Am I Too Old to Go to Nursing School?

older woman studying for nursing school

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. 

Find Nursing Programs

Search our school database to find schools and get information on the programs that’s right for you. (Don’t worry it’s fast and free!)

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:

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.

Pro Tip:
If this isn’t you I wrote an article detailing the different ways to pay for nursing school. Check it out for more information.

Good Careers for Older Nurses

1. School Nurse

A school nurse talking about what it’s like being a school nurse and what her schedule is like.

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.

Find school nurse job positions

Find Nursing Programs

Search our school database to find schools and get information on the programs that’s right for you. (Don’t worry it’s fast and free!)

2. Psychiatric Nurse

A video on what it’s like being a psych 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.

Final Thoughts

a nursing school book
Pin it!

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. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the oldest age to become a nurse?

    As long as you’re mental and physically able to do the work you can become a nurse at any age. There are plenty of nursing positions that are “desk jobs” and are less physically demanding than floor nursing.

  2. Is 37 too old to become a nurse?

    At 37 you are not too old to become a nurse. As long as you’re physically and mentally able to do the work you can become a nurse at 37 and have a successful career.

  3. Is 30 too old for nursing school?

    At 30 you’re not too old to become a nurse. Plenty of students go through nursing school at an older age and go on to have a successful career.

  4. Is 50 too old for nursing school?

    Fifty is not too old to start and finish nursing school. I went to school with people who were older in age and they’re doing just fine

  5. Is 45 too old for nursing school?

    There’s not really an age that’s too old for nursing school. Whether you’re 26, 27, 42 or 45 you can be a nurse and be successful at it.

  6. Is 24 too old to start nursing school?

    Twenty-four is not too old to become a nurse. You’ll probably see students in your class who will be much older than 24 years of age.

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