Am I Too Old to Become a Nurse?

By: Yvette Ross, MSN, MBA, RN, Dean of Nursing

This is the question many prospective students, who have been either displaced from the workforce or are considering a change in career paths, ask me. The same inquiry also comes from individuals who have raised families or retired from active duty and are presented with

the opportunity to pursue a long postponed dream. But whatever the situation, age should not be the deciding factor against choosing nursing as a career. Both younger and older learners be 44.5 years in 2012. Furthermore, nurses who are 50 years and older comprise the majority of the nursing workforce in the United States. These data show that the older nursing student will practice shoulder to shoulder with other nursing professionals within the same age group.

Individuals who enter the nursing profession years after high school have a unique perspective because of the focused passion for learning, effective time management, organizational know how, and refined soft skills. The common stressors that often impact the younger generation may not affect the older learner. In addition, the essential critical thinking and decision making skills may be better developed in an older learner because of the richer life and work experiences.

When considering the next career path do not pass on nursing because of age. Embracing and bringing one’s life experiences will undoubtedly enhance your journey into the noble profession of nursing. Your future awaits!