57+ and starting a nursing career

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Is 57+ too late to begin a nursing career?

  1. 1. Is 57+ too late to begin a nursing career?

78 members have participated

ThePrincessBride, BSN

Specializes in Med-Surg, NICU. Has 6 years experience.

If you think you can do it, then that is all that matters. But ask yourself this: Will I be physically able to work nights, long 12-hour shifts, weekends and holidays when starting out at 60? Nursing and healthcare in general can be taxing. Plus do you really want to go into debt pursuing another degree? Keep in mind that you won't have thirty years to pay it off most likely, and jobs are getting very hard to come by.

I'm 58 just finished all pre reqs and got admitted to start the ADN program to start in 6 weeks. I worked in Financial Management for over 20 years and got laid off in 2010. I looked for work for over a year to no avail. My hubby said I should go back to school. I thought he was crazy. But after much thought, I decided to go for it and have excelled. Finished A&P with A's and ended Micro with a 103 average. I'm so excited abut starting but also very nervous.

My only concern is how likely will I be to find a job at the age of 60. Will people really wanna hire a new grad RN at that age?

I'm 52 and starting the accelerated BSN at Pitt. Good for you. 60 is the new 40 and you're not there. By my math, you are about 38 so I think you can do it. If you are a good student, you will be fine. I did a lot of research before I started this. And like any profession, there are jobs for those that are good. A friend was explained that the person who graduated #2 in the class was offered $7,000 a year more than the #15. So if you are driven, you will be successful. And this person was connected to know the info he shared. Where I live, there are lots of programs that graduate nurses. So do well, and you will be fine. Best wishes.

Ruas61, BSN, RN

Specializes in MDS/ UR. Has 39 years experience.

I have never heard of pay being based on your class standing.

pmabraham, BSN, RN

Specializes in Hospice, Palliative Care. Has 3 years experience.

Good day, kelleytison:

On the physical fitness side of the fence, try to walk for 30 minutes a day, every day. Either get some weights (1, 3, 5, maybe 10 pound), and use them to build up your arm strength. Don't worry about the those younger questioning whether or not we who are older can keep up physically. If you have the desire, the passion, and the will to push through, you can do it.

Thank you.

Some of you have heard the story of one of my students who was 62. She had been married for forty-plus years to an old SOB (not "short of breath," either) who told her how stupid and worthless she was and how nothing she ever wanted to do was the least bit useful. And when he died she took the life insurance money and went to nursing school, bless her.

She wasn't any better at nursing (or any worse) than any of her 18-year-old chickie classmates, but she had something that they didn't, and that was life experience. She had seen her mother and father die, seen how families coped with adversity, knew what it was like to be a mother and a grandmother; she could sit down at a bedside and calm a frightened person just because she was a white-haired older lady who didn't panic and knew what to say, when to say it, and when to be quiet and just be there. Maturity counts.

I am thoroughly enjoying this thread. I am starting a program in the fall and just turned 40. I have learned from reading this thread that one should do WHATEeEEEEEver one wants to do in this life. You only get one. I'm even more excited about becoming a nurse.

Thanks for your kind words HolisticRN2016. LET'S GO FOR IT! We'll find employment. As far as retirement goes, I haven't been teaching very long. I spent two years at an Islamic school teaching kinders and this is my 5th year in the public school system so retirement funds in not a consideration. Furthermore, here in the VI the general consensus is that the Govt Retirement System will be nonexistent in a few years if our economy doesn't improve. Our government is going broke and what they've been doing with the retirement funds is a mystery to the general public.

I may be completely naive, and too hopeful. However, I have read over and over about how new grads won't find jobs, and it is distressing. However, if you want a more positive spin, go to the Career tab and look under the subheading for First Year after Licensure. There is a post that is titled: New Grads: How long did it take you to find a Job. It starts out with the OP asking, because they haven't found a job (in the Bay Area I think). I expected post after post of similar tales. However, there is post after post from people who GOT jobs, many of them during school and many of them within a month or two after. Not was I was expecting. So, when you are feeling depressed because it sounds like no one will ever get hired, go read it. Many people do.

pmabraham, that is such an inspiring narrative and its too bad everyone can't read/hear your story. I held back my tears because it answered so many questions I've asked myself that I didn't want to voice. Of course, it addresses the age factor. That's motivational. However, what was unspoken were the words "You are not to old to learn something new. And capable of to doing as well as anyone else in your class." I've been wondering about those science courses. Didn't know if I could keep up with those quick thinking teeny boppers. But our presence in the classroom tells everyone "You're never too old to learn." It is easy to understand why they look up to you, and you look up to your mom.

Your and your mom are excellent role models (for all ages)...thanks.

Thank you, furelite. I will read some of those posts. HolisticRN2016, I invite you to read them also. Things aren't always as bleak as they sound.

Awesome ("AWESOME" is one of my kiddos favorite words), native_texan. Keep turning those dreams into reality. As educators we know that learning is a lifelong process. Let me confess that you are echoing my sentiments about teaching. I know exactly what you mean. In addition to the hours we spend at home completing school work that cannot be done on site because we're teaching, teachers are going to have to complete portfolios as part of their evaluation this upcoming school year. So in addition to the online lesson plans, 1,000s of papers that will be graded and then entered into an electronic gradebook, assessments that must be created, homework to be checked and professional development assignments to be completed at home, they've added something else to our plates. A teacher's work is never done. I love teaching. I'd love it more if my time away from school was my own.