Sometimes I feel so old (as a 2nd degree nurse)

Nurses General Nursing


I graduated from nursing school at 44, and now am successful on a unit and turning 46. It's a med surg/tele floor, and I'm happy there, but definitely want to move on after my contract is up.

The problem is, I just DREAM of being in the ICU, but just feel, well, too old. The young girls just intimidate me, honestly. They are so young, smart, and full of energy. I am smart, but very busy and have a lot of responsibility at home w/ a still young family. I actually have a 7 year old special needs son who just wears the heck out of me, God love him. Also have a teenage son who always needs help with something or other.

How do I get over this? I really, really want to go on to a more professional atmosphere. The floor is fun, but there is a lot of goof off time, also -- and I just don't get into all the younger girls and all their chatter. I mean -- I'm just over it. I want to do ICU nursing, but fear my older brain won't be able to handle it. I do fine on my floor, but, honestly, things just do NOT come as fast to my middle age brain. And I just don't have endless hours at home to study up on my off days.

Has anyone else ever faced these feelings? I am a 2nd degree nurse myself. I just don't know what type of nursing really fits yet.


110 Posts

Specializes in med-surg.

I say go for it! Many, many of the OUTSTANDING nurses in the ICU are older...there is no reason why you can't be one of them! Heck, you made it through nursing school AND your first couple of years of nursing...You can do it!

And then if you realize that maybe you don't like it, you can always go back to med/tele. It's worth a shot!


181 Posts

Go for it!!! :))

Roy Fokker, BSN, RN

1 Article; 2,011 Posts

Specializes in ER/Trauma.

There's only one way to find out...


294 Posts

Heck! I'll just be getting my toe wet in Nursing at 46. Go for it!

UM Review RN, ASN, RN

1 Article; 5,163 Posts

Specializes in Utilization Management.
It's a med surg/tele floor....

I really, really want to go on to a more professional atmosphere. ...

Ummm...ya kinda made my eyeballs clang together with those statements. I sure hope you didn't mean that med-surg / tele requires less knowledge or skill, because that's certainly not the case. A different skill set, yes, but no less professional.

As far as ICU and the younger set goes, if you want it, go for it. I believe you can do it. You should too. Best wishes.


979 Posts

I really, really want to go on to a more professional atmosphere.
YMMV, but it's been 78% nitrogen everywhere I've gone.


111 Posts


I feel the same as you. I don't have a degree from Nursing yet. I also feel older when I am around my fellow students. I have kids their age and feel sometimes that I wasted a lot of time trying to get where I am at right now. I want my degree so bad. I have to work 10 times as hard as most of the students. I have tons of responsibilities. I enjoy learning. Please don't get me wrong, I really love being with the younger crowd. I sometimes try to keep them on track with their studies. I would someday like to be a Nursing teacher. I really love teaching and guiding them. I currently work on an Oncology floor with my CNA certificate. I start Nursing in January 2010, this in not my second degree and will be 46 when I finish Nursing. I have been raising eight kids alone for the past 12 years and don't recommend this. It has been a tough battle. I thought I was going to be married forever, like my parents.


243 Posts

No one really understands ageism but other oldies! But as an oldie myself I have to say that most of it is in our own heads - of course that little voice saying we are "too old" was put there by the overall culture, but we have the option of listening to its chanting!

I try (very hard sometimes) to replace that inner voice with one that says "look at all you have accomplished so far!" If you are working on a med-surg unit and finding " lots of goof-off time" then I say you are one bright energetic cookie - and the urge to grow confirms that. That is the voice you should heed.


40 Posts

Specializes in LTC, Rehab, Home Care, DON of AL.

This must be contagious because I am turning 39 at the end of this month and I have this OVERWHELMING feeling that I HAVE to go back and get my RN for self satisfaction, however, I feel like I am too old and what am I thinking.


181 Posts

Yall, remember this: You're going to be whatever age your're going to be anyway,so you may as well be that age and doing what you want to do, so go for it.


170 Posts

Thank you for asking this question..

To I say go for it.. You really want it.

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