Anyone start their career late in Life? - page 10

I would be happy to hear from anyone here that started their career late in life, perhaps Nursing is a second career. For a number of reasons, I am seriously considering changing careers, and for a... Read More

  1. by   Selke
    Does it count that I'm an RN returning to midwifery school at 48? Practically speaking this is a career change. My experience is as similar as the rest of you ... we are all returning to school after the "traditional" student age of in our 20's, and we are much further along on the life experiences/responsibility scale (I'm trying to avoid using Erickson's male-identified categories here). That is, we've established and raised families (or not -- if not, we've struggled with whether or not to have kids), our kids may have left the nest and are contemporaries with our classmates, we may have grandkids. We have had other careers, we may have established long term relationships and dissolved them, we've struggled with our bodies and maybe lost a few of those rounds, and begun perimenopause or menopause. We've suffered many failures/hard knocks along the way which have scarred us, which gives us caution and the ability to see the issues in life in shades of gray, not just black and white, which maybe the younger kids don't have capacity to do yet and thus fuels their self confidence and sense of political correctness. In other words, we've acquired some wisdom.

    I'm learning to completely shut out the other students, focus on what I came to school to learn, and on remastering study and learning skills that lapsed during the years of struggle and hard work as a nurse to feed and shelter my children (single parent here). I'm trying to open my inner ears once more to the voices of my friends and coworkers who are now far away who encouraged me and say I am really smart and say I will be a wonderful midwife and who think I'm an inspiration and depend on me to achieve my goal, to prove to all of us that it is possible for us slightly older women to successfully compete in the academic marketplace, that we aren't just supposed to wait around for the next 20 years and rot away at some job below our capacity for a retirement check to materialize.

    (Suffering from insomnia again, in spite of the benzos.)
  2. by   duckzoom75
    i am so happy this thread is here!

    i am 29 and starting a bsn program as a 2nd degree candidate. i also plan to get a cna license and work in the field while i am pursuing my degree.

    my first degree was a ba in studio art/art history. sadly i have not done much with that outside of a hobby. i have worked in marketing for the last 6 years, and have thought about going back to school for nursing the entire time. i really think that things happen for people at the time they are supposed to. i was afraid of going back to school for many reasons: age, math, pressure to do what i had experience in, and just plain laziness.

    i am surer of my decision than i have been about anything else i have pursued in my life. i want to help my community, and have skills that are useful. my mom is a nurse practitioner and i have always really admired what she does. she has always nudged me in this direction, and at 29 i suppose i finally have the confidence to believe i can do this!!! i can't wait!!!
  3. by   uberdoog
    Late in Life? I'm 46, pack a B.S., a Masters, and have recently signed up for a BSN. I'm all excited about this new career. What I'm praying for this patience to do the day to day classes and the endurance to last from morning till night. I'm not too worried about the career prospects though. If you've shifted for the right reasons then I'm sure you'll see it through and come out alright. Besides, I'm tickled pink to think of what all my friends and colleagues and students (present and past) will say when they find out this latest endeavor of mine! :chuckle
  4. by   tlhubbard
    Quote from kungaviva
    i'm 54, and most people tell me that i shouldn't become an rn because:

    1. you'll have to lift 200-pound patients regularly during student clinicals

    2. you'll have to lift 200-pound patients frequently (up to 10-20 times daily) as a new, 'just-out-of-school' rn

    3. you'll have to spend most of your day cleaning feces, vomit, and other bodily fluids--from bodies, floors, sinks, beds, and everything else in the room :imbar

    4. nurses are frequently disrespected by doctors, and are often cut off mid-sentence when attempting a 'consult' on a mutual patient with 'i have no time for this' from the doctor :uhoh21:

    5. nursing students are considered a pain in the butt during clinicals, and often treated badly by their trainers, or handicapped from really learning

    6. rns are locked into horrid schedules, frequently asked to work extended shifts, overtime, weekends & holidays, and almost never allowed to take vacations or time off for continuing ed conferences :angryfire

    7. only rns with 2+ years' experience get hired in hospital departments (e.g., oncology) not requiring all-day-long heavy lifting and massive feces-vomit-blood cleanup :stone

    8. it's very hard to get non-hospital nursing jobs unless you have 2-3+ years' experience doing med-surg in a hospital :stone

    are any of these 'myths' and 'legends' true? if not, what is true?

    i'm obviously concerned about starting school at 55-56, being a new rn at 57-58, and not having the physical stamina to do such unending hard labor!

    want to be rn :heartbeat but afraid i won't be physically able (at 56-58)!
    you can end up needing to assist in lifting people (varying weights). not all the time though.

    i have not spent most of my day cleaning feces, vomit or anything like it since i was a nursing assistant.

    yes, some doctors are a real nightmare. just like with any other profession, you will run into those few bad apples, they can't all be categorized that way. same with your mentors at clinicals, some bad ones. others love to teach and will be wonderful.

    i have been an rn for over 4 years. i have yet to work a christmas, thanksgiving, etc. you don't have to be locked into a horrible schedule. you need to pick your job according to your needs/wants

    no you do not have to spend 2-3 years in med/surg (though it is highly recommended) i went straight to er out of school. then i moved on to ambulatory surgery (3+ years) and now i am an infusion nurse (m-fr 9-5)

    but if you are not careful, the nightmarish schedule can be true. it depends on your nurse manager and dept. so pick carefully. we are in short supply, you have options.

    good luck in school
  5. by   bfloboy2
    Wow, what an inspirational thread. Thank you to all who have shared.

    I am 36 years old and I am starting back to school. I am so excited and nervous all at the same time. My wife is very supportive of my choice.

    I guess I woke one day and thought "where do I want to be when I am 55" and my current job field is not it (computer analyst). I have 2 young boys (5 and 6) and I don't want them to see someone unhappy. I want them to see someone that wasn't scared to go after what he wanted.

    Again thanks to all this has been an inspirational thread.

  6. by   dlmickley
    I have been a nurse for almost 2 years ............. I turn 46 on Nov 25th !!
  7. by   shellielynn
    it is great to see so many people stepping out there and going for it, it has made me feel alot better about what i am doing at 40, i was thinking , at first, what am i doing in this nursing program, but i have a whole new outlook on what i am working toward and am thinking of my future plans to become an rn. thanks alot everyone
  8. by   cc_nurse
    I was 32 when I went back to school. I was a stay at home mom till then. I will be graduating next summer from a BSN program after 6 years of working at it THere are a fair number of over 50's in my program, it really is never too late to try something new. You will always benefit from it. Those years are going to pass regardless of what you do, you may as well do something that you are really interested in. I say go for it!
  9. by   hotomalis
    I'm 43 and I just got off orientation and on my own after 6 months. I graduated in May of 2005. My previous career was engineering (electrical) and I am so happy I did this. Sure, school was stressful but you get through it (after doubting yourself hundreds of times) and you become a respectful member of a very trusted community! A nurse!! How cool is that? not to mention all the knowledge you gain...Good luck on your venture and I hope and will pray for your good future.
  10. by   mfw
    hello, hello !
    I'm 39, a foreign medical graduate and currently taking Nursing as a second degree. Nice to know I'm not the only one
  11. by   angel5
    I thought when I started the University Nursing Program thsi semester that I would eb the oldest Nursing Student in the class. (I am 41) Well, there is a lady in the class that is 52, so it is never too late. I jokingly tell people this is my "Mid-Life Crisis"!
    On a brighter note, several of us were walking to another class room to practice some skills when one of the younger students cxame up behind us and said, "I'm going to follow the old people." Well, the 52 year old looked back at her and the girl quickly caught herself and apologized. She (the young girl) said "Oh, my Mom is old to. I didn't mean it that way. I bet my Mom is way older than you." I said "How old is your Mom.?" Seh replied, "37" to which the older student said ,"Well Bless her old heart!" (I am from the south!)
  12. by   TerreP
    Old is just a state of mind!!! Age is a number, and nothing more, and there is no reason that us "older" students can't do just as well as our younger classmates (maybe even better, because most of us have gotten our "party" days out of the way!!! :chuckle ) I'm 47 and at the best time of my life (so far), and I am enjoying going back to school to become an RN! Good luck to ALL of us!!!

  13. by   Missy May
    I agree with you.......I am 23 and just starting college for my RN degree. Good luck to you......Missy