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Why are nursing students getting older


Has <1 years experience.

Is it because of the longer wait list or 2nd careers? In my case, I started taking pre-reqs in fall 2013 and I had to repeat the prereqs and take a bunch of electives to boost up my GPA. Now I got provisionally admitted for the spring semester.

For most if not all of the older students in my class were pursuing nursing as a 2nd career. There's like only three other girls besides me that are under 21. Everyone else is in their late twenties to late thirties.

There are a ton of different reasons including the ones you mentioned. I know some stay-at-home-parents who now have an empty nest and wanted to do something they considered meaningful. Others needed a second income, hated their current careers, found they were not making as much with their current careers, got delayed because they decided to start a family, could not get classes, failed classes, wanted to wait for kids to get older, etc.

My school has a wide range in both the nursing program and prerequisite courses. We have some younger adults and some older than the professors (or the same age). I can honestly say that I do enjoy having my prerequisites courses set up this way (I am sure I will enjoy it just as much when I get ready to apply and hopefully be accepted into nursing school). It is great having this balance. I have friends in and out of program I want to get into my age, I have some about a decade younger l, and some older. The best advice I have gotten honestly has been from someone seven years older than me. I don't think she is on this site, but she has given me advice on how to succeed in individual professors courses and was actually the one who introduced me to the program at my community college. She has earned my respect.

verene, MSN

Specializes in mental health / psychiatic nursing.

My cohort is almost all second career (which is to be expected in an ABSN program), however I was surprised in meeting the other cohort (traditional BSN program) how many of them were also second career students and older. Very, very few traditional young college students going into a first career.


Has <1 years experience.

What school did you attend?

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 27 years experience.

Multiple posts have been removed - please stay on topic. Thanks.

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 10 years experience.

Many people do not develop a desire to be a nurse or confidence in pursuing nursing until they are older and have had an experience that drew them or called them to it. Add to this the collapsing economy and many have been forced into career changes secondary to being forced out of what they used to do. Some worked a position they were dissatisfied with for years and finally decided to stop living life for others and to do what they really have wanted to do all along or that has greater economic stability. But yes, second career nursing students are more normal than abnormal. Hospitals love them, for a variety of reasons.