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Desperately need advice and encouragement

Pre-Nursing   (1,598 Views | 20 Replies)

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I have been a member of allnurses for 10+ years.  I've wanted to be a nurse for as long as I can remember.  My mom was a nurse, grandma was a nurse (hence my name) and various cousins are nurses.  It seems to run in the family.  About 15 years ago I was a pre-nursing student.  I was doing well.  Then I got married and my hubby ended up on my health insurance because he was self employed and I had a full time retail job that provided insurance.  I couldn't see a way to actually pursue a nursing career since, at least where I am, it would require at the very least dropping my work schedule to less than 30 hours a week which would mean losing our insurance.  That was not an option since my hubby needed access to health insurance due to a pre existing condition and this was well before the insurance industry changed.  

Fast forward to now.  I have two kids, still work for the same retailer, and hubby has a great job that provides us our insurance.  I've been crying for years that I wanted to be a nurse, and now I actually have the option to pursue it.  Problem is - I feel paralyzed with fear.  What if after all this time I hate it? What if my age is an issue since by the time I'm done with just my ADN I'll be 45 and will still need to continue to get a BSN? What if I don't have a strong enough stomach - can I physically/mentally/emotionally handle a job in nursing? Hubby works shifts - is it a good or bad idea to also pursue a career that requires shift work? I am currently registered for chemistry this spring but gosh darn it the doubt that's creeping in... I don't want to take chances, but I also HATE the job I have now and have only stayed there for 23 years now out of necessity.  There are other pathways that I can take that will help me transition out of my current job that I think I would enjoy and would make a decent living doing, but I also don't want to throw away the opportunity to pursue what I've said I've wanted to pursue for so long.  I don't want to have regret.  I just don't know what to do and need a little guidance. 

Help!! Thanks.  

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1 Follower; 130 Posts; 791 Profile Views

Hey there, it's part of the human condition to have fear about the unknown and moving from a job that has provided you and your family with security for the last 23 years. Your feelings are normal, but I think you would be doing yourself a disservice in not trying to pursue a career pathway that you've dreamed about for so long. My advice is to take your pre-application course work one class at a time and focus on doing well - focus on all the little pieces that make up the big picture. Give yourself time for studying, going to tutoring, understanding the material. Those habits will prepare you for being ready for creating a study plan in nursing school. I can't speak about the BSN pathway, as I am an ADN student, but I know the BSN is exponentially more expensive and realistically, you will have less time in the nursing work force to pay back a $30,000+ loan. If you get your ADN and decide you don't like nursing it would be less of a burden to pay back or less of a loss if you pay out of pocket.

You are not alone in your feelings but I found that facing your fears is the best way to overcome them!

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415 Posts; 7,708 Profile Views

Thanks so much.  I do worry about my age.  I know many on here say that 40 something isn't too late, but if at 45 I find out that nursing isn't for me, I worry I'll have to start over again.  But I guess the same could be said for any pathway... I appreciate you taking the time to respond!

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292 Posts; 1,155 Profile Views

It's better to regret something you have done, than something you haven't done.

^^^  My life's motto.

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3 Followers; 37,052 Posts; 98,453 Profile Views

Pursue nursing now or you run the risk of hearing yourself voice your regrets 23 years from now.

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llg has 43 years experience as a PhD, RN and specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

6 Followers; 13,245 Posts; 59,325 Profile Views

Maybe ... while take a couple of courses 1 at a time while keeping your job for a while longer ...

you could do some volunteer work in a hospital.   See how you feel in a healthcare environment, around sick people.   That might give you a clue as to how you might like or not nursing. 

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3 Posts; 45 Profile Views

I’m in the same boat. I’ve had my current job for 15 years, with great benefits that have helped our family incredibly. I’ve always wanted to be in the medical field but necessity led me to this job and while I make good money, I’m not very happy with it and I live in fear of layoffs all the time. I now have the opportunity to return to school and I’m going to start with two pre-req classes in the spring. 
 

I don’t feel like you’re too old, even in your 40’s you’re still looking at like 20 years until retirement. If you have the opportunity, go for it! 

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2 Posts; 37 Profile Views

This is not a life decision to take lightly but not because of your age.  Prereqs and the nursing program itself can be quite challenging mentally and physically, sure, but if you are in good shape and know how to manage stress, you should be fine.  
 

I also wouldn’t be too concerned about being able to stomach a lot.  You will be exposed to a lot during nursing school and may get queasy (several of my classmates have passed out watching various procedures) but there is a place for every type of passionate nurse and many that don’t require contact with too many bodily fluids.  Exposure to a lot during nursing school helps you find your next passion which is the area/specialty you want to work in!  
 

My class has many students in their 40s working on their RNs.  Lots of us are second (or third) career folks.  I will be graduating in 2020 at the age of 50 and haven’t had any trouble keeping up in any way.  

 

Edited by Goodkid70
Misspelling

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415 Posts; 7,708 Profile Views

Thank you all for the words of encouragement.   Feeling much better about this! 

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1 Post; 29 Profile Views

On 12/17/2019 at 9:22 AM, Mergirlc said:

It's better to regret something you have done, than something you haven't done.

^^^  My life's motto.

Agreed 

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meanmaryjean has 40 years experience as a DNP, RN and specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia.

3 Followers; 7,565 Posts; 65,432 Profile Views

If you have kids you have already encountered 99% of the 'yuck' nursing is likely to throw at you. 

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FullGlass has 2 years experience as a BSN, MSN, NP and specializes in Adult and Geriatric Primary Care.

6 Followers; 2 Articles; 957 Posts; 8,517 Profile Views

On 12/17/2019 at 6:16 AM, 3rdgenRN2B said:

Thanks so much.  I do worry about my age.  I know many on here say that 40 something isn't too late, but if at 45 I find out that nursing isn't for me, I worry I'll have to start over again.  But I guess the same could be said for any pathway... I appreciate you taking the time to respond!

I also changed careers.  I started an ABSN program at 53, and finished my MSN and became an NP at 57.  My age is not a hindrance and I didn't feel any discrimination by my fellow students or most of my instructors.  I think a couple of my BSN clinical instructors had an issue, but so what.  Maturity can be an advantage.  Good luck.

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