Starting life over at 53! A little help please?

U.S.A. New Jersey


After working for nearly 25 years for a utility company, my body is saying "enough". I'm finally going to go back to the medical profession I had originally wanted to pursue. After working for several years in a pharmacy as a tech, I moved on to make more money at the utility company. Then I ended up getting cancer in my 20s and was afraid to leave since insurance was a major priority. Long story short, I got lazy and stayed because the work and money were OK. Now, the work is no longer OK. So now I've decided to work in a field that I love and where I feel I'm actually making a difference and helping people. And my wife supports me 100%.

The trick now is knowing where to start. The weird thing is I have enough college credits for a Bachelor's degree, but not enough credits in the right area for a BA or BS.

So, any idea what a good starting point is? I enrolled in a local college and am going to talk to a counselor to see what they suggest. Also, I'm going to apply at some local hospitals. I'm just not sure which departments would be the most beneficial to help start a nursing career. I was looking at CNA jobs, but I'd rather not blow the money on getting certified when being a CNA isn't even a requirement to become an RN later. Or am I wrong? Also, there are a lot of TEAS study guides out there. Any thoughts on which may be the better ones?

So that's it for now.

Hope to meet some cool people here!

Specializes in Pediatrics.

Hello there, I'm 51 and I've been an LPN for a little over 10 years.  I'm assuming you want to quit your current job because it is physically taxing?  Let me tell you, being a nurse can be very physically and mentally exhausting as well.  That's why I'm going back to school for my RN because where I work, LPNs are the worker bees and RNs are the administrators, and I'm ready to slow down a bit.  So I'm not sure if as a new nurse without any hands-on experience you can get a non-physical job right away.  But if you don't mind physical work, I would start out with the CNA certification because it gives you a bit of glimpse in the medical field and it is required to get into a lot of nursing programs.  

As far as the TEAS is concerned, I just passed mine a few weeks ago with a 86.7% and it got me into the program of my choice.  I had a ton of study guides and I couldn't decide which one to focus on and study with, so I ended up going on and did their TEAS prep course and also reviewed A&P on  I liked it because the courses are mostly short video clips and I was able to listen while doing house work.  I also invested in the two study review tests directly from ATI to see how I was doing.  I highly recommend them, they give you a very good idea of what to expect on the TEAS.  Also, I took my TEAS in late June and started studying in January, so I spent a lot of time reviewing everything since it had been more than 10 years since I last took any of my pre-req classes.  Good luck in your new endeavours!  


7,735 Posts

Specializes in retired LTC.

Welcome to AN from a Jersey Girl here.

Please please please - think realllllly long & hard re entering nsg. There's another CURRENT post right now that is primarily advising against entering nsg, esp for the older, second career applicant.

Health care is fine, but not nsg.


6 Posts

THANKS for the replies!

I'm fine with physical work. Trust me, it won't be anywhere near what I do NOW. My plan is to make RN, but that's my goal. We'll see what happens and what other paths may open up on the way there.

TheresaR, RN

3 Posts

I would skip CNA, get your LPN and the work while your getting your BSN.  Maybe you can get a job at a hospital or agency that give tuition reimbursement. 

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