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Is 58 too old to begin a career in nursing?

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Old 12-23-2010, 01:55 PM   #1
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bluelu HB User
Is 58 too old to begin a career in nursing?

how'd you do? I an now 58, have an associates in nursing and a valid license that I haven't used in more than 7 years due to choosing to care for my disabled son at home full time. I'd like to get my BSN and return to work. Any advice? I also have a 15 year old at home and a 19 year old at university. My oldest son is now 26, still at home, but stable. And, yes, I am a single parent and am now also dealing with my aging parents' issues. Is it too late for me? I am so tired of being dirt poor. All replies welcome. I'm a newbie to message boards Thanks.

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Old 01-04-2011, 03:04 AM   #2
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Re: Is 58 too old to begin a career in nursing?

Hi blulu,

I commend you for doing all you are doing. I don't think it's ever too late to follow your heart's (or pocketbook ) desire. I've heard of people returning to school in their 80's! Also, if what they say is true, 58 is now the new 48. Apparently we're all a decade younger than our age in this modern era.

With all best wishes for you.


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Old 01-04-2011, 03:16 AM   #3
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Re: Is 58 too old to begin a career in nursing?

Hi I also have read about people going back and getting a degree in their 80's. Here are a couple things to consider. Nurses often get injuries in their backs from lifting. If that is done I would make sure to drink enough pure water to keep all discs hydrated and exactly all good body mechanics including the neck area as well as lower back. That should be restudied for anyone going back in my opinion.

Something else to consider, if a person's body is becoming older it may not take the stresses a younger body would take.

Also pills often have nuisance side effects such as itching but also there are horrible and permanent side effects on people ranging all the way up to organ damage and fatality. In my opinion, why not take up healing with something more satisfactory such as herbs?

Last edited by sjb; 01-04-2011 at 03:19 AM. Reason: addition made

Old 01-04-2011, 08:32 PM   #4
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Re: Is 58 too old to begin a career in nursing?

I say NO, it's not too late. Just think, in 4 years, you'll be 62, the same age that you would be if you didn't go to Nursing School.

You may have to put in extra time for the studies, but you have so much more life experience than the 20-somethings. A big advantage for you. You'll be able to relate to the instructors a lot better.


Old 01-10-2011, 06:07 PM   #5
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Re: Is 58 too old to begin a career in nursing?

I would say it depends on your physical condition and the type of department you're looking to work in. ER and ICU nurses work very physically laborious jobs and often work hard, long hours. It can also take a fair amount of time to get out of working night shifts. It is something I strongly recommend considering. I would recommend something MUCH less involved than a typical nursing job in a hospital. I don't think it's too late but be smart.

Old 01-19-2011, 10:19 PM   #6
chatty kathy
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Re: Is 58 too old to begin a career in nursing?

if you have an associate degree in nursing and a valid license (i'm assuming you mean an RN license), i don't see why you couldn't go back to work as an RN. since you have been out of active practice for the past 7 years, you may need to take a refresher course, e.g. some hospitals or community colleges may offer such refresher courses, especially if there is a nursing shortage in your area.

if you would still like to go ahead and get your BSN (some employers may pay more for BSN vs associate degree), i say more power to you! hopefully you can find a nursing school in your area with flexible scheduling of classes/clinic, it would be nice if you can find scholarships/grants, and maybe work part-time as a nurse as you attend school. some local hospitals in my area provide scholarship money for their employees who are associate nurses to obtain their BSN, so that might be a good place to start (check with the hospitals in your area).

good luck in whatever you decide to do!

PS - i'm an RN (BSN) who has been out of patient care for 9 years (been working as a nurse paralegal in a law office) and i'm also starting the process of getting back into patient care.

Last edited by chatty kathy; 01-19-2011 at 10:23 PM.

Old 01-21-2011, 08:24 PM   #7
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Re: Is 58 too old to begin a career in nursing?

My, my, "begin? You began years ago, even if you didn't use your ADN you still have the clinical experience and the knowledge.

I'm heading off to attain a NP degree next January and (though I lie about my age if you look it up here) I'll say as long as you have the energy--you go girl!

My state of NH has a "return to nursing program" for ADN's that have been out of nursing for several years, I think it is a one year program. You might consider this if offered in your area and accepted by the Board. In reality these days many ADN degrees are so intense that they are essentially equivalent to three year's of college work. The only difference really for the BSN (which I don't have, though I have plenty of BS(s)) and the ADN is more theoretical work. Unless things have changed in the past five years the important clinical time is usually the same.

As people pointed out--picking "where you work" is essential. Nurses eat their young, and hospitals more and more "abort their young." Though medical care costs rise and rise--it seems that fewer RNs are expected to do the work of more. Being an RN in the wrong place can be fatal! (The stresses of an intensive ICU job combined with understaffing led to a personal rise in BP to a frightening level, causing me to leave, and in retrospect I am glad that I did). I found a wonderful career in occupational health after that. (though I'm unemployed at the moment due to the economic crisis as "occupations" have suffered and so many companies have downsized or closed, which mine did).

Four years ago I would suggest nursing careers to friends. I no longer do that because nurses have, in many arenas become, "meat" to be put through a grinder. Still, much depends upon you, and what suits you and there are good (not the highest paid) jobs if you look for them. Be willing to try and if too stressful--run!

Be aware that all the "jobs" that are sooooooo available (according to the media), really are NOT, it depends on supply/demand in your geographical location. Be careful of assuming too much debt--but at your age, you should be eligible for lots of smaller scholarships if you look for them.

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