Too old, too new, too soon for free FNP??

  1. Hello all,

    Question - Should I get my FNP or other Master degree at my age and experience level even if it's free??

    I'm retired military, my GI bill runs out in Oct 2016, I've been an LPN since 2009 and I graduate with my second Bachelors degree (BSN) in Dec 2013 and I'll have just turned 47 at that time. Am I too old, too new to being an RN and too soon/too late to go for another degree? It's basically free as my GI pays for it, but I'll have to work full time as I'm doing my BSN via a full paid scholarship to save my GI bill money for a Masters degree.

    I'm under contract with the VA health care system for 3 years as an RN and it'll be hard trying to go to school for a Masters or DNP in FNP. Should I get my FNP, a masters in another nursing related field or another field or should I just be content with where I'm at in this stage of life?

    I'd hate to pass on a free masters degree, but is it worth the effort at 47 yo? Anyone else get their masters late in life? Is it worth it? Would you do it again? What if it were free, but you had to work full time??



    p.s. My LPN experience has been 1 yr med/surg as an staff nurse and the remaining time spent in ER & Urgent Care setting.
  2. Visit Tony1790 profile page

    About Tony1790, BSN, MSN, RN, APRN, NP

    Joined: May '06; Posts: 200; Likes: 109
    FNP-BC; from US
    Specialty: Arthritis/Rheumatology


  3. by   ProfRN4
    I say do it! Don't pass up a free degree. I was younger when I got mine, but I know plenty of people who have gotten masters degrees at that age, even older. If the time is right in your life, go ahead. It doesn't mean you necessarily need to work as an NP right after you graduate. There are other opportunities you will have with the MS degree (education, administration).

    My MS is in education, but I had started out in an NP program. One of the things that made me switch was the number of clinical hours I needed to do. I couldn't fathom getting it all in at that point in my life. So that is something to consider.
  4. by   BCgradnurse
    I got my FNP at age 47. Best decision I ever made. Go for it!
  5. by   "doc"2rn

    I'm 45 and I'm very interested in following your story. I was a medic than became an LVN through the military. I retired out of the reserves after a total of 23 years of total service. I had 9 years of active duty time. As a reservist I don't even start receiving a money til I'm about 60. I had some physical issues from my service that enabled me to go to school full-time through Voc Rehab.

    I just finished my first year of school at a community college. I did surprising well and much better than I anticipated (3.7 GPA). I want to go as far as my best efforts can take me and I'm looking at becoming an NP as well. I don't which one yet. But like you I have an opportunity to go to school and the VA is paying for it. It's been a blessing and I'm truly grateful.

    I have thought of the very same question, if I'm too old. I don't feel old and I am motivated. The military can be pretty good place to push yourself to your limits. I don't know how many times I found myself in situations (deployments) asking myself what am I doing here and telling myself I will persevere. I personally don't think age matters in medicine as long as you have your faculties intact and you can perform.

    I hope you do go on and pursue that NP. I'll be rooting for you and hopefully I won't be too far behind you.
  6. by   marycarney
    I got my MSN at age 57 - no regrets. Have no plans to retire EVER so the whole age thing did not really matter to me.
  7. by   RNcarlo
    Free education? DON'T PASS IT UP! Some of us here are being held back from further pursuit of education due to costs!
  8. by   Annaiya
    I agree, you're definitely not too old, and you might as well take advantage of a free education. My only addition to the discussion is don't do an NP program unless you really want to work as an NP. The schooling is much too hard, stressful and time consuming. You won't get through if you aren't committed to becoming an NP. If you don't want the stress of an NP program, but still want to use your GI bill, then look at some of the other master's degrees, education, administration, clinical nurse leader, etc.
  9. by   carolinapooh
    If you don't use those bennies, YOU LOSE THEM.

    Do you REALLY want to give something back to a Fed that's taken an awful lot from you?

    (I'm both a veteran and now active duty again - so I feel able to take a few liberties.)

    Know when you're too old for education? When they pull the lid over your head! If you want the NP, and it sounds as though you do, go get it! (Don't listen to the schooling being too 'hard, stressful, and time consuming' - I think that's somewhat negative and not entirely accurate. There's nothing simple, relaxing, or time-creating about ANY advanced degree; don't let anyone fool you.)
  10. by   maddienurse
    JUST DO IT! Your wisdom and experience will make you a great NP.FNP's will be in charge of most of the health care in our country, especially with changes in health care in the U.S. FNP's will be the ones doing most of the primary care for families, the elderly,etc. I made a decent wage as a women's health care NP and I am now going back for MY masters at age 61 so I can teach.(Got my NP before you
    needed a masters to do it..) I would say get busy and get back to school! You can do it!
  11. by   Tony1790
    Update: I'm halfway through my Adv Patho summer class and I have Adv Pharm next month (Aug), assuming I can maintain my grades, the schedule and keep up with everything, I'm set to get my Masters in Dec 2016, just a few months after my GI bill runs out.