OVER-40 Fall 2012 Nursing Students--Roll Call - page 3

I've posted and read other posts about the *slightly* older student and the overwhelming sentiment is "Wow! So great to hear I'm not alone!" I thought it would be helpful and encouraging to... Read More

  1. by   Dharma21
    Hello everyone!

    Well, I will be 43 next week and I am currently in Pharmacology and will begin clinical courses for an ADN in September. Hopefully, 18 months after that, I will be getting ready to take the NCLEX so that I can officially say I am an RN!

    I started my prerequisites, along with a handful of classes to put toward a BSN, in May of 2009 and here I am! Even though it seems like so long ago, the time really has flown by and I can hardly believe I am actually finally beginning the clinical classes! I weathered the automotive industry in Michigan relatively unscathed (I still have my job and my condo), but aside from the constant worrying over the years about losing my job, I also needed something more challenging and rewarding. I needed something that “felt” more secure, and more flexible, and that afforded the possibility of greater responsibility and greater income (I’ve been an administrative assistant for 16 years).

    I am also a single parent by choice to a very energetic 4 year old boy and have somehow managed to spend time with him, continue working my full time office job while going to school and maintaining a 4.0 (much to my surprise because my first go around in college 20+ years ago was not that stellar). I had decided that I had always said I wanted to be a doctor when I was young, but came to realize that (aside from feeling seriously to old to attempt pursuing that path now) I likely really wanted to be a nurse all these years. I was actually a candy striper in high school, pink and white striped jumper and all, and enjoyed it a great deal! Seriously, other than that, I have no previous medical experience, but I am so excited to be pursuing a career in nursing!

    Right now, I am thinking that Labor and Delivery or Emergency (YIKES) might be the right place for me. Full of action, thinking on your feet, busy and just the kind of chaos that makes me crazy, but somehow calm (is that weird?). Then again, I have never done any of this, so who knows what I will find most interesting!

    I know that I will at least get a BSN. I’m hoping that my ADN will get me a job that will pay at least in part for the BSN, because money is what stopped me from going straight for the BSN. That first go around at a University 20+ years ago got me to 20 credits short of a bachelor’s degree, something I always regretted not finishing. Never finishing that first degree ironically paid off, because coupled with my modest income and single parent status, it has provided me the opportunity for grants and scholarships which will pay for my ADN in full. I am entertaining the idea of pursuing an MSN, but one thing at a time ;-)

    I do struggle a bit in classes with the younger crowd in class. Mostly the drama. I don’t want to come across as aloof with my classmates, but I seriously am all business! I don’t have a great deal of time for study groups or fretting over an exam or assignment or antics with BF’s or BFF’s or wild parties or issues at rinky dink part-time jobs … my life is a balance of school, work, son … for now ;-)

    I am nervous about my fall schedule, the 18 months of clinicals thereafter and how it will affect the job I’ve had for 16 years … which pays the bills and provides medical insurance for me and my son. I am nervous about finding a job as a bedside nurse, in a major hospital, at 45 years old, with virtually no experience. I am nervous about “only” having an ADN because ultimately I will need a good job to get the BSN for greater opportunities and achievement. I am nervous to transition from working with mostly men to working mostly with women. I am nervous to go from a schedule of Monday thru Friday from 8 to 5, to hours and days all over the map. I am nervous about the possibility of doing absolutely anything that could injure a patient, but I am also SUPER conscientious about my actions and am looking forward to doing something that will help and comfort others.

    This journey back to school has been stressful, but I honestly cannot say it has been difficult. The classes just seem very second nature and common sense to me, so I really feel this is a good fit. I must admit, that although I have somewhat altruistic intentions, I also have selfish intentions. I cannot wait to be finished with the ADN and hopefully (fingers crossed) a higher paying job because my son will be about 6 when I begin practicing. I cannot wait to 1) take him to Disney World, 2) dump my condo and get a house with a backyard, and 3) get him the puppy he’s been asking for! All have to wait until I finish school, but they are going to be very nice rewards for my son and me.

    Well, that’s me in a nutshell! Nice to “meet” (kinda) all of you and good luck to everyone!
  2. by   DReinerMBA
    Great to find this thread. I am pushing 53 and headed into my second year in an ADN program. I already have both a BS and MBA and have been in healthcare over 35 years.
  3. by   laski
    Dharma21 and DReinerMBA, nice to meet you! I'm with your Dharma21, I'm already thinking about my BSN, even looked at a few online programs today. I need to not get ahead of myself, but sometimes its hard not to think that way!

    Like you, DReinerMBA, I have an advanced degree in education. I received my MEd about 7 years ago and worked as an English teacher until I decided to stay home with my little ones. I was in healthcare (EMT, athletic trainer, personal trainer) years ago and always loved the field, so here I am, coming full circle.

    How has school been for you so far? Are you finding it any easier this time around? Does having the background in healthcare help a lot in your classes?
  4. by   ORnurseCT
    I'm working on my BSN also. I took one class for my BSN during my first semester of nursing It was crazy but I'm one step closer. I applied for a RN-BSN program that conditionally accepts students in my ASN program. I think being accepted and proactive will give me an edge over all the other applicants without a BSN.I am a lot more focused in school compared to my 20's. Even though I had to repeat A&P after all these years. I knew what to expect it was a much easier the second time.
  5. by   HM-8404
    Quote from laski
    Hm-8404, your university might not put a lot of stock into your experience, but I'm betting your future employer will! What drew you to nursing? What does your family/friends think?
    I grew up a Navy brat so I had always been around military personnel. I decided to following my fathers footsteps and joined to Navy. Being a Corpsman was a no brainer for me. When I got out I wanted to continue in a career that closely matched what I loved. Actually a PA is the closest, but due to finances and circumstances RN is the best fit. My family is behind me 100%, as well as my friends.
  6. by   laski
    Just finished reading an awesome thread about a young 50-something getting ready to start a nursing program so I thought I'd put another call out for those over 40 (or close to 40) who are getting ready to start a nursing program (or those in the middle of one!) to tell us a little about yourself. These forums have been invaluable and getting to know others in the same proverbial boat will be a great foundation of support.

    Three weeks before we begin. I'm brushing up on A & P after finishing a summer nutrition course.
  7. by   cyntrim
    Last year I was 40 years old when I started my first year of nursing school with my 19 and 20 year old kids. It tickles me that this "Old brain" beats them pointswise on tests, but they are much braver than me in clinicals. They are not afraid of a procedure "hurting" a patient where I have enough experience in life that I worry about what the patient is going through emotionally and my kids mind process is that it has to be done and it is a way to help them. Age does have its advantages. I was surprised that a third of the class was as old as me if not older.
  8. by   djh123
    Hey 40+ students! Most of you probably aren't worried whether you can do this or not, but if you are, let me tell you that you CAN do it! I'm a 54-yr-old guy (sometimes I can't believe that :^) who just graduated with a BSN in May, and just passed the NCLEX. The key things you have to keep in mind are:
    1) You'll have to put a lot of your normal/real life aside, but remember, it's not for forever, only for a while
    2) If you fail one test, don't panic - I probably failed a handful of tests during nursing school, but finished with a 3.5 GPA
    3) Take breaks from studying or you'll go crazy. I worked many times (whether class, clinicals, reading a textbook or working on the innumerable assignments, online discussion things, team projects, etc etc etc etc) 7 days a week, but at the same time, once in a while (if I could pull it off) I may have only worked on stuff for an hour or two (on the occasional Sat. or whatever).
    4) This is the best metaphor for nursing school, which stuck in my mind from when it happened: I was in my first 'mother-baby' clinical, at about 7:30 am, and they said 'go watch what's going on in 407' - I go in there, there's a teenaged girl very much into labor, and the RN is saying 'Push push push push push!!!'. THAT is nursing school. :^) But you can do it...
  9. by   booncis
    I'm a little late to the call, but here I am after months of lurking, applying to school, and getting in!! I'm a 40-something , married, two children, 9 & 7. Great, supportive hubby who is just as excited as I am -- and just as overwhelmed! I have a BS in Plant Science from a million years ago, along with pre-reqs taken along the wild trip of life.

    I am enrolled in a 4-year program as a junior - straight into nursing. I have contemplated the medical field for a long time, so it's about time I got this show on the road.

    We are one-fourth of the way through the semester, and I am surviving so far. Pharm is tough. I have been scanning the boards for tips on making the pharm stick to this old brain.

    I know this won't be easy, but it won't be forever either. My children have been surprisingly supportive, congratulating me on my good grades so far, praising God for my good grades, and giving me lots of high-fives!!

    Cheers, good luck and God Speed to the Older/Perhaps Wiser/Life-Seasoned Students out there!!!!!!
  10. by   honey bell
    I will consider myself an honorary member of this group, as a 37-year-old.

    Married, with undergraduate study in the performing arts but professional experience in business. I've loved my work but eventually no longer felt challenged, so decided on nursing school - and boy, do I feel challenged now!

    Still working part-time, and while I've always loved to be busy and workworkwork, I'm finding my energy depleting faster than normal and also have found myself questioning just how much new information a brain can take in at once. And I wouldn't change a thing!
  11. by   Scootergirl
    As many have said - time does fly! I turned 51 this summer and will start my RN program a week from tomorrow. I am nervous, but also very excited! This is my second career after spending 30 years in one completely different industry and 10 years as a paramedic/firefighter on a volunteer department. Everyone that I have talked to said with my medic background nursing school will be a breeze - but I am not 20 something anymore with brain cells that actually work . That being said, I have always had a passion for medicine and can't wait to get in and work hard for what I have always wanted to do. We mature students still have a few tricks to teach the young pups! . Good luck to everyone!