New here, trying to get nursing info


Hi! I currently have a BS in Marketing, but have been staying home with my kids for a few years while running a home daycare and am looking to go back to school for a nursing degree. I have been looking around at colleges, but am very confused about the different programs! What are the differences between Assoc. and 4 year degrees? Do you need a 4 yr to be a RN or just take the test after you complete your 2 yr? Will just an assoc. degree get you a decent paying job? How do you find out about good programs, what should I ask about or look for?

Also, I love Biology and have always been a good student -except for Chemisty! I had a very hard time with that in high school, and though I got a "B", never really got it! I know I would need to get through Chem classes, but how many are there and are they really needed on daily basis once you start working?

I just turned 33, is that "too old"? Do you think it would be worth it for me to start off in a new field or would I have a hard time? Any other students who aren't straight out of high school?

Sorry for the rambling, I would appreciate any help or advice anyone can give me!




437 Posts

I'm 33!!! No way is it too old!!!!!!! You can change your career at any age!

My best advice to you is to meet with some of the advisors at the schools you are looking at. If you already have a 4 year degree, you might be able to fast track to a BSN.

I am going for my ASN, which when I graduate and pass the NCLEX, will give me my RN. The same as if I went to a four year school. My friend has her BSN in Nursing and she started out at the same pay as those with their ASN's.

The only difference at her hospital is that only BSN's are given management positions.

My plan is to get my ASN, go somewhere that has tuition reimbursement and have them pay for my BSN!

Good luck to you! It's a wild ride, but it wil be worth every bit of blood, sweat and tears in the end!

aviator411, RN

86 Posts

Specializes in NICU.


Wow, you're practically an old geezer at 33!

I'm entering an accelerated BSN program in Sept at 63. So I guess your age shouldn't be a problem!

I have a 40 yr old BA in physiology so have spent last two yrs taking prereqs. Chemistry was difficult for me 40 yrs ago, barely passed two semesters of freshman chem. I started w organic-bio at the local community college two yrs ago. Figured if I had a lot of trouble I wouldn't waste any further time on this project. Organic was GREAT! I loved it and made an A. It is NOTHING like general chemistry. Trust me, almost no math.

Many places will let you take the nursing organic course with nothing more than your hs chemistry.

As far a finding a good program - good luck. Ask 10 people about any program and you'll get 10 different answers. As far as getting a job is concerned, a two year ADN is as good as a BSN and usually a lot cheaper. They both take the same state board exams. I'm going for a BSN because I want to do graduate work in nursing, otherwise I'd have gone for the ADN and save some money. My wife has been an RN for 39 years and, if anything, prefers working with ADN nurses but it's a very individual opinion.

Some, but not all, employers will pay a small differential to BSN's over ADN's but it usually isn't much and rarely compensates for the difference in cost of the schooling.

With an ADN and your BS in marketing, I'm told most MSN programs would accept you.

If you're worried about the chemistry, take a nursing organic/bio course at a local community college and see how it goes. I think you'll be surprised at how much fun it is. You get to turn aspirin into oil of wintergreen, learn why you have to cook fruit before adding it to jello and all sorts of neat stuff.

Try it, you'll like it!


22 Posts

LOL, I know I'm not ancient, though lately been feeling like it since my oldest turned 11! I was just wondering if there were many non-traditional students or if I'd have any problems when it came to getting a job if I wasn't 20!

I know the university I graduated from has the 12 month accelerated program, but it is located almost 2 hours away from where we now live. Guess I have lots of research to do to find a school closer to us. Are any of the 'online' schools legit? I don't see how you could do that since you have to do clinicals and such at a hospital, right?


437 Posts

If you're looking for schools, go to your state's board of nursing....for instance, I just googled New Hampshire Board of Nursing and found the site. It should have an education link that will list all the programs in your state.


11 Posts

I am 39 years old and have applied for a graduate entry program. Definitely 33 is not too old! I went back to school two years ago to finish my B.A., thinking that was it, but then I decided that I will be 39, 40, 41, matter what I am doing, so I better just do what I really want instead of settling. So, I think that you should go for it!

I would also like to confirm what aviator411 said - at least from my experience. Organic Chemistry is so much easier. I took science classes years ago (I was in a BSN program 15 years ago) and I received a D in general chemistry and an A in Organic Chem. I took these classes one semester apart so it wasn't an increase in knowledge (I actually took the organic chem class first) that enabled me to ace Organic chem. It just made so much more sense!

Whatever you choose to do, good luck. Just know that many of us here have tackled some of the issues/questions you have and are now on our way to becoming nurses. In a year you will be in the same boat!

As for distance, kellia, keep in mind that clinicals can sometimes be an hour away from your school. Maybe you will luck out and they will be an hour in your direction so going to school 2-3 days a week won't seem so bad.


33 Posts

Don't worry, you're not the only one! I, too, just turned 33 and will be signing up for A&P 1 spring quarter. I have a BA in psychology, but it's been quite a while since I've been in school. I'm really excited to start my prereqs and hope to be ready to apply to my local schools for Fall 2008!

We are still younglings at 33! We can do it!


24 Posts

I am 34 and am in Nursing I . The ages in my class range from 19-60. If you have a four year degree and get you AS in nursing you can fast track to your masters. Phoenix online offers it. I would get into a AS program start working and then fast track to masters that way you will see a pay difference.

WDWpixieRN, RN

2,237 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg <1; Epic Certified <1.

I am 51, have a previous BS in MIS, and after 6 years in that "biz", started nursing school last fall. I am in the second semester of an ASN program, which I chose over the BSN program (traditional and accelerated) because I have 3 kids who, while they're all grown, drive me batty (one moved home with HER 5 year old!); a husband who's worse than they are; and to be honest, I wanted a "life" while I was in school. I also saved a bundle on tuition, and was told that with my existing bachelor's, I'd have some options for higher education once I had the ASN (I did have one college recruiter tell me that I could NOT transition my BS in MIS and the ASN into an MSN, but that's still up for debate) my friend who's been an RN for 20+ years told me -- get it done the quickest, cheapest, easiest way you can....then get out working!! I will let the hospital where I end up help pay for the higher education!!

Besides this website, another one that has some interesting info is: . I bet you'll find a million others with a ton of info...

Best wishes!!


453 Posts

Hello, I am 39 and am hoping to start Nursing School in September. I am going for a BSN but I was told that 70% of nurses in our state (CA) are ASN and there is not a huge difference in pay if any. One thing that I notice about being older is that I take my classes much more seriously and since I went back to school about 3 years ago. I have been able to get A's. So my GPA is 3.9. Chemistry was tough, but there was a tutoring center and I think I was able to do well because I kept up on the reading and the homework and did not let myself fall behind. I do beat myself up over being 39 and just now getting nearer to my goal. You should be proud that you already have a degree and to top it off you are still young. You can do it. Just keep up on the homework and reading and if you feel you are having difficulty reach out right away and get some help. Good luck.

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