Nursing School Age 49?

  1. Hi. I would like to get some input on this. I have always, always wanted to be a nurse; I was accepted at a few nursing schools in the early 70's but didnt' attend due to some bad choices I made at that time. I am still very much interested in nursing but I'm 49!!! Am I way too old? In your classes did you have students my age? It is my lifelong dream yet I don't know if I should apply to the schools in my area. Help! And thanks for any input. I really appreciate it!
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    About suzy253

    Joined: Jan '03; Posts: 8,773; Likes: 1,503
    Med Surg/Telemetry
    Specialty: Telemetry/Med Surg


  3. by   DebsZoo
    Follow your dream
    You are never too old.
    I am 42, and many of the nursing student in the program here are older students.
    If you have the drive and determination, don't let age hold you back.

    Welcome to the boards too
  4. by   ShortFuse_LPN
    We had a 64 y o woman in my nursing class. She told us that she wasn't going to work, that she had married young and hubby didn't think she "needed" to be going to school. She was great!!! I say if it has been a lifelong dream.....GO FOR IT!!!!
  5. by   itsme
    You are never too old to learn! Good luck, and I bet you will be a great nurse!
  6. by   howie122832
    GO FOR IT !!! Your age and your life experiences will only help you!

  7. by   llg
    I certainly don't think it is too old to start ... but I would recommend being realistic about your expectations and goals. Can you physically handle rotating shifts? 12-hour shifts? etc. Take that kind of stuff into consideration when you think about what types of jobs you will be seeking. Also remember that new graduates can't always get the job of their choice until they have a couple of years experience, so be prepared for that.

    Finally, keep your age in mind as you work out the finances for your schooling. I know one person who graduated from nursing school in her mid-40's with about $50,000 in student loans. As she is responsible for caring for her aging mother, she is on a 30-year repayment program. Unless she finds some sort of program to help her pay back her debt (which limits the type of job she can take), she will be paying back that debt until she is about 75 years old!

    llg (who is 47 years old and knows she doens't have the same body she had in her 20's!)
  8. by   legsmalone
    Like everyone else has said, go for it! I have a woman who is 53 and graduating with me in June, her belief is that anyone can do it. I hope you decide to jump in!

  9. by   cpgrn
    I went to school late in life. Graduated at 41 with honors! Do what you want to do and feel comfortable with. There were a lot of older people in my class - actually I was about in the middle. Good luck to you and follow your dream!
  10. by   VivaLasViejas
    I too went to school relatively late in life (mid- to late 30s) and found that I was far from the oldest in my class (she was 54). The youngest was 19, and ended up washing out in the last semester due, basically, to simple immaturity. The only real hazard of going into nursing later in life is that your life experience tends to make patients, and even instructors, think you know more than you actually do. You will have to remind them from time to time that you're new to this particular endeavor, just like your classmates. That said, I can only encourage you to GO FOR IT!!!
    Last edit by VivaLasViejas on Jan 13, '03
  11. by   moonrose2u
    i finally went back to school and finished at age 38..i was not the oldest in my class.

    today i work part time at two one unit i am perhaps the oldest one on my shift. most are in their 20's and early 30's. occasionally, i feel the difference in our ages, and there are a few nurses, whom i feel, resent the older nurse relationship...sometimes i am acutely aware of the difference.

    in the other hospital, we are mostly older nurses in the unit...we have no young nurses...its such a breath of fresh air! and the experience we all have...hey, bring it on baby....we'll tackle anything!
  12. by   Anaclaire
    In my Associate Degree (2 year RN program) our youngest gaduate was 19 and our oldest was 52 the day we graduated. We were a nice mix of all ages inbetween.

    One of the most motivated and wonderful nurses to work with was one who graduated when she was 51. She had all her life wanted to be a nurse and was so very proud and happy to be a nurse!

    Go for it! Live your dream! Your life experiences will be a tremendous benefit. Like the poster said in the earlier post, be cautious about overextending yourself financially, but I bet a good Financial Aid Officer at your college can help with that. Some hospitals will also pay for your schooling. I worked part time at our local hospital while I was in nursing school (Friday and Saturday nights 11-7) and they paid for my tuition and books for every quarter I was in college.

    Best wishes and good luck!

  13. by   suzy253
    Thanks everyone for your heartfelt replies. I know I can learn what I need to--my only drawback like a poster said was I KNOW I don't have the body or stamina of a 20 year old like I once did but I'm leaning towards giving it a try. I'll never know unless I try and if I succeed I will truly have achieved my life's calling.
    Thanks again.

    Sincerely, Sue
  14. by   jdomep
    There are 2 in my class (of 18) that are over 50. They are awesome ladies and have great life expeirences to share as well