In my 40s.. don't know where to start

  1. Hi all I'm rather new to this but would really appreciate any advice you have to offer. This really is my only source of advice for the time being.

    I'm 47 years old and married with two children, one in college and one in middle school. I completed high school overseas and took a few courses at a college in Florida, studying to be an X-Ray Technician. Because of circumstances at the time I took a job at a local Dunkin' Donuts and 16 years later, I am the GM of several stores now in the Boston area.

    While this job pays well, it is unfulfilling and would love to do something in the health care field, medical assistant or pursue a degree in nursing all the way.

    I would prefer taking classes online as it would fit better into my schedule, but if I have to commute then I will.

    My question is, where do I begin. If I have few prerequisites, is that a difficult foundation to build upon? Are there any online colleges that you have used and/or recommend?

    Looking forward to hearing from you all. I know this is the right move for me at this point in my life.
  2. Visit MOMNurse2be profile page

    About MOMNurse2be

    Joined: Jan '05; Posts: 2

    7 Comments

  3. by   maxcat
    Quote from MOMNurse2be
    Hi all I'm rather new to this but would really appreciate any advice you have to offer. This really is my only source of advice for the time being.

    I'm 47 years old and married with two children, one in college and one in middle school. I completed high school overseas and took a few courses at a college in Florida, studying to be an X-Ray Technician. Because of circumstances at the time I took a job at a local Dunkin' Donuts and 16 years later, I am the GM of several stores now in the Boston area.

    While this job pays well, it is unfulfilling and would love to do something in the health care field, medical assistant or pursue a degree in nursing all the way.

    I would prefer taking classes online as it would fit better into my schedule, but if I have to commute then I will.

    My question is, where do I begin. If I have few prerequisites, is that a difficult foundation to build upon? Are there any online colleges that you have used and/or recommend?

    Looking forward to hearing from you all. I know this is the right move for me at this point in my life.
    I'm a pre-nursing student. This is a second career for me as well-I used to work in environmental consulting. I am currently a SAHM and don't have a lot of time for classes, but did start with a CNA (Certified Nurse's Aid) class. I just started this January-it's 1 semester long, with 30 hours of clinical (hospital) work. I plan on doing some pre-req's next year through our local community college. I think the CNA will be a good start for entering the medical field-it's almost a pre-req at many of the colleges I've looked at. Have you looked at your local community college? Some offer part-time nursing programs. I am also thinking of taking a phlebotomy course next year (also through our local cc). Many of the programs I am looking at (both ADN and accelerated BSN) require that you have the pre-req's (i.e. Anatomy and Physiology I & II, Medical Terminology, Nutrition, a few psych classes, an English composition class) completed before entering the program. I would talk to an advisor at your local cc to see about pre reqs, and develop a gameplan for taking them and applying to nursing school. Good luck! There's lots of women in your (our) situation right now!
  4. by   Stitchie
    Start by volunteering in a hospital and/or shadowing a nurse if you can for a day. You'll get a feel for the work and if you like it/enjoy it/can handle it.Lots of people think that nursing is a 'fun' job when the reality is...it's not. You're leaving a job where you have authority and responsibility to consider a job where you have responsibility but no real authority (you can't write up that same tech for smoking when you needed her, again, again, again). Consider that when you're considering nursing. Because like you, I went to school older and wiser, only to be labeled a 'troublemaker' (I am) because I won't take crap from anyone.

    Hospitals these days are in a crisis mode, and if they don't see it they are fools. Health care in this country is going to face a crisis if nurses are overburdened (we are) doctors can't pay their hefty malpractice insurance premiums and live the lifestyle they want (they can't) and we're faced with a growing population of people who do not have insurance nor the means to pay for it -- so to the ER they come. And can't be turned away. Nor should they.

    Nurses get all of the work and little of the thanks. Occasionally you will have a family member tell you how grateful they are for your kindness. It helps to get thru the really bad days. Docs get all of the glory and respect, and can do no wrong (very large phallacy here).

    Aside from all of that, if your science classes are over 5 years old, you'll have to retake them. If you enjoy the work, the science, the ability to work long hours with little food and no bathroom breaks, you'll be great. I would expect that you, like me, will find bedside nursing relatively unfulfulling after a short time and move out into a less 'nursey' role.

    Just my 0.02.

    Cheers.
  5. by   Stitchie
    Instead of going for a nursing degree, have you considered nurtrition? With the aging population it will be a fun field to study; lots of science, lots of interaction with people.

    And since you're coming from a food industry, albeit from the other side of the coin, as it were, you'll have lots of hands--on practical experience. It's clean work, you can get a respected degree and help lots of people onto the path of wellness.

    you can start with me!
  6. by   Fiona59
    Stitchie, I love it, you call a spade a spade.:hatparty:


    It is hard, no down right difficult at our age to start over in a new career. Nursing school is at least four years (for the degree), plus school for the courses you need to have current, lost income, lost retirement contributions, and stress to factor in.

    Can your family manage two sets of college tuition? Do you want to be up all night studying for exams, writing papers? Do you want to work shifts, stat holidays, be low man on the totem pole when it comes to vacation schedules?

    There are lots of jobs in the healthcare field, but as Stitchie so aptly put it, at our age, do you want to deal with the cr*p she outlined? There are a lot of "go for it girl" postings on this board, and some are so OTT at times I want to cry what mood altering drugs are you on??

    I know I sound negative, but consider career testing to see what you would be suited for. You might find out that financially you might be better off where you are. Consider what you have to give up before you decide..
  7. by   Stitchie
    excellent response. 40 is not too old for anything, if you know what you're getting yourself into.

    My own doc went to med school at 40 and what he lacks in experience he makes up for in compassion and the ability to be humble, relate to his patients.

    There's nothing that will ruin my day faster the the detested 23 year old BSN who's butt-kissing the NM. And the NM eats it up because she knows that she's universally hated. It will ruin your day to.

    I'm more of the butt-kicker type (get to work) than the butt-kisser. Never have been, and it has been the reason for my downfall.

    Well, something had to be right?
  8. by   BETSRN
    Quote from MOMNurse2be
    Hi all I'm rather new to this but would really appreciate any advice you have to offer. This really is my only source of advice for the time being.

    I'm 47 years old and married with two children, one in college and one in middle school. I completed high school overseas and took a few courses at a college in Florida, studying to be an X-Ray Technician. Because of circumstances at the time I took a job at a local Dunkin' Donuts and 16 years later, I am the GM of several stores now in the Boston area.

    While this job pays well, it is unfulfilling and would love to do something in the health care field, medical assistant or pursue a degree in nursing all the way.

    I would prefer taking classes online as it would fit better into my schedule, but if I have to commute then I will.

    My question is, where do I begin. If I have few prerequisites, is that a difficult foundation to build upon? Are there any online colleges that you have used and/or recommend?

    Looking forward to hearing from you all. I know this is the right move for me at this point in my life.
    You're in a great area to find programs. Don't do it online. Good luck.
  9. by   zumalong
    Having taught nursing for 10 years in an LPN program--I have seen some of my best students over 40. I agree about online--it is ok if you have experience. Have you thought about lesser degree besides 4 year for now. You can get LPN in 10mo to 1 year. Community colleges usually have excellent programs for RN's. I think that these two options will give you more clinical experience and let you know where you want to go with your career. Good for you. Learning never stops so dont let how old you are scare you.!!!!

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