Jump to content

Please help. I'm 50 and want my nursing degree.


I really want my nursing degree but wonder if I would have a hard time getting a job after graduation due to my age. While employers say they do not discriminate, we all know that they do. I am also considering enrolling into a school that has an accelerated accredited program, but heard that employers aren't as favorable to graduates from these types of institutions. If anyone out there has knowledge about nursing programs in the Akron, Ohio area I would appreciate any feedback. I've done research on Kent State and AKron University (both excellent nursing programs), but I heard both have waiting lists. Because of my age I don't feel I can afford to draw out my schooling to get my degree. Any advice would be appreciated...even if you want to tell me I'm crazy for pursuing this at my age. lol.

One1, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency, Pre-Op, PACU, OR. Has 3 years experience.

I don't believe that employers look unfavorably onto accelerated programs, especially the BSN programs. However, at least here in CO, accelerated BSN programs require that you a) already have a Bachelor (any field is fine) and B) that you fulfilled a certain number of prerequisites before you apply. The most commonly requested prerequisites are AP I & II (Anatomy & Physiology), Microbiology, and Human Growth and Development (PSY). Some schools might require additional prerequisites such as Statistics, Chemistry, Nutrition, or more. Best would be to decide if you want to go for an Associates or Bachelor degree first. Both lead you to the same State exam to become an RN. After that, you should look which schools in your area offer which degree. If you consider continuing your education at a later point, make sure your school is regionally accredited. Also ask if the school is accredited by your state board of nursing (which allows students from that school to sit for the State exam after completion of the program), and accredited by a nursing association such as NLN.

Schools commonly either have waitlists or competitive entry systems. If you apply for competitive entry, your GPA in your prerequisites and often your overall GPA (in your previous degree) will be considered, as well as application essay, interview, volunteer work, previous healthcare experience, etc (all depending on the school). Some associate programs have a point system in which a certain grade equals a certain number of points, and students with the highest points get offered admission. Sometimes these schools will give you points for fulfilling your prerequisites at their school instead of transferring them in, which is really only their way to make extra money, but it is important to know before you decide on a school.

Hope that helped a bit, I am unfamiliar with schools in your area, but a google search or a search via NLN (National League of Nursing) should give you a good start. Good luck!

There were people in your age category and older (60) in my program. Don't worry about getting a job or do not bother. You might have to search a little to find an employer who will hire a new grad but that would be the case if you were 40 years younger. If you already have a degree, then check out the accelerated programs. But be aware that they are very intense and many transfer to traditional programs because they can not keep up with the pace. Get with a counselor at a nearby school with a nursing program and see where you should start. As a minimum, you will most likely be repeating science classes that are more than five years old. Good luck.

I just wanted to tell you that I know a few folks who got their nursing degree at age 45+ and they are very happy that they did.. I don't think it's crazy to accomplish something you want to do..especially when you only live once, right?


Has 11 years experience.

Do it!! Don't get hung up on your age, education is a good thing no matter how old you are. I graduated in 2005 at 32, and there were at least 5 students in my class 45+...Good luck and didn't you know 50 is the new 40?!

I am 51 and going for it- I am taking my Human A & P one this semster and next semster Human A & P plus some other courses that will apply to the nursing programs- Don't let the age thing get to you- Have fun and keep working towards your goal- My dream is to get accepted into the nursing program next August-

I recently completed a semester in an accredited on-line school which is accepted by our local universities, but other than that I have not been in school since 77'. While the credits are not the pre-requisites required for the nursing program, it helped me get back into the studying mode. I am proud of myself for earning a high GPA and I proved to myself that I can handle the nursing program as long as I study hard and apply myself. It look like I'll have to do the same as you and concentrate on getting my pre-requisites out of the way. Thanks for your help. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavor.

I want to say good for you! I believe 50 is the new 35 anyway!!! : ) You are right at an age where many of folks would have given up, and you are going for it!

Thanks for the support. I feel like I'm only 35 because I work at staying physically fit. My hope is that my future employer can appreciate it.

Thanks! I really want to do this.

Thanks for the support!

Thanks for your response. I need it.


Specializes in LTC, MDS Cordnator, Mental Health. Has 9 years experience.

I was 45 when I went back to college after selling my insurance agency. I worked full time nights as a NAR (for the health benefits) it took me 3 years to do the LPN and RN program I graduated at age 48 and have been doing LTC the whole time… that is the right pace for me. I love what I do. I have absolutely no regrets.

I really pushed myself to get it done. Like my 97 year old grandfather would say if he got a ding in his car was "you think i have time to wait for you to fix it? I'll take that one." and point to a new car. he would write a check and drive off with a new car.

Make up your mind and do it.

Thanks, I'm going for it. I'm in the process of picking the right school. I can't wait to get started.

Hi JB, I am an "older" student also, and am just completing my applications. I hope the nursing programs I am applying to will not reject me based on my age. I am confident I can do the work, but I am not confident that nursing schools will think that. I am really glad to hear from people in this thread that there were older students in their nursing programs. That gives me hope.

Finished at 47 with an absn. Glad that I did it. BTW accelerated programs really put the pedal to the metal. Anyone who can finish an accelerated program is an exceptional student to begin with. Just do it and then look for a good nurse residency program. (I think the VA would be a good place for a nontraditional new nurse.)

I will turn 45 next month and I'm half way through an accelerated LPN program....the advantage is twice the number of classes in the same amount of time as a "regular" program, and the disadvantage is twice the number of classes in the same amount of time...I'm in school this semester 8-4 two days per week and clinicals 6:30-2:30 two days a week....and that is just for one class! (med/surg)...I don't know that I would exactly "recommend" that route, but being the impatient person that I am, I wanted the fastest route possible.