Am I too old to start a new career in nursing?

  1. I have been working in human resources for the past 15 years. I have enjoyed this career and have spent some time recently recruiting medical professionals for clients in clinics and hospitals. This experience has inspired me to go back to school to become a nurse. However, I am wondering if being a 47 year old man and a beginner may be an obstacle to getting that great job.

    I want to achieve a BSN and plan on exploring a more advanced degree after working in the profession for a few years. I think this career choice would absolutely match my passions and personality. I'm truly hoping my age will not hinder a great a satisfying career.

    Thank you
    Last edit by Joe V on Apr 1, '13
  2. Visit tr1216 profile page

    About tr1216

    Joined: Mar '13; Posts: 2
    Student; from US


  3. by   akulahawkRN
    Since you've posted here, I would imagine that you're younger than dead. In my opinion, that's young enough to begin a second career as a nurse. Whether or not you're going to find employment difficulties because of your age, that I can not answer. But being that you're 47, you have quite a bit of life experience that the younger nurses just don't have. I wish you all the best and hope that you're able to make a second career, as a nurse, a fun and rewarding career change for you!
  4. by   tr1216
    Thank you for the great response. I was hoping that my life experience would be considered a benefit and it is nice to hear you say so!
  5. by   akulahawkRN
    I just hope that when you're done, that the life experience you have is recognized and appreciated. I'm a bit younger than you, but I'm no spring chicken either. I hope that my experience and previous education is considered too, when it's time for me to find a job in nursing.
  6. by   NottaSpringChik
    Hi tr1216, I can speak from experience about going to nursing school and being a bit older. I started my prereqs at age 52 and got into the program at age 55. It all worked out perfectly because of the wait list for my program and by the time I was able to get in I was able to retire from my other job without a penalty, plus got a sweet early retirement incentive offer that paid for the tuition. I think being older was an advantage in many ways and disadvantage in some. My instructors stated that the older students seem to do better with the critical thinking, which makes some sense. My major challenge was in the psychomotor skills necessary for nursing. These were difficult to learn for me. It was disconcerting since I have always been a top student, fast learner and came from a job that had many psychomotor skillls to perform. It was really difficult being "slow." I loved clinicals but that was really difficult for me and I did decide not to go into acute care. It made me sad, but the environment was just too fast paced for me at the age of 57 when I graduated. Many of my fellow students were your age and they did not have any trouble at all and are working in acute care with no trouble. I know some people my age do also, but it just wasn't for me. I LOVE nursing though, and am now pursuing my BSN. The change of career has been very beneficial to my life in innumerable ways. So, to sum it up: go for it. No way are you too old for nursing at your age. The median age of my class was late 30s I think. I was the oldest student, but not the oldest EVER to graduate from that school. Many of my fellow students were in their forties.
  7. by   CDEWannaBe
    You're not too old to start, but know that becoming a nurse takes time.

    The first step is to research programs in your area and to start taking the prerequisite classes you need to apply to nursing school. Nursing programs are extremely competitive now, so you need to do as well as possible in those classes. I've done my prereqs at a community college because it's less expensive and there are night classes and online so I can still work full time and have time for my family.

    If you already have a bachelor's degree check into Accelerated Nursing programs. Once your prereqs are complete they allow you to earn a bachelor's in nursing within 12-18 months.

    Good luck and know that there are lots of people who've become successful nurses over age 40.
  8. by   Mschwab316
    Im 41 and I am set to start LPN school April 15th, looking forward to a change of pace from being a tech. Your never to old to rock and roll!!! Take care and good luck!!!
  9. by   Trenata
    I am 36 just starting out on my prereqs and probably won't actually be a nurse until at least 40 years old...assuming I make it through the whole process. From what I have seen on allnurses, nursing is something that many people do as a second career and at midlife - so you are definitely at the right age! I feel if I had done this in my teens or 20's, I would have been too immature and inexperienced to take lives into my hands everyday!!!
  10. by   lauraline
    Older students bring more life experience to the table. I am still young, but many of my classmates are older (ranging from 30s to 50s) and they often ask the best questions and get the best grades. Anyone of any age should go to school if they desire it. Education should be continuous in life. My mother went back to school for a second degree at age 50, all while working and raising kids. Now she has a successful career that brings in $150k+ per year. It can be done, so don't let anything stop you.
  11. by   SaoirseRN
    My now husband was 41 when he started the RN program (a four year program), so no, I don't think 41 is too old at all.
  12. by   Boxer Mama
    I will be 36 soon and starting my BSN program in the fall (hopefully). I feel that being older has helped me through school, given me the discipline needed to be very successful in my classes and hopefully will be an asset to my in nursing school. I think as long as this is something you want to do, then go for it!
  13. by   SopranoKris
    You're never too old!!! I'm 43 and I'm leaving behind a 17 year career to pursue my dream. If this is what you truly want to do...then go for it!!!
  14. by   hopefulRN'17
    I am almost 36 and have been in dentistry for 17 years now. Finishing up my last 2 classes before applying. You are never too old!