Dear Nurse Beth,
I graduated my ADN program in 2010 at age 51. Immediately went into home health for 2 years asmedsurg held no interest for me and my ultimate goal was hospice nursing. I began working in a hospice house in 2012 and stayed until 2017.
My husband and I relocated to another state. Since then I have been a hospice CM for a small agency and hate it. While I love my patients, the work is boring and unchallenging. I am desperate for a change but feel backed into a corner because of my age, lack of experience, and possibly only having my ADN.
At 59, would a BSN be any benefit for someone with no interest in management? I am considering a scrub tech program - an 18-month course that costs $31,000....ouch. But I desperately want to turn my career around. Would I even be hirable at 61 when I finish the course? I am so confused! I plan on working until age 68 and know as a scrub tech the pay will be significantly less; I am hoping it will be a foot in the door to something new as an RN (albeit a costly one.)
Spending $31,000 and 18 months to work as a scrub tech may not be the best way to land a job as a surgery RN. What is the market demand for scrub techs in your area? Before you decide to do this, factor in the cost of your lost wages to see if this makes financial sense for you.
If you spent that same amount of time and effort applying and interviewing, you could land an RN position (and save $31,000). Have you applied to all the outpatient procedural and surgical centers in your area?
Getting your BSN at 59 when you plan to work until 68 is a better return on investment, depending on the probability of your future health.
If you decide not to pursue your BSN, and if you have the stamina, you could consider sub-acute. Sub-acute such as rehabs and skilled nursing offer more opportunities for non-BSN RNs. The market is less competitive, and often this is due to sub-optimal working conditions, such as high turnover and workload.
Sub-acute can also serve as a stepping stone to other roles, such as minimum data set (MDS) coordinator. MDS coordinators evaluate and assure documentation of the care given to residents and submit data to CMS. Working with the residents would give you the patient care contact you like.
Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!