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How old is too old?

Posted

I've not been one to put a lot of stock in other's opinions of me (that old adage that it's none of my business what someone else thinks of me)....however, in my more mature years - I find that reaching out every once in a while is good for me :) That being said; I am 45 now - had to retire from law enforcement due to a broken pelvis (apparently the Brass prefer that you give somewhat of a chase prior to Tasing - and I can no longer run)....that being the case - I am now going back to school for nursing. I've had numerous people tell me that I would be a great flight nurse - but after researching what is needed in years of experience - all after I get my RN - I'm wondering if I would even be taken seriously with any career opportunities. I appreciate your candor and honesty.

Of course, you can reach your career goals if you are determined and physically feel that you are capable. Don't let your age discourage you. 45 is young! I think that your aspirations are do-able. There are multiple threads on this site that address this topic and show that many great nurses got there start at an "older" age. Good Luck!

Go for it! When you retire you don't want to be saying "I wish I had........"

Honestly you won't know until you try!! So go for it and give it a shot! Good luck!!!

777RN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Geriatrics, dementia, hospice. Has 6 years experience.

Hello!

For what it's worth, plenty of students were in their 40s and 50s, as well as a few in their 60s, in my nursing program. Of course, there were 20- and 30-somethings as well.

In my opinion, age is NOT a factor in regards to starting nursing school. However, health IS a factor. You have to be able to keep up with the physical demands of clinicals as a student and the workday as a licensed clinician. I have seen unhealthy 20- and 30-somethings struggle with the physical demands of nursing (school and/or work), which include long periods of standing, lots of heavy lifting, and a great deal of walking/running around between patient rooms, supply closets, etc.

Based on my admittedly limited experience, nursing, in general, is quite an open profession, as far as age is concerned. However, it does seem that acute care is gradually becoming an arena that favors youth. Fortunately, nursing can be practiced in many settings.

Nevertheless, I can not think of any other professions, except for perhaps teaching and social work, that are as open to hiring "older" entry-level staff (new grads in this case) as is nursing. (If you know of others, please share. I'm always interested in learning about such information.)

Good luck to you whatever path you choose!

Edited by 777RN
Typo

erinberrin, CNA

Specializes in Just starting out in a Nursing Home..

Go for it. It can't hurt anything. I think whenever returning back to college for something there are things to consider..like upon completion ..how many years are you going to have to offer that field. I mean if your in your 50's well..it would depend financially what you can afford and why you would want to spend the money on college..I mean if you can at a real older ripe age and you can afford the expense simply because you want to..More power to you..it all depends I think.

erinberrin, CNA

Specializes in Just starting out in a Nursing Home..

Hello!

For what it's worth, plenty of students were in their 40s and 50s, as well as a few in their 60s, in my nursing program. Of course, there were 20- and 30-somethings as well.

In my opinion, age is NOT a factor in regards to starting nursing school. However, health IS a factor. You have to be able to keep up with the physical demands of clinicals as a student and the workday as a licensed clinician. I have seen unhealthy 20- and 30-somethings struggle with the physical demands of nursing (school and/or work), which include long periods of standing, lots of heavy lifting, and a great deal of walking/running around between patient rooms, supply closets, etc.

Based on my admittedly limited experience, nursing, in general, is quite an open profession, as far as age is concerned. However, it does seem that acute care is gradually becoming an arena that favors youth. Fortunately, nursing can be practiced in many settings.

Nevertheless, I can not think of any other professions, except for perhaps teaching and social work, that are as open to hiring "older" entry-level staff (new grads in this case) as is nursing. (If you know of others, please share. I'm always interested in learning about such information.)

Good luck to you whatever path you choose!

It is so true about acute care..age doesn't necessarilly matter..it's stamina..there is alot of heavy lifting..and you really must love the work because I tell you, I work 3 ..8 hour shifts in acute/ long term care setting and I break up the rest of the week with homecare clients..because after 24 hours in an acute care setting..I'm physically exhausted. And it is funny you mention that young folks are a majority in quick care..your right..they are..and in my 2 years of experience I have noticed the turn over in acute care is very high..they don't last they pull doubles and triples..and burn themselves out. Turnover is very high..You can't take care of others if your that physically spent. I also think that time and a half should be applied...to anyone who opts to work more than 8 hours in a day..large corporations..well..they abuse that factor..why kill yourself..unless it's an emergency..in healthcare you really do have to care for yourself also..when hauling the load..

Wile E Coyote, ASN, RN

Specializes in Critical care.

While you'd be in your 50's once school and the requisite hospital experience is fulfilled, I'm thinking the experience you'd bring with you from law enforcement would likely carry decent weight. Ageism is a reality in all job sectors, so it's not impossible you'll find a few hiring personnel who can't see past that number, but considering that the average US nurse is around 45, it's also more likely not going to be an insurmountable issue. Stay fit otherwise and odds should be in your favor. Keep in mind that job opportunities can vary considerably depending on region, so you must ask yourself how willing you are to relocate. Lastly, consider how happy you'd be in other RN jobs if the flight gig doesn't pan out.