Is 26 too old to go back to school? - page 3

Hi, I'm currently working on obtaining my BSN in nursing. Before this degree, I pursued a BA in education. I thought that I wanted to be a teacher. After all it was something that I'd wanted to do... Read More

  1. by   ArleneG
    You want go go to school but feel at 26 it's too late. You may be 30 or so in 4 years when you get your degree. If you don't get your degree, how old will you be in 4 years?
  2. by   Deac Jn
    26? You are just a kid! I'll be 47 when I graduate in March! Never stop learning!
  3. by   bookholder
    I went back at 36 and there were others who were older than me, go for it!!!
  4. by   aureliey
    Quote from anouk
    Hi, I'm currently working on obtaining my BSN in nursing. Before this degree, I pursued a BA in education. I thought that I wanted to be a teacher. After all it was something that I'd wanted to do since childhood. However, once midway through college something inside of me clicked. I didn't really want to be a teacher, but because I was halway through the program, and had taken loans I decided to go through with it anyway. I took my test for my credentials and once I found myself in the classroom setting, I realized that it was not what I wanted to do and should have trusted my gut instinct instead.

    I was always drawn to nursing. Especially when in my junior year of college I went to my doctor and he misdiagnosed my symptoms of being the result of stress. I went to the school NP, and she ran test and found out it was more than stress. (I was SEVERELY anemic)

    I was impressed and wanted to make a career change before I started my career as a teacher but was to scared to do so.

    To make a long story shorter, everyone in my extended family keeps asking me why am I still in school. The one that really bugs me is everyone saying that I'm simple to old to go back to school. Should I be offended? Has anyone else heard someone say they were to old?
    Where are you from (state)? It sounds like your family is not aware of the changing times, and the fact that many people nowadays are changing careers even past midlife. I took a career counseling class a couple yrs ago, and the new research shows that many people will change careers at least once or twice in their life, and often for completely different fields.
    Also, many people go back to school past the 'average' college age, to finish their degree or take up a different degree. It's very common, at least in the northeast where I live.

    I am 30, and now in a nursing program, and can tell you most people in my class are at least 25 or over. It's a second degree program for people who already have a bachelors in another degree, so there's no one early 20s or younger. But even in traditional programs, many nursing students are over 25. Check out the page linked below, which talks about statistics about nursing students and second careers and ages of students:
    It states: "According to the March 2000 National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses, 81.7% of RNs are over 35, while the average age for an RN is 45.2, and 11.1% of nurses are over 60"
    "According to the same survey, the average age of nursing program graduates is currently 30.5, and this average is increasing every year - indicating that more and more students are entering the field after having pursued another career"
    "Nursing school administrators report that second-career nursing students typically bring an energy and intensity of focus to their studies that their younger counterparts lack, and are often top performers academically"

    Many people are living longer today, esp. women, and nursing is a career where there is not alot of age discrimination like a corporate job, for example. I've seen plenty of nurses late 50s, and still working full time, and happy.
    Besides, even if you start a traditional program and finish in a few yrs, you're still very young. It's not like you're going to med school, most nusring programs are only 2-3 yrs. Unless you go for the BSN, but if you have college credits, you can maybe transfer them. I did that, and now getting a 2nd BSN, in about 1.5 yrs, but that's a fast-track 2nd degree program.

    You'll have still have plenty of yrs for a long career. Your family must be very old fashioned or have stereotypes about aging and school, etc. Plus, they must not know that nursing these days has MANY options, and can be very flexible in terms of the type of jobs available, not just hospital (i.e. clinics, doctor's office, corporate nurse, school nurse, per diem nurse, etc. etc.) and you can even work part time in some places and get a decent salary. If it's your dream, follow it, don't let them discourage you.
    You're still going to get older anyway, so would you rather get older and have a nursing career or be older and have NO career, or no career that you're happy with?

    Show them this page:
  5. by   travel920
    A Nurse Recruiter told me that they look for "Nontraditional" students because of their maturity and judgment. Nontraditional means older.

    I am 31 and in my final semester of BSN.

  6. by   nurse4theplanet
    Quote from Mulan
    People have gone to nursing school in their 50's and 60's.
    Our class president (and one of my best friends...not to mention the smartest woman in the class) is 51!

    She had a four year degree that she obtained more than 20years ago in Vet. Science. Then she got married, became a housewife and raised three children. Now that the children are grown and out of the house, she is leaving hubby (who has been a terrible cheater over the past years) and went to nursing school to be able to support herself.

    It took an amazing amount of courage on her part to do so and she is going to make an excellent nurse! She is a constant reminder to me that it is never too late to try something new or better your mind.

    So if she can do it at 51...I laugh at anyone who thinks 26 is too old

    The median age in my ADN class is around 30.
  7. by   aureliey
    Forgot to mention above, that I thought about going back to school for nursing about 3 yrs ago, but didn't decide until just last year. I spent those yrs doubting myself, and thinking I was too old to go back to school. NOT because my family discouraged me, but because I thought I would be the oldest student there and felt weird going back to school. That was very foolish of me though, because when I went just to do a few prerequistes that I needed, I was amazed at all the students over 30. I just started the 2nd degree program this summer, and my only regret is that I should have started 3 yrs ago. So i basically just wasted 3 yrs just thinking about it, and I turned 30 anyway. So don't let your family get you down.
    If you think you can't afford it, don't worry, you can get Stafford loans and even private loans to help with living expenses, and they are all low interest and you don't pay back until you graduate 6 months later.
  8. by   CaseManager1947
    Uh ....NO!!!

    Diploma --1968

    BSN -- 2000 age 53

    MSN -- age 57

    You go!!!
  9. by   okapple
    I'm 25 and in a one-yr ABSN program, and I am for sure one of the younger ones in my class. Most people are in their 30's or 40's and are married with kids and have tons of work experience.
    I completely understand the 1/4life crisis thing and sometimes wish I had my career and all right on track.
    BUt now that I think about it, I don't regret that I spent 4 years pursuing a degree that I'll never use, and had I known I wanted to be a nurse right out of high school, I definitely was not mature enough to handle it at 18 years old . Heck sometimes I still think I'm not mature enough

    So, definitely follow your heart and go for it!
  10. by   danh3190
    I'm in the 1st year of a 2 year diploma program. I'll be turning 55 in 11 days . I'm one of the oldest in the class, but there are quite a few of us in our upper 40s or above. I'd guess 26 would be about the average age of our class.
  11. by   luvmy3kids
    I'm 32, I have 3 children, a husband, and I stay at home. It's a bit more challenging at this age (with everything else going on), but I feel like I appreciate it more. I'm more interested in the coursework, I'm more motivated to do well, and I feel a sense of accomplishment... (something that has been lacking in my life I guess)

    If this is what you have always wanted to do, it's better late than never! And you are only 26! You have your whole life ahead of you!

    Best of luck!
  12. by   West_Coast_Ken
    Quote from anouk
    ...everyone in my extended family keeps asking me why am I still in school. The one that really bugs me is everyone saying that I'm simple to old to go back to school. Should I be offended? Has anyone else heard someone say they were to old?
    I don't think the real question is are you too old, but rather why does "everyone in my extended family keep asking me why am I still in school"?

    Didn't they get the message from you loud and clear you made a mistake by going for something else and you have since changed your mind? That is why you are still in school. You changed career choices. Maybe they don't think you are serious about this either and see you as wandering. Just a thought...

    I wish I had known what I wanted to do when I was 26. Of course 26 is not too old for school. That doesn't seem to be the issue though (to me...)

    Regards and best of luck in nursing,

  13. by   quinnila
    Quote from MSADN
    I'm 47 and in my first semester of nursing. I'll be 49 when I graduate. I was going to be 49 anyway, so ....
    I am 45 and grad in May,started my first job in Aug. I agree I was going to be 45 anyway and I do not want any regrets!
    Go for it!:mortarboard: