Need advice-should I become a CNA/STNA at 46?

Nursing Students CNA/MA


I am a 46 year old mom and wife, and our family is in a financial situation where we need me to work. I have not worked outside the home since 2002, and at that time I was an administrative assistant in a job that lasted all of four months. I am 5'3" tall and weigh 200 pounds. I am, obviously, obese. For years I have been interested in becoming a CNA (here in Ohio it's STNA). I have even gone so far as to sign up for the classes, then dropped them at the last minute because I'm worried that I will not be able to do the strenuous physical work involved with being a nursing assistant. I have a genuine interest in working with the elderly and helping them. I am looking at part time work-is this even possible in LTC? And after reading a large number of the posts on this site regarding the work involved with being a nursing assistant, I am still hesitating. There is a class at a local adult career center starting on November 29th for three weeks, costing $647.00. It's either become a nursing assistant or work at Toys R Us as a cashier. Am I too old to be a CNA? What should I do?

Specializes in Nursing Assistant.

You are not at all too old to be a CNA!! I am 47 and recently became a CNA. I was an Office Administrator for 15 years in the construction industry and always had a passion for the elderly and wanting to help them and to work in the "medical field". So I dove in and I am sooo glad I did. You can do it. I don't believe it matters what your size is. I am on the thin side and not in athletic shape at all. From what I've been reading for months, using proper body mechanics and asking for assistance is what you're supposed to do anyway. (And I'm sure you build up strength and stamina as time goes by). I think if your heart is in it to help elderly people in LTC and you're ready to work hard, you should go for it. Good luck with your decision! Just believe in yourself! ;)

There are many CNAs your age, some even older (I have worked with lifelong-CNAs in their late 60s). Age really isn't as important as physical stamina. If you can stay on your feet for 8+ hours, you should do great (and many facilities do offer part-time positions).

Thank you for the replies! I did not realize that things got slow on this board over the weekend. I just need to not let some of the horror stories on this website dissuade me from trying.

I'm a few years older than you and also extra curvy and if I can do it anyone can. :D The hardest part was getting over the lower backache I had when I started. Those stick on heated pads saved me on many a work day. You can do this and good luck.

Specializes in Surgical, LTC.

You can be a CNA.. work in assisted Living would be easy too.. (no lifting!) but dont expect decent pay... and Almost anyplace does part time work.. prn.. any shifts you want.

I am 47 and a new employee at a long-term care facility that has a scholarship program to get me certified. I've been working since August, and yes it is physically challenging work but it's a 'no-lift' facility in which mechanical lifts are used for people who are incapacitated or are too weak to do any weight-bearing. I'm 5'8" and weigh 130 lb, so I'm quite slim. I'm able to handle this kind of work because I use the proper body mechanics techniques I've been trained with.


If that is where your :heartbeat lies then go for it!!! I am 43 and just went back to get my CNA about 4 months ago. I love working with the elderly. Now something I don't like but that is quickly overlooked. :p

One thing that you should think of is this will be an excellent job to get you into shape. I was in shape before because I have a small cleaning biz that I still work at, it too is very physical BUT I started loosing weight when I was in clinical's. I considered this a plus. Any job that keeps you in shape is A-okay in my book. You might start walking around to get you going. But I do think you will be fine!!

Good luck and keep us informed on the outcome. We would all love to give you some encouragement:up:

PS I work part-time!!

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