Nursing Degree After : Are You Ready For The Challenges Of Nursing School
If you’ve been considering going back to college to earn a nursing degree but you’re concerned that your age might work against you, take heart. Many people are entering nursing school as adults, successfully completing the course work, and graduating into a new workforce.
Higher education identifies a “traditional” student as one who enters college right after graduating from high school at about age 18, lives on campus, and moves through a program to obtain an associate or bachelor’s degree before gathering major work or family commitments.
So-called non-traditional students are most likely older, may have families, a steady job and are generally either considering enrolling in college to complete the education they started while younger, or else hope to change their direction in life.
How To Make A Second Career In Nursing Happen
If youve spent a significant amount of time in a certain career path, making a career change that requires going back to school at 30, 40 or beyond could feel intimidating. Dont doubt yourself, though. Nursing can be an ideal second career path, and going back to school for nursing is an accessible path to enter this exciting and rewarding career field.
With Marians ABSN program, a bachelors degree in nursing is in your reach in as few as 16 months, meaning youll be able to access this new path sooner. No matter your prior occupation, from a teacher to a recruiter and everything in between, see whats in store and some of the reasons why nursing just might be perfect for you.
For more information, contact a Marian University admissions advisor and learn what youll need to do in order to apply, complete any potential prerequisites, and get you on the path to this new career field.
Where Do Rns Work
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics , 61% of RNs work for public and private hospitals. RNs often also work at nursing homes, ambulatory care services, and private medical practices. Others are employed by primary care clinics or government offices.
One healthcare area experiencing substantial growth is telehealth, or telemedicine. The impact of COVID-19, faster federal regulatory approval, and the desire to lower healthcare costs have all helped fuel the demand for online medical services.
The American Telemedicine Association predicts that more than 50% of healthcare services will be virtual by 2030. Telehealth nursing is a key component of these services.
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Nursing Inspiration From Cancer Treatment
As a former teacher and mother of five, Heather had a different path toward the nursing profession than most. About seven years ago I got cancer, she shares. When I was going through treatment, I had the most amazing nurse. She was truly an angel to me, and I would watch how she would take care of me and others. I was taken aback with her kindness and gentleness, and I truly feel that it was her and other nurses that saved my life.
At first, Heather was hesitant about nursing school, saying, since then Id wanted to go back, but I was unsure if I had the abilities or the intelligence to. My background was in liberal arts and music and education. I was one of the students who didnt have any higher-level science or math experience.
However, for students with a previous non-nursing bachelors degree like a degree in education Marians Adult Programs make prerequisites accessible and forms a solid foundation. My personal nurse said, Heather, just try it, so I started going back and taking my prerequisite courses.
Youll Be The Oldest One In Class
Many older students are worried about walking into the first class of the semester and being the oldest one in the classroom by decades. Even worse, is going into class after class, semester after semester, and having the same experience.
More often than not, this fear is overblown. First off, even younger students could appreciate you going back to school at 30 to try and improve yourself and further your career. Plus, many of todays college classrooms are a diverse mix of young and old students.
This fear is even less of an issue if you choose to pursue your degree online. There, other students will more than likely get to know your personality through your posts and comments before they know how old you are . Of course, online learning may lead to other fears.
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Do Your Research Before Choosing A School Or Program
Without high school guidance counselors, parents, and teachers helping you through the college search, you will be doing a lot of the research on your own. Every single person we spoke with talked about the importance of doing a lot of in-depth research building their college list before choosing what format to go back to school and which school to choose.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of diploma mills out there. Those are schools without a strong academic track record that prey on the under-education of prospective students. So, be sure to do your homework fully and completely.
Alicia Jacobs, Director of Communications & Community Engagement at Excelsior University, a completely-online college, suggests that students look into the age, accreditation, and cost of both online and on-campus programs. Check out the reputation of the program within the field of study. It will help to make sure that the choice youre making will benefit your career and help you to meet your goals.
Hate Your Job Study Your Way Out
One of the great things about heading back to college for a second degree or certificate is that the rewards are immediate and tangible. Your first time around, its not always clear what the long-term rewards of struggling through statistics are. But when you know that the stats you learn may be the way to escape from a less-than-ideal work situation, its a lot easier to dedicate yourself to mastering the skills required. And once youve got those skills, you can sell them to employers who might treat — or at least pay — you better.
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Why It’s Hard Being An Older Nursing Student
Let’s be honest. It’s not going to all gravy. While not impossible to overcome, there’ll be challenges that will still need to be dealt with.
1. You’ve Been Out of School for a Long Time
As someone who has been out of school for a couple of years and then went back, it sucked!
I can’t imagine going back after being out for 10+ years. It’s just hard to get back into the rhythm of being a student after you’ve been out of school for a while.
Some of the things I struggled with going back to school was:
- How do I study? It seems like such a silly question, but different people study differently. It was hard for me to remember how I best studied.
- What are the best resources for students?
The Fix:Honestly, this is one of those things where time will be your friend. Give yourself time and grace to get back into rhythm.
2. School Can Disrupt Your Stable Lifestyle
If you’re an older nurse, you probably have a routine going. Between kids, sports, and social obligations, you probably already have a lot going on. Even if it’s for an online program, being a student nurse will still disrupt some parts of your life.
The Fix:Planning. Planning. Planning. You’re going to have your class schedule ahead of time. The busier and more rigid your schedule is, the earlier you need to begin planning. Anybody can do just about anything for a short period. While school, it might feel like a long time is short relative to everything else.
Never Be Afraid To Ask Questions
As you build on your online coursework, in-person skills and simulation labs as well as clinical rotations will allow you the opportunity to apply nursing skills and techniques. Youll start in mock clinical settings but move onto working with real patients under expert instructor supervision and guidance. Pay attention while observing new techniques, and dont be afraid to speak up and ask questions if you dont understand something. Our instructors are here to ensure that you have the knowledge you need you cant succeed if you dont have a thorough understanding of the techniques youll be applying each day as an RN.
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Ask Yourself: Is Nursing Really For Me
If you are willing to put in the time and effort, and you feel passionate about providing care for those who cannot care for themselves, then nursing may be a great fit for you.
Patient care requires someone with a compassionate personality who is not flustered or put off by the sometimes-challenging situations you’ll be confronted with. Yes, there will be blood, wounds, burns, and a host of other physical ailments. Can you handle it? Not everyone can.
Are you interested in becoming a nurse? If you want to earn an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing, consider ECPI University for your education. With an accelerated schedule and year-round classes, you could earn your degree in as little as 18 months. For more information, connect with a helpful admissions advisor today.
It could be the Best Decision You Ever Make!
DISCLAIMER ECPI University makes no claim, warranty, or guarantee as to actual employability or earning potential to current, past or future students or graduates of any educational program we offer. The ECPI University website is published for informational purposes only. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information contained on the ECPI.edu domain however, no warranty of accuracy is made. No contractual rights, either expressed or implied, are created by its content.
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What Is The Work Environment Like For Nurses
Most nurses have unpredictable work environments. A patient’s needs can sometimes alter a lot or unexpectedly, which may make create continual changes in a nurse’s work environment.
Nurses can work in a wide range of medical fields and facilities that affect their individual work settings. A nurse at a private clinic, for example, likely has a different work environment than a nurse at a large hospital. Nurses can also find jobs at places such as universities, rehabilitation facilities or in a patient’s home.
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Am I Too Old To Go Back To School In Pursuit Of The Rn To Bsn
Many nurses are torn. Should they complete that degree or let it slide? Sometimes its not a matter of not wanting to go back to school, but of doubting the feasibility. Many RNs worry that theyre too old to complete their degree. Will they end up sitting in classrooms with students who are decades younger than themselves? And will they be successful in completing their degree, or has education and technology changed too much?
Thankfully, nurses are often pleasantly surprised. They may find, first off, that their classmates arent so much younger. Nursing students are, as a group, older than the typical college student, averaging late 20s in BSN programs and early 30s in ADN programs. In tracks that are designed specifically for RNs, the average age of BSN candidates is higher still. One recent study published in AORN found an average age between 38 and 39. A separate study at another school reported an average between 36 and 37. Some schools do release extensive demographic information about their students, including the typical age.
Even the averages can be misleading, as they mask a surprising amount of diversity. It is not uncommon to return to school in ones 50s. Nontraditional students are often more appreciative of their educational opportunities and more serious about them. Nursing instructors appreciate their attitude, and students in turn appreciate each others experiences.
How Much Does A Registered Nurse Make
The earning potential for registered nurses relies on various factors, including education level, professional experience, location, and professional certifications. While the BLS reports that the median annual salary for nurses was over $75,000 in 2021, experienced nurses with advanced degrees can earn much more.
- RNs must do a high volume of paperwork and documentation.
- You may often face a lot of pressure to see many patients.
- Nursing can be both physically and emotionally draining.
- The job is notoriously stressful, often with long hours.
- You must often deal with difficult situations regarding patients’ health.
- Certain patients and families may be hard to work with.
- You’re potentially exposing yourself to viruses and harmful bacteria.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Going Back To School For Nursing
The difficulty of completing an RN program varies between students. Students pursuing an ADN can finish the program in just two years. Learners who hold an unrelated bachelor’s degree can complete an accelerated BSN program. Online options can offer a flexible and affordable academic option for working students.
While securing the proficiencies and certification necessary to become an RN is rigorous, it often leads to a growing and stable career. Once RNs begin their jobs, they can pursue many additional degrees and certificate programs that can expand career options and increase pay.
The best major for nursing depends on various factors, including a student’s academic background, career goals, and personal considerations. Schools offer nursing programs at all academic levels, including associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. Each degree comes with its own requirements and proficiencies that can help enhance a student’s resume.
Students who hold an associate or bachelor’s degree can complete the classroom-based and hands-on requirements quickly. Additionally, students holding an ADN degree can complete an RN-to-BSN program in fewer than two years.
According to BLS data, the median salary for U.S. nurses exceeded $75,000 in May 2021. While the lowest 10% of nurses made less than $59,450 per year, the top 10% earned more than $120,000 annually. Additionally, a nurse’s location can have a large impact on earning potential.
Are You Too Old To Become A Nurse Practitioner
I plan to remain active well into old age. Stories like that of the pole-vaulting granny and the fact that my own 103 year-old grandfather mowed his lawn until the age of 99 inspire me never to use age as an excuse not to do something. Unexpectedly, one question I receive frequently from readers is Am I too old to go back to school to become a nurse practitioner?. Given this go for it spirit, my natural inclination is to respond that you are never to old to become a nurse practitioner. But, becoming an NP is a time-consuming and costly undertaking and must be carefully considered.
If you have been working a while and are nearing, gasp, older age, there are a few things to consider before going back to school to change or further your career. While you certainly should be able to handle the mental and physical demands of an NP program and a career as a nurse practitioner, becoming an NP is a big time and financial commitment. There are a few things you should think about before going back to school later in life.
Youre never too old to take on new challenges and becoming a nurse practitioner may be the perfect goal to pursue. Attending an NP program at any age is a weighty personal and financial decision. Most students young and old will find that becoming a nurse practitioner is the way to go, but like any commitment it must be carefully considered.
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Consider The Effects On You And Your Family
Think about how your decision to attend nursing school might affect you and your family. Starting a second career you’re passionate about can be a great decision, but it’s important to plan for the possible effects. If you’ve decided to attend nursing school, think over ahead of time logistical factors such as your time commitment, the cost and any schedule or budget changes you’d need to make. Figuring the logistics out ahead of time can help you balance your nursing school with other aspects of your life.
There Are Many Reasons To Consider Entering Nursing School As An Older Adult
There are plenty of reasons to think about becoming a nurse. Some go back to childhood and the Cherry Ames nurse mysteries. Others are pragmatic, based on analysis of the employment outlook. Some common reasons to go to nursing school as an adult:
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Going Back To Nursing School
Many people just like you are considering going back to school and becoming a nurse. And many people have a lot of questions about going back to school: Will it be hard? Will I fit in? And the most popular question: Am I too old?
The answer is that going back to school to earn your nursing degree is an incredibly rewarding experience youre never too old to become a nurse!