Old and apprehensive

  1. Hi all. I'm new to the site, trying to learn my way around. I'm hoping to start nursing school (again!) in August (LPN). I started an RN program 2 years ago, and quickly became overwhelmed and anxious, my BP went through the roof, and my instructors told me to either get the anxiety under control or drop out--I dropped out. I'm almost 51 years old, and feel that I'm too old to be starting over at this late stage of life. I have a BS in elementary education, but there are no jobs in this area. I've always been in love with the IDEA of being a nurse, but I don't really know if that is reality or fantasy. I'm scared to death that I'm going to fail again. I have NO self confidence, don't know if I can do this or not. I know I have the intellectual ability, I just don't know if I have the emotional fortitude! I so admire nurses, I envy them their abilities and talents and confidence.

    Can I do this? Have any of you started at this late age, and were any of you as scared as I am??
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    About oldnewbie74

    Joined: Feb '07; Posts: 2

    8 Comments

  3. by   glitzy_orc
    I agree with your nursing instructors in that you need to get your anxiety under control. I too have had difficulty with anxiety and I've been a nurse for 28 years. I started back to nursing three short years ago after staying home for 18 years to raise my five children. There was a lot of concern on my part about what I would be able to do. I must say though, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I don't like acute care/hospitals though or maybe I didn't like the facility in which I was working. I'm currently looking for a position as a wound nurse in Long term care, because I love old people and I love wound care or a Private duty/home health nurse in Pediatrics. I have also taught nursing students at the LPN level. You have many life skills that you can draw from as an more mature person in making decisions etc. This makes you an excellent candidate for being a nurse. Lacking confidence is only gained by doing what your afraid of. Unfortunately, we have, at our age, a lot of fears in our memory banks that come out to haunt us. If you really want it, go for it. There are nursing jobs out there that you would be good at. Confidence comes from doing. Read Wayne Dwyers book Erroneous Zones or John C. Maxwells book Failing forward.
  4. by   oldnewbie74
    Thanks for the one reply.
  5. by   Tweety
    Good grief YOU ARE NOT OLD. Repeat after me. "I am not old. I can do this!".

    Please don't feel like your age is a barrier. End of discussion.

    However, it does sound like you do have some other issues that definately need to be resolved because you must have self-confience and get your anxiety under control. If you're worried about your age, forget that.

    Good luck. I hope you find some help and friendly advice here. Welcome to Allnurses!
  6. by   burn out
    My goodness I go to work to get away from the stress at home, and I am not far from your age. Your blood pressure would probably been high regardless to nursing school , there would have been some other stress there to help with that. Your age has nothing to do if you can make it through nursing school...but your attitude can. You are just as smart now as you were at 20 maybe even more so ..life expereince counts alot. If you had the grit back then you still have it today. So think positive about yourself, other older people have done this and work at it even older (shoot I see myself 70 years old and still a staff nurse). Go for it and good luck. YOU CAN DO IT.
  7. by   wonderbee
    I can't help with the anxiety thing. You do need to get a handle on it.
    You might want to look into getting a good physical exam. But as for the age thing? 50 is a number. There's 50 and old and 50 and young. At 50 you can be both. I found that 50 was too old for me to work in the critical care setting for the first time, but just right for hospice. That's just me. Maybe you're feeling like a fish out of water. Maybe nursing school isn't the most comfortable place to be at 51 but here's the good part... graduation. Get in a year on some floor and then find a comfy niche where you can shine. Yes, you can shine and integrate into the profession regardless of your age. It's a beautiful thing.
  8. by   allantiques4me
    OMG! you are already a step ahead of the game! You will be great.Try school nursingI work in a residential center for children with behavoiral issues.Im sure youd be great at that you sound like you have the skills for that environment.Good luck!
  9. by   mammaoftwo
    I am 54 and waiting to hear if I get in the Fall 07 LPN class. I will hear this month (March). You are never to old. If this something you want then go for it! I also am anxious, wondering if I can really do this. Right now I am making A's in my A&P class. I know I can do this, (I have to keep telling myself that) and I also have to remember that I will not graduate knowing everything and it will be a learning process. Blessings and best wishes.:angel2:
  10. by   morte
    if you can handle screaching squalling (sp) children, you can handle nursing!
    however i did see where you said you werent sure if it was being a nurse or the THOUGHT of being a nurse that was what you wanted....or something to that effect,lol.....if you have a friend or acq that is a working nurse, please ask if you could shadow them for a shift......to get an idea...
    and def check out med/counseling for anxiety....at our age (actually, i am older than you, by 5 yrs) we shouldnt be "giving away" any of our time to something that can be treated.....if you are not postmenapausal, make sure to touch base with gyn and check hormone levels,,,when they change, it doesnt help with underlying emotional issues....get on a good diet and exc regimen before school and have all your ducks in a row, so you can concentrate on school, good luck

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