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33 years old and starting over

by MisaChickaBea MisaChickaBea (New) New

Specializes in None.

So Hello! If anyone bothers to read this...

I am 32 (well 33 in Feb 09) and I am starting school Jan 12th. I have some pre-req courses to take before I can enter the Nursing program in the fall.

Can I tell you how scary the COMPASS Algebra looks after not being in school for 15 years. YIKES! At any rate, I am extremely excited about getting started with my pre-reqs in Jan and look forward to being an RN. I have three younger sisters that are all nurses. MSN, BSN and ADN. ADN is working on her BSN. So here I go tagging along. Aren't older sisters supposed to lead.

I am planning to keep working for the first two semesters. I am an area manager for Coca Cola. I am hoping to complete my MATH 110, PSY 201 and ENG 101 online and just have my BIO 110 to take at the school.

Does anyone out there have any advice? Specifically anyone with a situation similar to mine... 33 leaving a corporate management career to go into nursing.

ANY and ALL advice welcome. BE honest, but positive - ya know it's scary enough already! :eek:

PS- I'm in Florence, SC. Please let me know if you are from the same area. I am going to be going to FDTC.

I'm 31, and about to graduate from my LPN program tomorrow. In January, I'm continuing on with a regular ADN program. My goal is to be a nurse practitioner, so I have a few hoops through which to pass.

I would advise you to start your program with a clean slate (in your mind). Don't begin by thinking of yourself as different. Be one with your classmates, regardless of age or experiences. You'll find that your experience will be valuable in many ways, but let it happen quietly.

In my class, there were a lot of different backgrounds and ages. Some had bachelor's degrees, others were returning after years of no education beyond high school. Most of us learned to appreciate that we are each starting out as nurses freshly and together. Over time, we've learned of each other's uniquenesses, but those who somehow felt entitled or different due to their differences I don't think enjoyed our year so much. Good luck to you, and congrats on your decision!


Specializes in Behavioral Health & Emergency Medicine. Has 3 years experience.

Hey there! I think that what you're doing is fantastic, and I'm sure you'll do really well. I'm also starting over, but I'm 48 years old, not 33. Until May I was a communications executive with The Walt Disney Company in Los Angeles. Now, I'm a full-time college student in St. Louis, finishing up my pre-nursing prerequisites and getting ready to start a one-year accelerated BSN program on January 12. I'm incredibly excited and scared to death....all at the same time. I've loved going back to school and doing something completely different. It has energized and recharged me like nothing has in decades.

Good luck to you. I wish you all the best!


vamedic4, EMT-P

Specializes in Peds Cardiology, Peds Neuro, PICU, IV Jedi. Has 23 years experience.

My best words of wisdom are : don't give up. Don't lose faith. You can do it. There's a degree out ther with your name on it, all you have to do is put forth the effort.

Don't despair because you're the eldest. I'm the oldest of 3 kids, and after 15 years as a paramedic... I too am in nursing school.

Hi there! I wouldn't worry about being 33 and starting over, I'm sure you will do just fine. I'm 39 and just getting started on my pre-reqs, so I understand how you feel. I'm finishing up eng 101 online right now. I take my final next week and so far the class has been a breeze. You won't have a problem with doing it online. Next semester I'm taking Bio 130 (nutrition) and Pre-algebra (I was a little rusty on the math!!!) I've worked at my current job for 18 years and I understand what CalguyinMO is talking about. Going back to school has got me excited about things again and I'm looking forward to the changes to come. Good luck!! :up:

I agree with the others! I also feel a sense of excitement now that I have finally made the decision to go into the Health Field after years of thinking about it!

Good luck to you, I am sure will see you around here a lot.

Hi! I'm also 33 and just at the beginning. I have 4 pre/co requisites to take which I didn't take with my prior Bachelor's degree. I'm taking them over the course of 2009 and applying for Spring 2010 acceptance. I've said before...let's see what maturity and life experience does for my college experience--should be interesting! Oh, btw--I'm in TX. Good luck!!


Specializes in Telemetry and Psych.


I'm 36 yrs old and started back to school January 08. I too have 2 younger sisters who are nurses. 1 with her BSN and the other with her ADN. They both work at the same hospital (on different floors) and love their job.

It's been an exciting year but also having my sisters to talk to about what to expect and having to wait to get into the program has been a great help. I feel myself dragging at times with all the studying and working (Senior Operations Manager) i do but it's going to be worth it in the end.

If someone had asked me a year ago if I was going to be going back to school, my answer would have been ...WHAT??? i'm too old!

But as you can see i'm eating my words and loving every minutes of this journey....even through the hardest days. Having a positive attitude and working daily has helped me so far. I have my application turned in and am now waiting placement into a program.

Good luck to everyone and remember age is just a number when you have dreams that CAN come true and bring you joy for a lifetime!

Wow that must be great to have siblings in the same career field. Even better if they are working/have worked somewhere you plan to because they'll have the inside scoop.

Good luck to everyone, I'm in my late 20s and plan on starting the process next year.

I too, am older and starting over. Im 32, and had been working as a Buyer in the Manufacturing Industry. Ive wanted to do Nursing for probably 8 years, but there were always large obstacles, and Im also now raising 3 children. Anyway, when I was layed off from my job this past summer, I knew this was going to be my big chance to change my life and do what I wanted to do. Im still in the process of applying for Nursing school, but hopefully I will be accepted and be able to start my pre-reqs in June, and the Nursing Program in August.

Don't sell yourself short... you can do this!!! Hang in there!


Hello to all!

Congrats, I am making the same choice next fall. I am finally going to finish what I started 19 years ago before my husband and I had children. I am 39 and will be starting a pre-nursing program in Chicago fall of '09 and I too have pre-reqs to complete, but I am so excited (and nervous) about this journey to complete my dream that I have deferred for so long. Now that the kids are older and are on What my husband and I call "auto-pilot", I have plenty of time to go to school during the day when they are in school and my husband is at work.

I am very blessed to have a husband who is not only very supportive of my choice to continue my education, but has the income in these tough economic times to support us and yes, financial aid and loans help too! good luck to all of you who are older and starting back, I thought I was too old but I am so glad to see I'm not the only one!:yeah:

Hey Donn - Good Luck! I'm 48 and found that after 10 years of self-employment from home (to raise the kidlets as a single mom), I am now basically unemployable. Either I'm over- or underqualified for anything, my BA is more than 15 years old, my paramedic school and years as a 'medic are too old to count for squat. Because I have to keep working while going to school, I'm going to go the LPN to RN route....and pray that I can keep enough $$$ coming in while I'm fast-tracking the LPN in the next year...and then pray that LPNs are NOT extinct because of the economy next year. Then, my plan is to work LPN for a year to get the final stuff for RN school. I'm hoping to fast track that also, but I will have to see financially where I am at that point. Thanks so much for your post. I'm hoping I have the same physical response of being energized that you have had.


Staragate, ADN, ASN, RN

Specializes in Dialysis. Has 5 years experience.

I'm 33 and have 2 pre-reqs left. (both A&Ps) I must say that I have really enjoyed the classes I have been in. I am on the older end of most classes, but I don't really stand out that way. About half of the other students are parents like me. I think my age has given me the edge of experience to understand the content AND take the classes seriously. Have fun meeting new people and I think you will realize that they really aren't that different than you: Everybody there is trying to improve themselves or their situation. The ones who don't tend to drop in the first week or two.

Oh, and I've taken Math 122, Chem 130, WRT 101, and BIO 156 and achieved excellent grades. :D


Specializes in LTAC, ICU, ER, Informatics. Has 3 years experience.

I just joined the forums, and have been reading through a lot of posts, and am heartened by all the other people who are starting or starting over later in life.

I'm 39 and kept saying I just didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I actually have a pretty lucrative job in IT (data warehousing) but it's sucking away my soul. I was a paramedic when I was in my early 20s and LOVED IT but after a knee injury I got into the corporate world and could never take the pay cut to go back to EMS. I told people if I had my life to do over again I'd have become a doctor (then they usually tell me I have time to go to med school... but I like sleep and don't want to be paying off student loans until I'm 60, yanno?)

I got in a long conversation with my hubby last week and realized that what I really want to do is work in health care again. I'd love to do emergency department or critical care nursing, and eventually become a Nurse Practitioner. (We have plans to "retire" to a rural area in 10-15 years.) So I've spent the weekend digging out old transcripts and researching programs in my area (Arlington, TX) and have decided I'm going to try to do the AS program at Tarrant County College, then the RN-to-BSN program at UTA and later go for my masters and become an RP. Lots of school ahead of me. I have to re-take 3 sciences (AP I&II, Micro) and have 3 general courses to take as well before I apply to the nursing program, and only am worried now about getting in after hearing all about how competitive it is. But I'll just do my best and see where it leads.

So thanks to everyone here who's posting about being 'not-19' and going back to school. :yeah: It gives me hope I really can do it.

Finding this site and being active here ... that's a great way to start!

Good luck to you!


Specializes in Med Surg. Has 4 years experience.

I'm 31, will be 32 when I start NS. My youngest brother and I hope to go through NS together--it's going to be a neat chance to bond (we're 9 years apart in age) and it will be soooo nice to have a friend already.

I had to take the COMPASS exam also--I was so stressed about the algebra portion; I last had an algebra class my junior year of high school, which was 14 years ago. I got an algebra review book from the library and borrowed my Dad's old college algebra book. Between the two I spent several evenings going through problems and reviewing. I ended up doing well enough on the test that it recommended I start at pre-calc.

I've taken one class this semester--Chem 101. I take A&P next semester. My biggest challenge has been re-learning how to study. As odd as it sounds, I've found it's something that takes practice, just like anything. I just didn't realize that while I was in school the first time. I would recommend not taking too many classes your first semester, especially if you plan on working, like I am.

I also would recommend taking on campus courses for your first semester. My chem class is a hybrid, we met on campus for labs, and did all course work online; I think it's been more challenging for me because I wasn't attending lectures. I'm certain my grade has suffered some because of that.

I am 34 years old, and in June I left my job as a Legal Secretary (of over ten years) to go back to school for nursing. I will be finished with my pre-requisites after next semester and will be applying for the actual nursing program for Fall 2009. I'm very excited, and have been extremely dedicated to my studies. I know this is what I really want to do, and I hope that I will get accepted into the program so that I can do it.

Good luck to you!

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