Nursing school at 38?

  1. I have been a stay at home mom for 15 years. I'm almost 38 years old. I haven't been to college. I've just been raising my kids because while they've been young, I've felt that was my duty. Now, I'm having the urge to put me first. But is it too late?

    I'd have to take all of the pre-requisites. I don't even know the process of applying for school. I have always wanted to be a nurse...but raising my kids came first.

    Is it too late for me? Would I even be considered for a job? I'm an ultra marathon runner, I have always taken good care of myself, so I hope I don't look like a hag or anything. I take nutrition and fitness seriously and I think it shows in my appearance.

    I feel almost like this is my moment to try for this but I can't get the negativity put of my head saying that 37 is too old to start.

    Any advice? Give it to me straight and I really appreciate your comments.
  2. Visit Elle7745 profile page

    About Elle7745

    Joined: Sep '18; Posts: 20; Likes: 23

    65 Comments

  3. by   Swellz
    My BSN program had a couple people in their 40s and 50s. It was primarily a younger crowd but I remember they all got jobs upon graduation. If it's what you want and you have the will and means to do it, go for it.
  4. by   City-Girl
    You could always start with getting your associate's degree. If you were to go full time, though it's a lot of work, it is possible to complete in 2 years. You could potentially complete your RN by age 40. If you plan on retiring at 65 that would mean 25 years in the profession. It's definitely not too late!
  5. by   Aunt Slappy
    I became a CNA at 36 and a LPN at 40, also after 15 years at home with my kids. The only difference between you and me is that I have a previous bachelor's degree in a non nursing subject.

    We live in a time when people routinely live into their 90s. To quote Shia LeBoeuf, "DO IT!"
  6. by   Newgradnurse17
    There's a student on my floor who looks like he should retire. Well into his 60s, and it shows. He's not very good.

    But 37 is not to old at all. In my class there was a lot in that age group or higher. And a lot of nurses I work with did too. And it's worked out well for them.

    Go for it! You've got a good 25 years to work, do it doing something you like.
  7. by   Kallie3006
    Take your moment and shine! I would call and set up an appointment with an academic advisor. When meeting with them they will be able to sit down and "map" out your degree giving you a better idea of the work you will need to do as far as schooling goes. Good luck!
  8. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from City-Girl
    You could always start with getting your associate's degree. If you were to go full time, though it's a lot of work, it is possible to complete in 2 years. You could potentially complete your RN by age 40. If you plan on retiring at 65 that would mean 25 years in the profession. It's definitely not too late!
    That may be rarely true ...but most ADN programs have a list of prerequisites that must be completed before you can even apply. Once you apply and get accepted, then your two years start.
    My school required English Comp I, English Comp II, Ethics, Nutrition, Intro to Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Anatomy and Physiology I, Anatomy and Physiology II, Microbiology and Intro to Chemistry. There was also some sort of entrance exam that could create the need for remedial math and/or reading classes if the score wasn't high enough.
    Schools that allow you to take those classes along with your nursing courses would probably be pretty brutal for someone who's been out of school for a while. I don't think I would have made it.
  9. by   Accolay
    Straight up: *grabs Elle's shoulders and shakes her* snap out of it, sister! Stop this negativity!

    That was harsh, I know But people do this all the time (not the shaking, but going back to school- the shaking is more of a 1940s medical idea.) You're more than likely going to be active in the job market for another 25-30 years, so no, it's not too late. You'll find a job. Nursing school is hard, but it's all going to work out. Find the accredited schools in your area, do your research, check out their programs and make a decision.

    There are a lot of ways to skin the nursing school cat. Maybe look into the job market in your area and think about places you think you'd like to work in the future to see if they require a BSN or would expect you to gain your bachelors after so much time. Do not be discouraged to find you may have to take a few prerequisite prerequisites i.e. more basic math courses if you have to take algebra. It may behoove you to look past ADN requirements and see what specific classes you would need to transfer or gain entry into a BSN program.

    Finally, I'd recommend a community college or similar for cheaper tuition and then either apply for their ADN program or transfer to a bachelor program if needed.
  10. by   FolksBtrippin
    Yes, you can start nursing school at 38. I started at 39.

    But not because you are a marathon runner who looks good. You could just as easily start nursing school if you looked "like a hag."


    So ask yourself first if you are really willing to take care of unattractive, obese people who have not cared for themselves. And if so, are you willing to work with other professionals who in your estimation look like hags. I don't know you, but on the surface, you do not exemplify nurse material.

    There are jobs for beautiful people. Personal trainer and cosmetology come to mind.
  11. by   Elle7745
    You know what? I apologize for making that statement. To tell you the truth, I was reading threads on this website before I posted. I saw a woman posting how she couldn't get a job out of nursing school. The woman was older than me and was much older than I'll be if I graduate.

    The nurses were advising her to make sure she dyed her hair, got microdermabrasion, as well as getting her teeth whitened. They assumed it was her appearance. It scared me. I went from hoping I was smart enough to pull this off to wondering if I was young and pretty enough as well.

    I saw another post where a lady was starting (much) later in life and someone told her what a physical job nursing was and to not do that to herself. I guess I was trying to assure everyone here (and myself) that I was physically capable.

    Once again, I do apologize because that's not who I am at all. My head is just spinning with a million what-ifs and reading those posts certainly added to that list! I appreciate your advice. Thank you!
  12. by   Elle7745
    I'm trying to gather as much information as possible right now! The thought of having to learn sciences and math is terrifying but I can't stop thinking "What if I actually did it though?"

    It would take me a long time to even get through the pre-requisites. I did find a list of pre-requisites for my local community college. I'd need to finish those and then I could enter nursing school. So, let's say you get all of your pre-requisites, then you enter a 2 year program for nursing. What do those first classes look like? Is it more advanced Chem, Bio, math? Or is it more hands on at that point?

    I truly appreciate everyone's answers! This is a whole new world for me. I appreciate the encouragement! Thanks for the good "shake." =)
  13. by   Elle7745
    That's good to hear! Thanks for responding!
  14. by   FolksBtrippin
    Quote from Elle7745
    You know what? I apologize for making that statement. To tell you the truth, I was reading threads on this website before I posted. I saw a woman posting how she couldn't get a job out of nursing school. The woman was older than me and was much older than I'll be if I graduate.

    The nurses were advising her to make sure she dyed her hair, got microdermabrasion, as well as getting her teeth whitened. They assumed it was her appearance. It scared me. I went from hoping I was smart enough to pull this off to wondering if I was young and pretty enough as well.

    I saw another post where a lady was starting (much) later in life and someone told her what a physical job nursing was and to not do that to herself. I guess I was trying to assure everyone here (and myself) that I was physically capable.

    Once again, I do apologize because that's not who I am at all. My head is just spinning with a million what-ifs and reading those posts certainly added to that list! I appreciate your advice. Thank you!
    I accept your apology.

    Being 40ish will not hinder your job prospects whatsoever. It did not for me.

    Being 60ish might. But my bet is that there were other factors at play.

    The prereqs are the most challenging academically, IMO. After that, other things are challenging.

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