Skip to main contentSkip to main navigationSkip to footer content

How to Succeed as a Mature Learner

How to Succeed as a Mature Learner

Although people between the ages of 18-22 typically grace the covers of college marketing materials, that’s not the only reality. Being an older student may present unique challenges, but maturity also has its advantages.

At Nightingale College, 61% of our learner population are between the ages of 25-39, and 21% are age 40 and above!

When you return to school after some time away for work or family responsibilities, you may worry about how to learn material you haven’t dealt with in years. You may have demands on your time that younger students don’t deal with. But your years away from school bring wisdom, clarity, and experience younger people may lack.

Here are a few tips for older learners:

  • Remember your why. Nursing school is tough, and you may have moments where you question your decision to enroll. Reminders of your reasons can help you get through those difficult moments. Keep photos or an inspiration board nearby to remind you of what matters most.
  • Seek support. Your boss or your family may not be too happy when studying takes priority. Talk to them about your goals and ask them to cheer you on.
  • Schedule carefully. You may have demands on your time that your peers do not, and that requires careful planning. Even if you’re used to giving to others, don’t neglect non-academic activities that you need to recharge.
  • Challenge assumptions. We all carry our past with us. Your academic history, your past struggles, and your age do not necessarily predict future success or failure. Try something new. Reinvent yourself! You can rewrite your story, starting today.
  • Use your experience. You have learned important lessons from work, military, and/or family that can influence your learning and vice versa. You can see the knowledge you gain in your courses play out in real life, and you can bring examples of real situations to the classroom. Integrating your experiences can enrich your education and your work and family life.
Skip to main content