Jump to content

Newborn Nanny, Should I Return to School for Nursing at 48??


Hi everyone!

I'm currently a newborn nanny specialist, and have my own business. My love and passion is working with babies! I help parents after they've had a baby, and help with all aspects of baby care: fussiness, swaddling, feeding/sleep issues, etc. I also cook for the families I work for. I absolutely love what I do, but financially it's been tough. I currently make $20/hour, but pay double taxes, since I have my own business - I'm the employer AND employee. Being self-employed is rough!

I've been thinking about going back to school, and of course am looking at becoming a Postpartum Nurse. Being so passionate about babies and helping new moms, it seems like the next step. The problem is, I will be 48 next month!! Not only that, but math and science were never my "thing" in school. I have a marketing degree, so I don't qualify for FAFSA. I would be doing this all on loans.

I have met with a counselor at the local community college, and she suggested I do something else, like maybe Respiratory Therapy. She said I could possibly work with babies in the NICU. She also suggested becoming a Physical Therapist Assistant. I don't see how working in that field would lead me to working with babies, so I'm not so sure of that career, either.

I would love some advice here!! School will begin in September if I choose to go, so I need to make a decision soon. Thanks!! :-)

I'm not real sure why a career counselor would suggest things that you have no interest in doing. I say go for it! I graduated with a lady who was in her mid 50s. She was awesome! She also struggled with math some but we were happy to help her in anyway we could!

If you are willing to put the hard work into this endeavor that it will require, to include the extra work in math and science, then by all means, do it.

NICUmiiki, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU/PICU Flight Nursing. Has 6 years experience.

There are physical therapists who work with babies in the NICU.

The only point I feel you should consider is that you may not get a position in the NICU, Mother/Baby, L&D or Peds right away. You may have to work wherever you get job and it may be with adults. If you decide to go into nursing just keep that in mind.

Thanks for your encouragement! As far as I can tell, there are physical therapists who work in the NICU, but not physical therapist assistants. Not sure why, but that's what I've read on other forums. If I'm wrong please let me know. Whatever I do really does need to involve working with infants. I'm also highly considering moving to a bigger city such as Chicago, and just keep doing what I'm doing. I live in Michigan right now, and there are times when I'm not working with a family. I realize I may not start out working with babies in nursing. Hopefully my background would help though, and I also volunteer in the special care nursery at the local hospital.

I think the reason she mentioned it was because it would get me in a much better financial position, and although I may not be able to work with infants, I could probably still work with children. She's trying to get me in a much better financially stable position in a short amount of time.

babyNP., APRN

Specializes in NICU. Has 13 years experience.

Yeah, there really isn't such a thing (that I've experienced or heard of) as physical therapy assistants in the NICU. It's extremely specialized and only physical therapists are there- and most schools only offer a doctorate in physical therapy, not the masters anymore.

You can work as a respiratory therapist in the NICU, but they take many of the same classes that RNs do, so if you really want to do work with babies, your best shot is doing it as a RN. best of luck to you! my DH is self-employed too, so I feel your pain on the double taxes part!

There are many more classes to take as a nurse, compared to a respiratory therapist - at least from what I can tell, looking at the info sheets from the community college. I know their nursing program is extremely competitive too - the counselor told me they take the top 30 or 40, so you really need a 3.5. I think that's also why she was encouraging me to NOT do the program, as I just don't do well in math and science. Maybe I should reconsider being an RT. I'm sure it's still extremely challenging, but I don't think a 3.5 is needed. The stress level is pretty high though, as with nurses. Just not sure what to do!


Specializes in OB.

Our respiratory techs get rotated so you would not be assigned to l&d and nicu all the time anyway. If nursing is your passion, go for it. You're 48 now, in 4 years you will be 52 and you you can be a nurse then or not be one and wonder what if for the rest of your life. I started the medical field at 39 as a mother/baby tech, while working there did the scrub tech program and have been in l&d for almost 4 years and I will be finishing my BSN this December at 44. I have 2 classmates that are 54 and will be 55 when they graduate. Follow your heart!

NICUmiiki, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU/PICU Flight Nursing. Has 6 years experience.

Sorry... I didn't see the 'assistant'.

Postpartum RN

Specializes in Postpartum, Med Surg, Home Health. Has 7 years experience.

Respiratory therapists are required to learn a lot of math and science and calculations in their program. My sister in law is currently in RT program and she said it's very difficult and all the numbers are overwhelming (think about it you are always working with oxygen concentrations and co2 and po2 and ABGs and so on). RT program is easier to get into where I live in sacramento than nursing schools, but it's also a 2 year program and prerequisites are extensive just like nursing.

It sounds like you love educating and working with babies and parents, post partum would be perfect for you. I agree with other posters the reality is you might not be able to get into PP right away, but some day you will. Good luck!

Coffee Nurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU. Has 10 years experience.

Also, RTs in the NICU don't do much of the traditional baby care; they're more involved in setting up/maintaining the vent/CPAP/Vapotherm/whatever, suctioning, giving nebs, etc. Occasionally if you have a very slow night, a busy nurse, and a fussy baby, you might get to change a diaper or cuddle for a bit, but that's rare.

adreamdeferred, ADN, MSN, RN, APRN, NP

Specializes in Home Health, Geriatrics, Women's Health, Addiction. Has 4 years experience.

I think if you want a better shot of getting your hands on some babies you should do nursing. I precepted in OB and they loved me and have been trying to get me in there ever since.They received surveys back and my name kept coming up in a good way. The only reason I am not there is because I realized OB was my second love to home health, way better hours, but I know where I could get a job if I need one. Also, maybe you need to research other schools. I attended a school 40 miles away because it was away from the congested one closest to me. I didn't have to "fight" anyone to get in. Best thing I could have did, wonderful school, but the drive was a sacrifice. Don't worry about your age, it's a non-issue. Also, I'm not a whiz at math or science, just had to put a little more effort in than some. Don't talk yourself out of your destiny. If it's meant to be things will fall into place but you have to take a step forward. I wish you the best.

Alex Egan, LPN, EMT-B

Specializes in Home Health (PDN), Camp Nursing. Has 9 years experience.

You may want to consider LPN. LPN's are used extensively in PDN home care. You might not always have an infant but its usually all children that I care for. The base pay might not be much better than what your making now but the taxes would be.

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience.

If math and science are not "your thing".. what makes you think nursing or RT is your thing? Both are science based fields.

Nurses do much more than swaddling teaching and cooking. I do not agree that it is a logical "next step".

I graduated at 47!

iPink, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, Postpartum. Has 8 years experience.

Wow, newborn nanny. Some of my patients must have one ready for them when they go home because they seem to have no desire to learn how to take care of their infants while in the hospital.

Sent via iPink's phone using allnurses

I'm a L&D nurse. I also have a business background, degree in finance. I worked on Wall Street for many years. I went back to school for my nursing degree when I was 42. Many students in post baccalaureate/second degree programs are older, in their 40's, 50's and even a few in their 60's. I don't know where you live, but I'm in NJ. There are accelerated BSN programs for people who have bachelors degrees in other fields. You can get through the program fairly quickly. It took me 7 months for pre-recs (5 classes, so a summer semester and a fall semester), and then a year in the accelerated nursing program. Most of the pre-recs are going to be math and science though, to kind of weed through the hundreds of applicants. Buckle down, sister. You got this. In some cases you can get around the pre-recs by taking clep exams to demonstrate competency. Being honest, going back to school after a 20+ year hiatus is no picnic. When I took my pre-recs, I would actually go on the "rate my professor" website, and make sure I had the easiest teacher! Once your head is in the game, it's not that hard. I actually graduated nursing school with a 4.0. Not bragging, just saying that if this old brain can do it, you can too. There are plenty of jobs out there if you go that route, at least here in NJ. I haven't had any difficulty finding work. Aside from nursing, and here you really do need a BSN to hold a hospital job, I would recommend looking into working as a doula, or getting certified as a breast feeding counselor. If you live near a city and you need to build clientele, a good place to start is in communities who traditionally have larger families, such as orthodox Jewish. Lots of those women use doulas for their births, and some of them hire nurses to help out at home for the first few months. Good luck.