best for you. If you're ready for the challenge and feel you really need to accomplish this goal, go for it. Good luck.
Jan 15, '03
Just my 2 cents...If going on to become a CRNA is what you have your eyes set on, then go for it....Any of us could come up with a myriad of excuses/reasons not to, or to do, something...Don't let your "numerical" age alone define your capabilities...I think it says something about your character that you already have committed to a career change at some level by going back to be an RN ( not an easy task, either) ...I don't that CRNA school will be "easy" if you're 21 or 51...You just have to want it bad enough...GOOD LUCK!!
Jan 16, '03
You'll be 50 in the same amount of time whether or not you go for it. Why not, if your health is good and you're sure this is what you want?
Jan 16, '03
I know your pain! I have had to drink from the career change trough myself. Similarly positioned as you, although I obtained my BSN years ago, but with lackluster grades. To enter a Crna program I will have to go back to school and complete a BSN in Biochemistry for an acceptable GPA. I have labored over this many hours and sought advice from every corner. I have talked to different CRNA schools and the response on the age issue have varied, but none of them closed the door. It may be easier at our age to enter nursing administration, the curriculum is not so intense, and they are also tailored for the working professional. The compensation in admin is not to par with CRNA's, but you are ahead 3 years of income production, and that is difficult to offset in the career time remaining. Also, I think it is important to note that being fresh out of CRNA school may not relieve you of the stress of long hours as you will be low-man and will have to pay your dues there as well. Tough decision. I still have time to decide as you but remember you can work as an independent RN, agency work. overtime, etc, and the final result at this stage may not be much different. But having a little glory sure breaks up the monotony doesn't? If you are positioned so that there is an income stream while in CRNA school, what's it going to hurt to try? Falling back to be an RN if you are unsuccessful isn't so bad either, there are worse things.
Jan 16, '03
Age is nothing but a number! If you feel that you are up to the challenge then go for it. In terms of loosing income during your training that is one of the downsides. However, and I am just speculating, it could be that you have had time to accumulate some savings and that you will be able to get by. I do not think that an anesthesia group will turn you down because you can ONLY provide them with 8-10 years of employment. They will jump for joy to have you on board.