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Going back to school at 34

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by Jchin1121 Jchin1121 (New) New

Hi All,

I'm looking for some guidance for those who have gone back to nursing school in their 30s. I graduated in 2009 with a degree in Criminal Justice and have been working ever since. I want a change in my life and career and have always been drawn to nursing (BSN).

I work full time right now and am looking around at how to get started again with school. I don't want to waste my time and want to make sure I get started on the right path. I'm assuming because I've been out of school for so long that I'll need to start from scratch. Any tips on where to begin? I appreciate your help! fyi, I'm in Southern California.

You have two options really. You could look for an ADN program with night classes and keep working, or you could enter a direct entry accelerated program and live off student loans until you graduate. Both paths get you to an RN license, but the ADN would be vastly cheaper and have more stringent entrance requirements (because people compete for that cheap program) and the direct entry accelerated program would cost $$$ but it’s easier to get in and you get to work faster. Also if it’s a direct entry masters in nursing you can take graduate loans.

a lot would depend on if you want to study full time, plan on continuing to nurse practitioner, are making a good salary right now, etc. many variables to consider.

You wouldn't have to start over. I graduated in the mid 90's and when I decided to go back to nursing school, I chose a traditional BSN degree from a state University. I had to repeat a couple of science courses and take a few pre reqs that were not included in my prior degree. Then I entered into the BSN portion of the program and it took 4 semesters..All said took 3 years. Much cheaper than a ABSN and was able to continue working to support myself.

Best of luck.

NICU Guy, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU. Has 6 years experience.

2 hours ago, anewmanx said:

the direct entry accelerated program would cost $$$ but it’s easier to get in and you get to work faster.

Not necessarily, there are less ABSN programs and they have smaller class sizes. The school I went to, the ABSN program started in the Summer and was limited to 30 students. The traditional BSN program had a Fall and Spring entry and their class size was 90 students.

32 minutes ago, NICU Guy said:

Not necessarily, there are less ABSN programs and they have smaller class sizes. The school I went to, the ABSN program started in the Summer and was limited to 30 students. The traditional BSN program had a Fall and Spring entry and their class size was 90 students.

Side note: thanks for what you do in the Nicu. My first kid was 25 weeks.

Is your Criminal Justice degree an Associates or Bachelor's?