One of the questions I’ve seen many potential nursing students ask before committing to nursing school has to do with their age.
So for example:
“Am I too old to go to nursing school?”
“How old is too old to enroll in nursing school?”
So, am I too old to go to nursing school? No, you’re never too old to go to nursing school. Even if you’re not physically able to do certain nursing jobs, there are other nursing specialties you’re going to be able to do.
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Can You Be Too Old To Go to Nursing School?
Different people will have different takes on this but for me, I don’t believe you can be too old to go to nursing school.
Whether you’re in your 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond there’s an area in nursing that can suit you.
Will it Be Hard Going to Nursing School as an Older Adult?
Yes, it’s going to be hard going to nursing school as an older adult.
I think it’s important to preface the above statement by saying going to nursing school, in general, is hard regardless of the age of the nursing student.
But I think there are certain things about being an older nursing student that makes it more challenging than being a younger nursing student.
Why It’s Hard Being an Older Nursing Student
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 awhile.
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 supplies do I need for school?
- What are the best resources for students?
2. School Can Disrupt Your Stable Lifestyle
If you’re an older nurse you probably have a routine going and nursing school, even the online nursing programs still disrupt some parts of your life.
Why Going to Nursing School as an Older Nurse is Easier
Believe it or not, there are perks to being an older nursing student.
1. You Know What You Want
As an older student, you know what you want.
You’re probably not going through the issues 19 and 20-year old pre-nursing and nursing students typically deal with.
2. You Can Afford to Go to Nursing School
While this might not be the case for every older nursing student, but I would venture to say for many it’s probably the case.
If you’re older you’re probably coming into nursing as your second career with financial resources available to you that a 21-year-old probably doesn’t have.
Good Careers for Older Nurses
1. School Nurse
As a school nurse, you get to take care of school-age kids.
Depending on the district you could be overseeing several schools at the same time.
While this position would benefit from a nurse with extensive experience it’s not a must.
This position can be challenging, but it’s important to note the level of stress is generally not at the level of inpatient nursing.
2. Psychiatric Nurse
As a psychiatric or mental health nurse, your focus is on the safety and the mental well being of your patients. Find psychiatric nurse positions.
We have a separate article on the best nursing jobs for older nurses.
Hopefully, I’ve convinced you that you’re not too old to be a nurse and that there are jobs you can find that are a good fit for older nurses.