Looking for student nurses, male and 50+


I am an African-American, male, student nurse, 50+ looking to enter nursing school. I wonder if there are any other men out there like myself beginning nursing school at 50 or am I just too late to join the profession!!!


306 Posts

Specializes in Cardiac, Rehab. Has 2 years experience.

I started about 2 years ago and I'll be 55 this year and will graduate next year at 56, so no, I don't think you are too old. I can understand your concerns, probably similar to mine. The youngsters can probably run rings around me with their higher energy levels, but there is something that I bring into the equation that they don't have nearly as much, and that is experience. That translates out to being more at ease with patients, a bit more self confidence and I think a better working relationship with your instructors since you are much closer to them in age. Where I probably fall short a bit is in memorizing all the nitnoid details that you need to keep in the back of your head, things like lab values for example. Memory is one of the things that does start to fail you, but there are more than enough ways to compensate.

So my advice would be to give it a go if you are up for it. I try and take it one day at a time and so far it has worked for me. It will dominate your life for the next several years, but if your family is supportive, it is an achievable goal.

I started my pre-req's 2 years ago and have just been accepted to an LPN program starting this fall 8/11.

I agree with everything that Bob stated, as one gets older one assimilates info differently than when you were 20+, but you compensate for it.

I am 56 and will be 57 when I graduate (hopefully)


15 Posts

Thanks for your replies ... I do plan to pursue this dream of mine and have total support coming from my family. I have approx. half of my pre-req completed even before i begin the journey toward nursing school. I currently have a Masters degree and many of my pre-req were waived. In addition, I am a state employee, which allows me to attend college for littlle or nothing per quarter. .... :D


3 Posts

I am 54 and will be graduating in 6 weeks! I own two businesses and work full time.

So if I can do this, anyone can, it is never too late to start. One thing that has made it much better though is having a good friend of mine go through the entire program with me, we are almost the same age. Of the 5 men who started our program, we are the only two left. I might have a bit of an edge though because my friend is in the medical field, and my wife has been a RN for 20 years. Now if I could just get my LPN daughter to go back and finish her RN work..........


23 Posts

You guys make me feel good, I was worried about a career change at age 35! Thanks, and I'm sure you guys will be great!


12 Posts

57 when starting 59 when done...just starting my new life as a nurse after 35 years in engineering


25 Posts

Awesome topic! This has been a very rough week age-wise for me. (Forty five year old fat biker here)

Tuesday morning, while I was out and about shopping for scrubs, I was chatting with an overly bubbly, Florida sunshine, "fresh out of high school" sales girl.

Wonderful conversation for my ego until the very moment she laughed and said "You're funny like my grandpa!"

I left.


12 Posts

Its those comments that cuts you to the bone. In my mind, I am still the gangly 18 year old kid...its only my knees now that keeps reminding me of my age LOL


86 Posts

Hey, I just graduated at age 53. I was in a BS-BSN accelerated program, but I'm guessing that most programs are comparably rigorous. I didn't find attending school post-50 much different than in my teens and twenties, other than I have a (very little) bit more self-discipline. It's memory-intensive, but my memory always s**ked. Nursing programs don't require a lot of brain BTU's--very little is conceptually challenging--but you do have to work harder than most lazy males are inclined to do.

Being immersed in a virtually all-female work environment was more of an adjustment. My prior career was virtually all male.

Good luck! I'm looking forward to my next career--I suspect you will too!


8 Posts

I do not for a moment believe that your too late to join the profession. I am starting an RN program this fall. I'm 62 years young! I know it will be difficult...of course...but your going to be alive anyway....follow the path that will be a life fulfilled. ';-})>


6 Posts


I am not quite 50+ yet, but am 45 and thinking about a possible change of careers. I almost went into nursing right out of high school in the mid 80s, put in all honesty was too lazy at the time. Part of what prompted me thinking more about this right now is that my youngest daughter is going to be starting in our local Tech School RN program this fall right out of high-school. As I ahve helped her figure out what she needs to do, pre-req's etc.... and talked to a TON of health care workers, many of whom are nurses, it became very apparent to me that this long time back-burner ambition of mine was well with-in reach to me. One other interesting thing I have noticed among my customers where I am now is how many people are working 'part time' as they ease into retirement - like maybe a 25 hour week at 65 or so.

I am still at the point of exploring it, but VERY seriously. There are many 'what ifs' or 'but what about A,B, or C issues to figure out still.

1) I think I could be done by 50 (it is a 3 1/2 year program that they are working on shortening it to 3 years) but I would probably stretch it out just a bit for a lighter course load while still working 1/2 time +. MY job is very flexible, a small family design/build firm where others could pick up the slack of me not being there as much, and is literally 4 blocks away from the college. I was hoping to retire at 60, but with the last stock market drop that somewhat screwed up that idea :mad:.

2)The logistics of working odd shifts would be new to me, but by the time I got that far, I hope the kids are on their own, and I actually like 'non typical' schedules. But it would still be new to me to this degree. Our area has LOTS of 12 hour * 3 day nursing jobs, which I think I would love too. I currently usually work 6 days per week, any where from 4 -12+ hours.

3) The academics - people are always telling me I am smart, but that is usually within my field of work or other interests that I am passionate about. This part scares me a bit, but we have a great college counselor here that is encouraging me to take their 'aptitude test' (COMPASS Test in out area) that is similar to the ACT for high schoolers, that would give a good feel for my abilities. She says she can almost always tell academically if a person can handle the material from these test results. Mine is going to by in August hopefully. I am pretty familiar with the amount of homework that will be required from my oldest daughter being a Junior at a very rigorous college (She is double majoring and a minor :o, mine will look easy comparatively).

4) Working with mostly women is actually fairly appealing to me. I have ALWAYS got along on average better with females, from HS on up to today. My current job I deal with 75%+ women. On church or community committees, I gravitate to the ones with more women, If I am at a party, I will talk to the women as much or more than the men, etc...... The only people I dont get along with a men who are macho, domineering, chauvinist, etc, or women who try to manipulate others because they are hot looking, rich, etc.....

5) The finances is the biggest thing that I am trying to figure out right now. The courses here seem dirt cheap, about 15K - 18K depending on prerequisites needed. Having 2 kids in college at the same time makes it somewhat harder too though, although the Financial Aid would be better for all of us due to 3 in school at once, and what would be lower income for me due to not working as much. We could do a home equity loan, but I am hoping to figure it out by just doing the Stafords, some State Grants, Pell Grants, and income being earned along the way.

In out area, I would also be able to make about 2 times what I currently am making, which is also very appealing. Nursing is by far the best paying profession that is taught at our local CC, and I can't seem to envision it working going to the closest 4 year for a different degree, since that would be a 1 1/2 hour drive each way.

Are any of you worried about the physical requirements as we/you get older? I am in reasonably good shape, although I am working on loosing 25# or so. I bike over 1000 miles a year, do Tai Chi, etc.... You just never know what life might throw at you though.

Take Care,