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Is 63 to old to start nursing school?

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by Mallory Sunset Mallory Sunset (Member) Member

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Snatchedwig has 11 years experience as a ADN, CNA, LPN, RN and specializes in Medsurg.

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7 hours ago, glenrubin said:

If you want to go to school do it.

I am in my second semester of a two year program and I started at 65 (I applied for Medicare in the same month I started school). What people are telling you is all true but there is no reason why you cannot go to school as long as you can meet the academic prerequisites and you can meet the physical requirements. I know of a disabled student in a wheel-chair who graduated with a BSN, anything is possible.

Do your homework. I went to college before and used all my financial available to me, I get no financial aid (not even loans). I had to make a choice, pay for rent or pay for my education (tuition, books, supplies - first semester I spent more than $1,200.). I am homeless living on the street, In the past I would sleep in the subway (I live in New York City) and would get robbed regularly, the last time they took everything including my computer and personal papers). I now regularly nap/sleep at school when it is open as well as shower there. 

I work two jobs full-time (recently had a third but had to drop it because of a conflict with my clinical hours) and I am always tired to the point that I would get yelled (not really) out to "wake-up" and then I would be asked "did I work the night before?" I would sheepishly answer "yes" and the professor would smile. I never missed a class and there is an attendance policy. Nor was I ever late submitting any assignment.

There's a saying "I have no life, I'm a nursing student" which is kind of true. I have classmates who are parents and have children from pre-school to college and they all passed doing good. People do have lives outside school but it takes some discipline and classmates help each other a lot; study groups and chat groups are helpful. I will just mention that the exams (the questions I mean) are not like regular college exams where you might be able to guess an answer by eliminating two choices and then guess between two remaining choices. It's challenging because all the answers are correct but one is better than the others.

Being a nurse is physically challenging for anyone. If you have to move a patient (especially a big person) get help and use proper body mechanics to avoid getting hurt yourself. Everyone in my clinical group were exhausted at the end of the day, even the 19 and 20 year olds.  I usually went to a senior center I am involved with and I would have dinner there after my clinicals. 

I will end this by telling you I go to the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) and their nursing programs start either in September or January. There are four prerequisite classes needed before you can take the Kaplan Nursing Entrance exam which is a requirement for admission. It is competitive to get in. 

Btw it's still summer break for most students but for my classmates and I (who have this particular professor) we have four quizzes to do online and several written assignments to submit before class officially begins. And on the first day of class we have a math proficiency exam (required every semester here at BMCC). 

There's a lot I didn't mention ...any questions, ask...glenrubin2016@gmail.com.

Good luck

Glen Rubin SN

God bless you . Anything we can do to support you? 

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On 8/15/2019 at 12:22 PM, never too late said:

I am in nursing school and am in my sixties. I have spent my life in various aspects of long term care. the kids in nursing school, half of whom are pregnant, or have their own very young kids,  are passionate about taking care of children, but when they get out they will find that the jobs are mostly taking care of elderly. there are no courses in gerontology. maybe one or two courses as electives in a masters program, but not in nursing school. I think it is unfortunate that the industry is simply not preparing students for care of an aging population. and, I have seen that the elderly people prefer being cared for on a daily basis by aging nurses with experience and judgment.  ---of course, I recognize that  the gruelling, heavy physical work is best done by young people, but that is not the whole story!  the onslaught of baby boomers on the scene are not going to stand for the current situation. they dont wanna spend their 70's , 80's, and 90's under the care of  20 year olds who cant relate to their problems.   anybody encountering age discrimination in getting hired as a nurse at 60, faces exactly the same problems getting hired as a banker or teacher at 60. the training programs generallly dont want you because young trainees are a better investment.   the answer  for older applicants is entrepreneurship. start your own business, the eldercare field is getting ready to explode with opportunity.  the skills you get in nursing school necessary but inadequate.  who the heck needs a whole required course devoted to breastfeeding and prenatal care, and no course devoted to care of alzheimers, diabetes, arthritis, chronic conditions.  so, I am going to nursing school to get the technical skills and then going out into a world where people are fascinated with old people and love old people

Thank you for your thoughts and feedback.  Take care.

On 8/16/2019 at 5:51 PM, Snatchedwig said:

God bless you . Anything we can do to support you? 

Thank you very much for sharing your story and experince.

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

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I would not advise you to begin a nursing program now. You just can't know how hard nursing school, and nursing itself, really is until you're there. I had to quit at age 55 because I couldn't do it anymore, physically or mentally. You may be in better shape than I was at the time, but realistically the world is not beating down the doors of 60+ workers; and new grads who are fortunate enough to get jobs often find their employers expect more from them because they have life experience, when they don't have job experience.

I'd love to be able to tell you it's all rainbows and unicorns, but I'm not one to blow sunshine up your skirt. You might want to consider volunteering at a hospital or nursing home to provide company for the patients, who are often lonely and scared. This is a very real need, as staff don't have the luxury of spending quality time with them. That way you fulfill your wish to help people without putting yourself in debt for a career you may or may not be able to do. Just throwing that out there...you can do as you wish. Best of luck in whatever you decide. Viva

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Age is only a number. If nursing is what you want to do, go for it. Nursing school will weed out those not motivated or capable of being a nurse. Don’t listen to anyone unwilling to try or who gave up. It’s HARD, I’m 65+ in my second semester and I’m doing it. I make and determine my own future just like you will do the same. I posted earlier about this topic and I feel bad for these naysayers, life is not easy. Glenrubin2016@gmail.com

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5 hours ago, hopefulRN'17 said:

Mallory Sunset - I commend you for even wanting to do this.  I hope that no what, you choose what is truly best for you.  ❤️

Thank you!

4 hours ago, SpankedInPittsburgh said:

Yes it’s too old.  I did it at 43 and that was almost too old

Thank you.

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1 hour ago, VivaLasViejas said:

I would not advise you to begin a nursing program now. You just can't know how hard nursing school, and nursing itself, really is until you're there. I had to quit at age 55 because I couldn't do it anymore, physically or mentally. You may be in better shape than I was at the time, but realistically the world is not beating down the doors of 60+ workers; and new grads who are fortunate enough to get jobs often find their employers expect more from them because they have life experience, when they don't have job experience.

I'd love to be able to tell you it's all rainbows and unicorns, but I'm not one to blow sunshine up your skirt. You might want to consider volunteering at a hospital or nursing home to provide company for the patients, who are often lonely and scared. This is a very real need, as staff don't have the luxury of spending quality time with them. That way you fulfill your wish to help people without putting yourself in debt for a career you may or may not be able to do. Just throwing that out there...you can do as you wish. Best of luck in whatever you decide. Viva

Thank you Viva.  I really appreciate you thoughts.  

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1 hour ago, glenrubin said:

I posted earlier about this topic and I feel bad for these naysayers, life is not easy. 

These “naysayers” are nurses around the same age as the OP who know exactly what she’s getting into. You’re right, life is not easy and it’s senseless to make it even harder with the potential of little return. We don’t need your pity. The OP needs the truth not unicorns farting rainbows. 

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Dreamers who act on their dreams often happIer and more successful. Think Of McDonalds, Ray Kroc stated it at age 63. The words you used said more about you than you want us to know about you. Being a nurse is really not that difficult once you acquire the knowledge from school. Anyone can do it with hard work and making sacrifices if necessary. Make way for the new generation of older, wiser, mature, sophisticated, motivated, technologically savvy nurses doing what you’ve done and more. Glenrubin2016@gmail.com

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24 minutes ago, glenrubin said:

Make way for the new generation of older, wiser, mature, sophisticated, motivated, technologically savvy nurses doing what you’ve done and more.

I AM one of those older, wiser, mature, sophisticated, motivated, tech savvy nurses and it’s unlikely they will be able to come anywhere near what I’ve done in my over three decades as a nurse. They won’t have enough time. I certainly do not need to make way for anybody, I’m doing just fine thank you. 

32 minutes ago, glenrubin said:

The words you used said more about you than you want us to know about you. 

Baloney. 

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Just now, glenrubin said:

Dreamers who act on their dreams often happIer and more successful. Think Of McDonalds, Ray Kroc stated it at age 63. The words you used said more about you than you want us to know about you. Being a nurse is really not that difficult once you acquire the knowledge from school. Anyone can do it with hard work and making sacrifices if necessary. Make way for the new generation of older, wiser, mature, sophisticated, motivated, technologically savvy nurses doing what you’ve done and more. Glenrubin2016@gmail.com

We are RN here and not star-eyes idealists.  Age is only a number?  Sure it is indeed a number but it’s a very important one.  We know age increases risk for all sorts of major ailments, and higher age generally means less endurance.  Sometimes older folk can surprise you, but they are certainly not the norm.  You are quite motivated, but your situation is definitely not the norm for your age group.  

There is a difference between Ray Croc, and other elders who started successful businesses and going to school to acquire a job.  Businesses can scale up according to input and can compound upon themselves rather wuicklynif done right.  A job is not that way, and sometimes people fight tooth-and-nail to get a meager $2/hr raise.  If the OP desires to start a business of some sort I’ll join the crowd of their cheerleaders.  But RN school is generally not a great option for older folk close to retirement due to all sorts of things but mostly financial.  Unless the OP desires to work into their 70’s+ and never retire then perhaps.  But again, most people do not wish to do that and the OP will force that situation on themself if they do itndue to lost opportunity costs and increased costs as I have previously mentioned.  Idealism is fine and all but we just take the financial picture into it as well.

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