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Is this for Me?

Pre-Nursing   (1,134 Views 27 Comments)
by Mr. Confused Mr. Confused (New Member) New Member

406 Visitors; 9 Posts

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Hello,

My name is, well, let's say Mr. Disappointed for now. I am now 41 years old, and I am unhappy with where I am in life. I served 10 years in the military working as a mechanic, and I need to say I did not enjoy my job much. I was good at it but felt miserable doing it. After leaving the military, I was only able to find technical and mechanical jobs -  Employers would not hire me for other positions because my most recent experience was doing mechanical work. After my marriage broke apart due to financial reasons, I have been thinking about pursuing a career in nursing. But I am afraid my age and lack of healthcare experience would prevent some employers from hiring me. Would it be wise to pursue a career in nursing at my age? How would employers look at it? Even with a degree, would my lack of experience prevent me from getting a nursing job? Please don't be politically correct! Be honest, and don't worry about hurting my feelings. It's a due or die for me at this point of my life. I do have a BS degree in International Business, and I am not sure what do with it at this time. Thank you all!

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2,072 Visitors; 35 Posts

I would say go for it! Its not to late to become a nurse. Nursing is a growing profession with tons of opportunity. If you can get into the field with some CNA or otherwise experience, it may help you land the job you want sooner, but there are jobs out there. 

One of my favorite coworker/nurses of all time was this burly tall bald man- I believe in his 50's and he had only been a nurse for a few years. He went to nursing school and graduated with his daughter. 

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3,207 Visitors; 78 Posts

41 is not old. I had classmates your age in nursing school. 

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VivaLasViejas has 20 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

8 Followers; 142 Articles; 247,946 Visitors; 9,625 Posts

I wasn't a whole lot younger than you when I graduated. I earned my CNA certification and worked as a tech in a hospital when I was going through nursing school, which was an excellent way to begin networking. Go for it if you really want it!

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LibraNurse27 has 5 years experience.

2,736 Visitors; 130 Posts

Not too late! One of my fave coworkers is an army veteran who went to nursing school in his 40s. He is an excellent nurse and our patients who are also veterans relate to him well and accept his advice and care. He does really well under pressure and has great time management; he is a great asset to our team.

I think it's great to work with a diverse group of people in terms of age, race, life experience, etc. Growing up in the Bay Area I never heard anything positive about the military and I have learned a lot from him about why people join, his experiences in the military and what it's like to come back. Very nice to have people help you broaden your point of view. 

Edited by LibraNurse27

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Davey Do has 35 years experience and specializes in Psych, CD, HH, Admin, LTC, OR, ER, Med Surge.

14 Followers; 1 Article; 75,365 Visitors; 6,081 Posts

The OldDude, a well respected member of allnurses, became a nurse in his early 40's. I believe he worked the oil fields in Texas before getting into nursing.

The OldDude just retired from his work as a school nurse, hanging up his hardware and riding off into the sunset, but he said he'd come back for a visit.

iVino con carne, OldDude! 

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Jedrnurse has 25 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in school nurse.

11,574 Visitors; 1,214 Posts

It's not so much a factor of age, but just that there are a fair amount of posts from second-career folks (becoming nurses) that say that they wish they hadn't. (Also, though you didn't mention it as such, don't buy into the "nursing shortage" hype.)

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2,863 Visitors; 519 Posts

You're not too old but nursing isn't for everyone and you seem unsure. I say become a CNA first to see if you like the environment then go from there and become a nurse. No point in wasting time and money only to later find out you don't like nursing.

 

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6,184 Visitors; 332 Posts

I guess my question is: why do you want to be a nurse?

Your post asks a lot of questions about your ability to get hired (which are pretty good), and fear of being "too old" (you aren't).  However, you say in your previous career, you were good at your job, but didn't like it.  How would nursing be different?

What specifically is it about nursing that makes you think you'd like it?  It sounds like you're a person looking for more than just a paycheck, and nursing COULD be that for you (it is for me).  But I'm curious to know what you know about the realities of nursing.  I think the people who regret going into nursing are the people who think it's going to be one thing and then find out it's something else.  

The other group who regret are those who way overpay for their degrees - don't be in that group.  Since you have your BS already, you could potentially get an accelerated BSN, and get to work pretty quickly, but look at a state school.  Alternately, look at community college programs in your area; they're your best bet for reputable ADNs that won't break the bank

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2,608 Visitors; 105 Posts

I like turtlesRcool's advice. In addition, I would recommend you to check the market in your area first unlness you are willing to relocate. I live in an undesirable area so nursing jobs are plentiful, but it is not the case in many large cities. 

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Lipoma has <1 years experience as a BSN, RN, EMT-B and specializes in Emergency Nursing.

2,126 Visitors; 183 Posts

I had classmates older than you and we all graduated and were gainfully employed within 3-4months post-graduation. 

You might not have health care experience but you have LIFE experience. 

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1,322 Visitors; 52 Posts

Hello Mr. Confused! As many have already stated, your age shouldn't be a hindrance to obtaining a nursing degree and finding work. I live in a highly saturated area for nurses in California and had a 39-year-old classmate who got into a new grad hospital program a couple of months after graduation. The only thing I can say is nursing isn't for everyone and I am just curious about your reasons for pursuing a nursing degree. To be honest, many people who take up nursing as a second career end up regretting it due to costs and shattered expectations. Real life nursing is nothing like the TV series or movies. It involves long hours on your feet, not being able to take meals or breaks in a timely fashion, mental stress associated with clinical decision making, physical stress from lifting, turning, and sliding patients in bed, getting berated by doctors, family members, and management, and maybe even getting verbally or physically assaulted by patients depending on where you work. But at the same time, nursing can be rewarding in a sense that you see your patients get better, random thank you's from grateful patients and family, and the feeling that you learn something new every day. But just like any job, there are pros and cons to everything. I think the best aspect of nursing is the ability to transfer to different areas of nursing that makes the job feel like an entirely different line of work. Whatever you choose to do, good luck!

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