Is 45 too old to become a nurse? Will you be able to balance the workload and your (already busy) life and/or family? How many years of schooling do you need to get to be certified as an RN? These and many other questions may be going through your head right now.
First, it is important to understand that not all nursing jobs are the same. There are health care specialists who assist physicians in their work by providing information and providing medical services across many levels of education and experience. You may have heard the term “nursing aide,” or “patient care technician” which require different perquisites over an LPN or RN program. Before deciding if Nursing is right for you, you need to decide which role in Nursing is obtainable and satisfying to you.
Am I Too Old to Become a Nurse?
There are also continuing education requirements for people to become a licensed nurse in any state, but becoming a registered nurse may take longer than you first expect. Most states require that you be at least a high school graduate to become a nurse, although some states require that you complete nursing school as an undergrad or an online program first. You need to first evaluate your current education level, and map out the next 1-5 years depending on your desired career.
Once you have an associate’s degree, you will need a bachelor’s degree or a bridge program to become a registered nurse. Many people want to work in emergency rooms and hospitals but forget there are many rewarding and impactful jobs in patient care and the other functions of a hospital or clinic. Depending on what you want to do, you may only need a diploma to be able to find the role that fits you best.
However, there are many nursing programs that require less than a 3+ year commitment that may work better for you nd your situation. If you have been a nurse for a while and you wish to try other areas of medicine, there may be nothing stopping you from getting a master’s degree or looking for a bridge program instead of another bachelor’s degree. You will be able to get a better job and be paid more as well.
In the end, being realistic with your schedule and ability to not only handle the long hours of getting a nursing degree but then also the work that comes after will only be up to you. At Care Hope College, we never stop learning and welcome nurses of all ages. We don’t stop being a nurse if we get older! If you are fit and can handle potentially long hours then there is nothing stopping you from furthering your education.
After deciding your own work schedule, you can see if a nursing degree will be plausible for you. By being able to take care of yourself and your family while you earn a comfortable living, you will be able to do impactful work even later in life.