I started my ABSN at age 53. I graduated with an AGPC NP MSN at age 56. So yes, it is certainly doable. There were some things that were difficult for me:
1. I changed careers and it was very difficult for me to suddenly know nothing, when I was used to being an expert.
2. It was a little difficult to get back into the groove of being a full time student. I did it and was on the Dean's List and inducted into the International Honor Society. I also won the competitive Nurse Corps Scholarship
for most of my MSN. That is a full ride scholarship that also pays a small living allowance.
3. It really, really sucked to be on a student's budget!
Within two months of starting my NP job search, I had nine job offers.
For loan repayment, there are two types:
1. Employer based - ask about this when interviewing. Most employers will also list benefits on their website.
2. Government - there are federal and state loan repayment programs through the Nurse Corps and NHSC. Only certain sites are eligible and you must apply - it is not guaranteed. Go to the program websites and research their requirements.
3. There is also loan forgiveness after 10 years of public service - again, research the requirements for this.
There are plenty of NPs who practice into their 60s and 70s. On my last NP clinical rotation, my preceptor was a doctor. At the end, he said, "You have a good 30 years of practice in you - I expect you to work until you're 80." LOL BTW - I am overweight, but pretty fit - this doc used me as a model for his patients on how to stretch and do certain exercises and to demonstrate good posture, etc.