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Nursing as a career change in your 40s? A good idea?

Hawaii   (596 Views 3 Comments)
by ESP808 ESP808 (New Member) New Member

230 Visitors; 4 Posts


I'm a 41 year old single mom (joint custody) who will be an empty nester in 4 years. I'm not sure if I'm going through a midlife crisis but lately my corporate insurance job no longer lights my fire and I am yearning for a career that gives me a strong sense of purpose and the feeling that I'm doing something meaningful.

I have family members who are nurses and they've been encouraging me to consider Nursing.

I have a Bachelor's Degree in Business & 14 years experience in the insurance industry + 6 years in the tourism industry.

I'm looking into getting in the GEPN at University of Hawaii- Manoa on the DNP path.

I know that once I start, there's no turning back because I'll be using part of my IRA money for living expenses while I do the 1 year intensive prelicensure before taking the NCLEX.

Do you think Nursing school is a good return of investment at my age (41)?

How is the job market for Nursing Grads in Hawaii?

Thank you in advance. I appreciate the feedback.

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1,566 Visitors; 33 Posts

I would highly recommend not following through with your current plan. Have you volunteered in any local hospitals? Or done any shadowing/internships? There is a huge difference between what you may think nurses do vs. what nursing is actually like day in and out. There are plenty of ways to have a meaningful and purpose driven live without going back to school for 7-8 years. I would consider volunteering at a local shelter, food pantry, or at a hospital before changing your whole lifestyle. 

Also, the job market in Hawaii is awful for nursing. I've said it in other posts but I still have yet to meet a new RN grad (who went to school here) who has not had to work 1-2 years as a tech or secretary before being hired on as an RN. So you could be licensed for years as an RN before starting your nursing career. There is very little turnover here because of the unions (the longer you're in, the better your hours, less holidays, better pay etc). I've lived all over the country and this is by far the worst job market I've seen for RNs. 

If you still want to do nursing, have you considered getting a BSN instead of going to the DNP route? It would definitely shave off a few years of education and costs. 

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232 Likes; 3 Followers; 95,215 Visitors; 36,400 Posts

Nursing was not a good return on my investment when I started back to nursing school at 36.  Now I am past retirement age and living from hand to mouth, day to day, not knowing when I will ever be able to finish with trying to find work, keep work, or surmount the misery I encounter at work.  Had I been able to follow through with my aspirations for nursing at 16 (and before), I am certain my outlook would have been better.  All you can do is to measure how you will be should you encounter any of the possible roadblocks to your nursing goal.  Likewise, don't be naïve about how great you will feel about helping others when you encounter the possible brick-wall negativity that a nursing job can be.  There are ways to help people without leveraging your own well being in the process.

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