OVER-40 Fall 2012 Nursing Students--Roll Call

  1. 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 centralize the over-40 newbies in one thread so we can refer to it for inspiration! And, those who are in their 30s can feel young again

    So, list your situation (first degree, second career, other), your school, and your ultimate plans once you receive your nursing degree. Any other details about your decision to become a nurse and the aftermath (how have others reacted, what challenges you've faced or will face . . . ) would be great too!


    I just turned 40 and am about to begin my ADN program at a local community college. I have a BA in English and a MEd in Teacher Education. I was a high school English teacher prior to staying home to be with my two children (ages soon-to-be 3 and 5). I have two years before they are in school full time so I figured NOW is the time . . . before soccer, baseball, dance . . .

    While I know it will NEVER be easy and I am going to be struggling to maintain any semblance of a life for the next two years, I did work hard to get rid of every class but my nursing core. I would ultimately like to attend Ohio University (it is near where I live) and bridge to the MSN or FNP program...I've looked into it and it will require that I just take the nursing core for the BSN since I already have a BA. I'm hoping that will still be well received, but I'm still awhile away, so I'm sure I'll get plenty of advice between now and then.

    I decided on nursing because I have an ANCIENT background in healthcare and an abandoned pre-med major. Life happened. I loved to write. Loved technology. Explored both as careers. Loved them. Life happened again in the form of two little people and I thought WHY NOT!?! Plus, how cool to tell my children all that mommy did and that I GET it when they say they just don't know what they want to be.

    I've encountered a few more challenges than I anticipated. Of course, there is the element of time, the fact that I can't stay up late and function like I used to, and the somewhat disappointing response by some of my friends, though, I get it. I thought that I might end up in a PhD program in education, but something kept telling me that was not what I wanted, at least not now. I LOVE education, perhaps that's why I very well may be a perpetual student. I believe nursing has a lot of the components I loved about education (and I'm sure quite a few I may not love--you'll get that anywhere). Plus, who knows, it would all come full circle if I became an nursing instructor . . . or professor

    Well, that's me. Your turn!!! Eager to hear . . .
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    About laski

    Joined: Sep '10; Posts: 78; Likes: 40
    Student, SAHM, PT Tutor/Exam Rater; from US


  3. by   copacetic
    Hi, laski!

    Another over-40 newbie here! I just found out *yesterday* that I was accepted in this fall's nursing class. It's my local community college in Northern Virginia, and they actually have an excellent rep with the hospitals in the area.

    Let's see... I'm a very YOUNG (at heart!) 42. I have three children (11, 13, 15) and currently work as a very bored international licensing analyst for SuperGynormous Defense Contractor, Corp. and can't wait to get out of here!

    When I was much younger, I played with the idea of nursing school, but then life kind of took over. As incredibly cheesy as I know this sounds, some things have happened in the last few years with family, illness, life, etc. While 'nursing' my mother and my little sister through ovarian cancer and all of the surgeries/procedures/sickness that go along with it, I witnessed many nurses - the good, the bad, and everything in between. *Cheese Alert!* It hit me like a ton of bricks one day that I want nothing more than to be the kind of nurse that I would want taking care of my mom/sis.

    So, here I am, a year and a half later, all my pre- & co-requisites under my belt, giddy as a school girl because I got that acceptance letter. Juggling the kids, taking care of mom/sis, working full time, and taking classes hasn't been the easiest thing I've ever done, but getting that letter yesterday was just such a huge weight off my shoulders. I know the next few years aren't going to be any easier, but I'm still up to the challenge, and am actually really looking forward to the 'school' part of this journey.

    Thanks for starting this thread. I know we can't be the only ones out there... (?)

    Best of luck to you!
  4. by   HM-8404
    48 and just accepted into a local ADN program. This is my first degree. I have 8 years as a Navy Corpsman, Independent Duty for the last 5. I plan to immediately bridge into an RN-BSN upon completion of this program since I have all the pre-reqs completed for BSN. My local universities apparently put more stock in a gpa rather than experience. My hope is to gain employment in either a trauma unit or ICU at my local VA hospital or a military hospital. If not for my age I would be tempted to get a direct commission in the Navy Nurse Corps to finish out my military career.

    I am hoping my age, maturity level, will be an asset in this program.
  5. by   laski
    Copacetic, we aren't! I've read so many threads re the older student. I'm sure we'll hear from a few more. And, no cheese alert needed! You have a lot of heart! I think that's what draws so many to nursing...caring for others in a world that has become increasingly cold and detached.

    I hope I'm up for the challenge! These forums have been invaluable. What do your friends and family think about your new venture?
  6. by   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?
  7. by   rubato
    Another 42 year old going into an ADN program this fall. I've been married for 19 years, and have a 12 year old son. I was a personal trainer, then a stay at home mom, so it's my first real time in college.

    I'm also immediately going to bridge to BSN and am finishing up my prereqs for that while taking the nursing program (insane, I know). I'm down to just statistics and a few honors courses, so no biggie.

    I can't wait for nursing. I want to be a hospice nurse, but will try to get on in oncology as soon as possible. I'm still toying with the concept of my masters, but with my "advanced" age, I just don't know if I really care.

    I know for a fact that I can not only hang with the young kids, but beat them at their game. I never knew how driven I was until I started this journey. 4.0 so far, Honors program, and don't have any fears of taking on the first semester of nursing mixed with a little microbiology! Bring it on!
  8. by   azjen43
    Hi, everyone! I'm now 50 (Wow it seems crazy to even write that!) and will be starting a concurrent RN/BSN program through my local community college and Northern AZ University in July. I was a middle school biology teacher for 15 years, and then was a health education program coordinator for my local health department before I was laid off a couple of years ago. Since then, I've been a self employed doula and Bradley Method childbirth educator.

    My husband and I have 5 kiddos between us, the oldest married and on his own, 3 are in college, and our baby is 9. Our house is crazy noisy busy and fun. It will be interesting to see how the nursing school juggling act plays out. We are prepared to make changes as necessary, and I've already been trying to get everyone organized and functioning as independently as possible. (Only our little one lives with us year-round. One of our college kids lives with her partner, and two of them stay with us in the summers, but also spend time with their mom.)

    I know I can do this, but I am a bit nervous. It will be nice to have an on-line community for support. Being a bit more mature than most nursing students will be a challenge for sure, but one I look forward to.

    I'm pretty sure I'm going to stop at my bachelor's, even though I work with sevral CNMs who have encouraged me to go that route. I don't want to take on any more debt after this, though. (I started a master's program in education and then went through a rough divorce and dropped out of the program. Still paying that off!) I think I could be totally happy as a L&D nurse, though, or in any of a number of other nursing specialties, so I'm not worried about that.

    Glad to "meet" you all!
  9. by   fitzy5
    Hey All,

    I'm 44 (wow time does FLY)! Married with three kiddies 15, 13, and seven. When I finish my summer semester, I'll have my first year of ADN nursing under my belt.

    This is my second college go round. Have a B.S. in Criminal Justice that I've never used. I work as a Unit Secretary in a local hospital and also for a newspaper as a columnist/reporter.

    I know I've already started my program but want to jump in with your crew because we over forty folks have to sick together...

    Nursing school has been TOUGH especailly with work and a family my house looks like an explosion hit it and my new motto is, "Mac n Cheese ,its whats for dinner!"

    Good luck to you all. Personally we "saged" folks bring a bit more to the table.

    Just sayin!
  10. by   nursemaddie

    I'm a few months shy of 50, and I just graduated in May with my ASN, and got my dream job 2 weeks later. (Seriously, it's everything that I wanted!) This is my second career, and while I wished I would have had enough ....sense to follow my heart and go into nursing for my first degree, I realize that I was too into me to be any good at this.

    So, I'm getting ready to take my boards in the next couple of weeks, so please wish me luck. I just wanted to post to say that this can be done at our ages!!

    Good luck to everyone!
  11. by   laski
    rubato, I LOVE your attitude! I personally think you shouldn't let your "advanced" age get in the way. Now is the time! With technology (online courses), the push to educate and improve (rather than settle), and the number of opportunities (I'm not saying jobs are plentiful, I know that especially from what I'm hearing on these forums it isn't always the case, but a resourceful person can find something if they are flexible and driven), why not keep pushing forward. No need to stop until they stick you in the ground. Hmmm . . . that's morbid-ish.

    I am thinking hospice as well. I'm not even sure why, but the thought has always pulled at me. Eager to hear how your journey goes. Do you know what your schedule will be like yet?

    azjen43, WOW! What an amazing wealth of experience you have! It was a co-worker, a biology teacher, who inspired me to go back for healthcare (even though I was a high school ENGLISH teacher). She left teaching and became a PA. I'm gonna bet with all the energy in your house that you'll have no issues getting through the program. And you know, 50 is the new 25 (I may have made that up, but I'm pretty sure I'm close).

    fitzy5, how was it!?! You are just ahead of most of us and I'm eager to hear your experiences! I'm glad you posted here and hope you can give us some details as to how you're doing (besides the mac and cheese thing, because quite honestly, I'm not even in nursing school yet and that's a staple around here . . .

    nursemaddie, GOOD LUCK!!! I am SOOO with you. There is NO way I could have done this (or done it well) 20 years ago. I still can't believe that it has been that long since I graduated high school (plus a couple years!). How does that happen??? I am in awe of the young nurses I've had, especially when I delivered my children. They were so much more mature and just seemed to have it all together. That would NOT have been me. I was a good student and good kid, but I just don't think I would have had the discipline to be successful.

    How were the classes with the younger students? Did you encounter many students around your age? I'm riveted by the fact that so many programs start with so many and then seem to dwindle after just the first term and again in the second year. What kept you focused and successful?

    I am so energized to hear others out there like me. I was a little unsure as to whether this was the right path for me last year, but have committed now and am ready to jump in full on. It sure does help to know I won't be out there alone

    I hope there are more out there who post! And I don't want to exclude those in their 30s, I was you just a few months ago. If you are "mature/older/sage/seasoned/advanced" and starting on the nursing journey, it would still be great to hear from you!
    Last edit by laski on Jun 8, '12 : Reason: typo
  12. by   nurse_jer
    41 yo male here,

    I just finished the 1st year of the ADN program. I have 2 children, the youngest of which is starting college in the fall.
    I have been a skilled tradesmen for a big 3 automaker for 22 years and am making a career change.

    this is the dream job I thought about when I was younger, but got caught in the trap of easy money in the factory. now im going to finish my BSN and travel!
    Last edit by nurse_jer on Jun 8, '12
  13. by   celtchick68
    I'm 44 and just graduated from the ADN program. Took NCLEX this past week and passed first time!

    I've been a paramedic for nearly 15 years and decided to finally make that transition. It took me a couple of years to take my pre-req's but I was admitted to the program on my first attempt.

    About a month after getting my acceptance, age 42, I discovered I was pregnant. This news came just a couple of weeks before my husband was to have a vasectomy.

    I began school at 5.5 months pregnant, baby was due right before we let out for Christmas but came early, the Monday after Thanksgiving. I required a c-section thanks to a low lying placenta and a transverse baby. I missed 2 days of class and continued on! (this was my 4th child--today they're 25, 9, 3, 18 months)

    Last Christmas Santa got me a hysterectomy over my break. I recovered well. Started my final semester in January and graduated may 10. Nclex June 5, quick results Thursday say I passed! Waiting on my board to show my info online. Have a position in the ER waiting for me once this information posts.

    I was not the oldest member of my class! We had one lady and when I was feeling a little out of touch and old I'd ask her what year she graduated high school...1970. It always made me feel better!

    Anyway...it's nice to hear so many of us 40-something students are around!
  14. by   ORnurseCT
    i will be almost 44 when i graduate next spring. second degree but 20 years in the medical field. community college asn program connecticut, hopefully gyn oncology, most of my friends are nurses and they are world of knowledge and support.