Ability To Make Decisions
This is one aspect of nursing that I dont hear many people talk about. But it is significant and relevant. Nurses have to make decisions all of the time for patients care and even in regards to the workplace. Often with maturity comes certain skills such as the ability to make decisions. This is another reason for why you will be an awesome nurse.
Im Not Smart Enough To Do This
This is a thought that I think creeps into everyones head every once in a while. And the fact that you think this shows that you respect and admire the nursing profession. But the truth is, its a lot more about hard work than it is about being smart. Thats why theres an education component to becoming a nurse. Because nobodys smart enough! Thats why we all have to study.
Sometimes I think it would be better if people asked am I too young to become a nurse? The level of responsibility and pressure can be overwhelming as a young 20 something year old. Sure, youll mould into the role but it can be a hard wall to climb.
Wear Compression Socks Every Single Shift
You may have worn them before during a long haul flight or even tried them out if you suffer from painful varicose veins, but if you havent, these socks are brilliant.
They decrease the swelling and lessen the ache when standing for long periods to help push the blood back to your heart and stop it pooling in your ankles, legs and feet.
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Pros And Cons Of Coming Into Nursing Later
When somebody first suggested the possibility of becoming a nurse, I was quick to dismiss it. My first degree had been full of activism, rowdy parties, and Red Bull-fueled crunch periods. I just wasnt up to it anymore. Im too old to become a nurse at 30.
But the idea was there. I began talking more to nurses at the hospital where I volunteered. There were quite a few who had become RNs at 35, 40, or even later.
Three years later, I can attest that mature nursing students often have a leg up on their younger counterparts.
Am I Too Old To Become A Nurse
Even if you have the disposition and drive to enter a new career in the nursing field, you might be asking yourself, Am I too old to become a nurse? The answer to this question is no. Nurses come from all walks of life and all age groups. In fact, according to a survey from the National League for Nursing, nearly 23 percent of students enrolled in BSN programs are over the age of 25. If changing careers to nursing at 30 or 40 or beyond is still intimidating to you, once you enter the workforce youll find that the average age of working registered nurses is 51 years old.
In fact, as someone coming into nursing as a second career, youll have the experience and empathy necessary to serve as a patient caretaker and advocate. Youve developed a wide-ranging skillset in your previous career, so even though youll need to go back to school to gain the clinical knowledge necessary to become a nurse, the work experience you already have will also serve to be invaluable in your future career.
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Transitioning From Recruiter To Nurse
Hannah McNabb achieved her undergraduate and masters degrees in Health Services Administration and settled into a career as a nursing recruiter, but after several productive years in her field, she decided it was time to make a change. I was a clinical recruiter for a long time and then I became the nursing recruiter, she recalls. I served as a nursing recruiter for about four years, so I got to go to different colleges and talk to about being a nurse.
With Hannahs grandfather being an orthopedic surgeon, she fondly recalls spending time with him and being exposed to the duties and responsibilities of nursing at an early age.
Ive always really liked the nursing profession. My grandpa is an orthopedic surgeon so I would always do rounds with him when I was little. We have a medical family and so nursing has always been an option for me.
After years of promoting nursing as a career, Hannah finally decided that it was the right choice for her. I wanted to become a nurse so that I can take care of all types of people and show them the love they deserve, she says.
The Marian University ABSN program stood apart to Hannah, with its flexible online coursework and a curriculum based on holistic care that aligned with the Franciscan values of dignity of the individual, peace and justice, reconciliation and responsible stewardship. Im Catholic, so that really means something to me, she says.
Fitting In As A Nontraditional Learner
Hunt argues that “nontraditional students may face multiple challenges, although they also have many strengths.” Many nursing programs use an educational model that accommodates the traditional college demographic of students under the age of 25, based on full-time attendance and a sequenced schedule of coursework and labs. Consequently, older nursing students may face challenges fitting in. Not only do they struggle with financial, work, and family responsibilities, they may lack test taking skills and feel inadequately prepared to use new technologies
Nontraditional learners achieve the most success by facing their challenges and learning to use their own strengths as assets. Dobratz shares how she felt eagerly accepted and valued for her maturity. “My instructors and fellow students relied on me for my steadfastness and perseverance. Please do not cheat the school and students of all that you have to offer.”
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Working While In Nursing School
Most nursing students find it difficult to work at outside jobs once they complete their prerequisites. Hunt describes what to expect at this stage of the degree. “Students take at least 12 credits of didactic, labs, and clinical courses. A student can expect to attend classes and labs at least days per week and an additional day of 6-8 hours of clinical. In general, for every credit/clock hour of theory/didactic the student should expect to complete at a minimum an additional hours of reading, writing, and studying.”
“Employment during these years is almost impossible,” Dobratz says. “My class was told to discontinue any employment during our final year. I was glad I did.” Older students, especially those with families to support, may have to take out loans. A growing number of schools offer prior learning assessments that award credit for previous work experience.
Will It Be Hard Going To Nursing School As An Older Adult
Whether youre 21 or 51, nursing school is going to be hard compared to other degrees. But heres the thing being a nurse has many advantages that those other easier degrees dont have. You, as an older nurse, have advantages that younger traditional students dont have.
Heres what Im going to do. Below Im going to list out the points that I think give you an advantage in nursing school compared to younger nursing students.
To make sure you make the best decision for yourself and your family, Im also going to list some challenges I think youll have as an older nurse. These are challenges you can overcome, but they are challenges nonetheless.
If youre on the fence about whether or not a career in nursing is even worth it. Make sure to check out the linked article that goes over that question.
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Faq For Nursing As A Second Career
Why choose nursing as a second career?
Nursing can be a good choice for someone contemplating a career change because it is a profession that touches on pieces of a lot of different aspects of human life, says Gibson. Its analytical, theoretical, communal, and nurturinga great mix of hard and soft skills.Nursing offers diverse opportunities in patient care, administration, and leadership. Jobs for registered nurses are expected to grow by 9% through 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics , and the annual median salary for RNs is $75,330.Nursing is an opportunity to make an immediate impact, serve the community, and make financial strides. Not to mention the profession of nursing is so multi-faceted and layered and intersects with other industries , says Gibson.
How hard is it to switch to a career in nursing?
Like any career transition, switching to a nursing career can be exciting and challenging. Your experience in doing so will depend largely on your expectations, your past education, and your experience.My transition into nursing from public health wasnt difficult. I spent my time before nursing school teaching sex education to teens and women in underserved communities, says Gibson. I was able to transfer my soft skills as a community health advocate fairly easily.
Where do I start?How long does it take to switch to a nursing career?
With professional insight from:
The Bonuses Of Coming To Nursing Later In Life
As an older nursing student, there are advantages you may hold over younger nursing students. These include:
- Life experience You know how to read and deal with people and you know how the world works, so you have developed invaluable life skills over time.
- Motivation You know why you are where you are, and where you want to be.
- More structured You know how to prioritise your days, and your life in general.
- More focus You are more likely to pay attention, take notes, not become distracted and really get your head down on the study.
- You can deal with challenges Youre a living example of overcoming hurdles.
Take Control Of Your Roster Where Possible
Again, this could be too early to mention if you havent yet signed up for college but its good to keep in mind.
In most facets of nursing, including university, there is flexibility within your roster and student placements. They just may not advertise it
Dont be afraid to ask or request a particular day off or on to suit your lifestyle or other commitments such as your kids.
If you work a rotating shift work roster there is often the ability to request shifts up to a certain point. But be aware there are roster lockout dates where this access is removed so rosters can be released in a timely manner.
Be familiar when these dates are and set notifications on your phone so you dont miss out.
Here are a few articles we wrote about sorting our roster and being organized:
- Best practices: 9 Shift Work Best Practices Youre Probably Not Doing
Starting A Nursing Career At 4: Am I Ready For Nursing School
Many people are drawn to nursing as a second career these days. Nursing is known for offering competitive pay, good benefits, a flexible work schedule, and rewarding work. But its also known for the rigorous preparation that nurses must go through to become RNs. Further, it can be physically demanding.
So if youre on the high side of 40, what are your chances of becoming a nurse? Should you even try? In most cases, the answer is a resounding yes. Read on for why nursing may be a great second career for you.
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Tips On Going To Nursing School As An Older Adult
Can you go to nursing school as an older adult? People switch careers all the time during their life and choose to go to nursing school in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s . Nursing school isnt just for twenty year olds, as some may think. Sadly, I have heard of people who contemplated not going to nursing school because they thought they were too old. As the saying goes, Age is just a number.
In this article, I want to encourage anyone out there who wants to go to nursing school as an older adult and give you some tips on doing so. Below is a video of me discussing this issue if you rather watch me talk. Dont forget to .
First lets answer the question: Can older adults succeed in nursing school?
Absolutely!! I was in nursing school with many, many older adults and they excelled. I also found that they took their course work more seriously than the younger students.
From personal observation, I found that the people who flunked out of nursing school were the young adults who were fresh out of high school. This was mainly because they didnt really know what they wanted to do, and just pick nursing as a career, because it sounded good. So, yes older adults succeed in nursing school!
Why Are You Apprehensive About Going To Nursing School
That being said, we understand why some believe they are too old to go to nursing school. This stems more from the apprehension to switch careers to nursing more than anything else. The older we are the more comfortable we become.
You are scared to change careers and essentially begin again,starting fresh as a nurse and not understanding anything, having to learn new concepts and change your environment. Of course you are going to be slightly nervous, we completely understand.
But that should not stop you from going to nursing school. If you need help deciding whether you should, try a fear setting exercise or a self-authoring exercise. Both might help you put things into perspective.
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How To Pursue Nursing As A Second Career
1: Assess your education to determine what you can apply toward a nursing degree.
If you have a bachelors degree from an accredited institution, you likely have what it takes to qualify for an ABSN program. However, program requirements vary by school, so its wise to meet with admissions counselors at more than one program to determine what previous coursework you can apply toward a nursing degree.
Other considerations, such as a minimum cumulative GPA or minimum grade requirements in prerequisite classes, may make you a better candidate for some ABSN programs over others.
2: Complete any prerequisite courses.
An admissions counselor can work with you to determine whether youll need any prerequisites and help you establish a timeline to complete your degree.
Prerequisites typically include courses in anatomy, physiology, statistics, and microbiology to give you a sound foundation for your nursing studies. Based on program requirements, you may be able to complete your prerequisites online or at another accredited institution, such as a community college. This option could be convenient and save you money.
3: Complete your nursing education, including clinicals.
The curriculum for ABSN programs varies by school but you should expect to learn hands-on skills and to participate in simulation labs. Youll also need to gain experience by completing clinical practice at local healthcare facilities.
- Health assessment
Radiologic Nursing Certification Board
Am I Too Old To Go To Nursing School
Am I Too Old to Go to Nursing School?
Seeing your age as a hiring asset
For individuals looking to add a true sense of purpose and a deeper meaning than ever before to their lives, nursing is a viable career path to consider at any age.
As the Nursing Department Chair at Goodwin College, I often meet with older students who are hesitant about attempting to start our nursing program. Frequently, I hear:
Nursing is something I have always wanted to do, ever since was little, but life got away from me. I started raising a family, and it never seemed to be the right time.
There are so many young nurses graduating, why would anyone want to hire someone my age?
My kids are all grown now it is time for me, but I would never get hired at my age.
In fact, it is rare that students considering a career in nursing are too old. And here is why that is true:
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, The purpose of life is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. Wisdom and experience, earned over time, are two significant gifts that older students can bring to the field of nursing.
At Goodwin, we celebrate the potpourri of life experiences that our students bring to the classroom. We recognize the strengths of each student and inherently know when to provide support to facilitate success, no matter the need.
To learn more about the Nursing programs at Goodwin College, visit goodwin.edu/nursing.
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In Summary: Am I Too Old To Become A Nurse 7 Tips For Joining After 40
Starting a nursing career after 40 may seem daunting, and it is, but that shouldnt hold you back.
I once read an interesting quote which said, A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.. So go for it. Lifes too short. You never know how fulfilling this new career choice may be for you. Getting out of bed every day is easy, when you find a job you love!
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Tips & Requirements For Older Adults Who Want To Go To Nursing School
- Pick a program that suites your career goals! There are two ways to become a registered nurse and this is through an associates degree or bachelors degree program. Read about the differences between ADN and BSN degrees and how long they each take.
- Do you already have a bachelors degree in something else? If you do, then I have great news for you: You can get a bachelors degree in nursing through an accelerated or second-degree nursing program in as little as 1 ½ to 2 years . So, before you apply to a nursing program make sure you look for these types of programs. You will save time and money!
- Youll need a high school diploma or G.E.D! Make sure you have earned one or the other. You will need one of these before you can apply to any type of nursing program.
- Study for the COMPASS exam! If you are under the age of 21, you will have to take an exam called the COMPASS exam. Students who are under 21 take the ACT or SAT and the COMPASS is similar.
This exam tests you are basic things you should have learned in high school, and some universities will have you take remediation classes to bring you up to speed, if you dont do well on this exam. I recommend you get a Compass study guide .
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