INDUSTRY
May 24, 2021

Why You’re Never Too Old To Become a Nurse

Why You’re Never Too Old To Become a Nurse

Becoming a nurse is a lifelong dream for some; however, sometimes that dream doesn’t become a reality until later in life. Thanks to second-degree nursing programs across the country, it’s possible to become a nurse at any age, as long as you already have a bachelor’s degree in nursing.  

Whether you are stuck in a dead-end career, burnt out by the demands of your current job, feeling unfilled in your career, or restarting a new career after caring for your family - nursing can be the perfect career for you. 

It was the right choice for these 3 nurses: 

  • Melissa, 48, decided to pursue nursing as a second career because of the job stability and benefits. As a mother of two, her family needed job security including a steady income but also benefits as her husband’s job offered benefits but at a very high premium. Previously in the hospitality business, Melissa found that her paychecks were not consistent which didn’t help her family get ahead. Nursing provided financial security for Melissa and her family. 
  • Laisa Turano, 30, decided to choose nursing as a second degree because of her time working at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Philadelphia Region. Turano realized that she enjoyed helping patients and families during a difficult time in their lives and felt that nursing would be a perfect career choice. With the support of her husband and family, Turano was able to pursue a passion in a field that she is optimistic will satisfy her both professionally and personally. Because of second degree programs, she along with other students have the ability to get to the bedside quicker than if they had to restart in a traditional undergraduate bachelors nursing program. 
  • Tam Nguyen, 38, was worried that going back to school would be more difficult compared to some of her younger classmates. But still, she persevered and recently graduated from a Philadelphia-based second-degree nursing program. Nguyen felt like it was important to find a career that she felt fulfilled both personally and professionally. “I want to do something in my career that not only makes a difference in people's daily lives but also get hands-on patient care experience to help underserved communities throughout the world, especially in developing countries.”
  • Alyssa Westendorf, worked as a certified Ophthalmic Tech after graduating from college. “I had always planned to get another degree in healthcare but took those years off to decide exactly what I wanted to do. I chose to go back to school for nursing because I wanted to provide direct care and I feel that nursing allows me to contribute something positive to the community.”

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The need for nurses will only continue to increase as healthcare experts expect there will be a large exodus of bedside nurses over the next several years due to the recent coronavirus pandemic as well as the baby boomer generation retiring from bedside nursing. Additionally, more and more nurses are looking into remote nursing positions that allow nurses to work from home. 

8 Reasons To Become A Nurse

Going back to school to become a nurse, especially at an advanced age, can be scary. Very scary, especially with the heavy course load, long clinical hours on top of personal responsibilities including family and job duties. Despite this, the reasons to become a nurse can outweigh these. These reasons may include, 

  • Stuck in a dead-end career
  • Burnt out in the current profession
  • Unable to find a job with the current degree
  • Children are grown and you can focus on your career
  • A career with a steady income, good benefits
  • Personal fulfillment
  • Desire to help others
  • Job satisfaction

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The Demand For Nurses is Huge and Growing

According to the BLS,  in 2019, there were 3,096,700 Registered Nurses in the United States. By 2029, there will be a need for additional 3,318,700 nurses, which is an expected growth of 7%. Approximately 175,900 openings for registered nurses are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

The need for nurses will only continue to increase as healthcare experts expect there will be a large exodus of bedside nurses over the next several years due to the recent coronavirus pandemic as well as the baby boomer generation retiring from bedside nursing. Additionally, more and more nurses are looking into remote nursing positions that allow nurses to work from home. 

Benefits To Becoming a Nurse

Besides helping patients, there are many benefits to becoming a nurse.

  • There is job security
  • There are increased career opportunities
  • Great benefits,
  • Substantial pay in some nursing fields

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for a registered nurse in 2020 is $75,330 per year, or $36.22 per hour, but conditions in your area may vary. 

While actual benefits may vary depending on the institution most include the following:

  • Attendance at nursing conferences
  • Bereavement leave
  • Certification Reimbursement
  • Childcare
  • Conference Travel Expenses
  • Dental Insurance
  • Dependent health insurance coverage
  • Discounts
  • Education/tuition reimbursement
  • Family Leave of Absence
  • Health insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Maternity Leave
  • Paid time off
  • Relocation assistance
  • Relocation packages
  • Retirement Options
  • Vision Insurance

Am I Too Old To Become a Nurse? 

Changing careers at any age can be difficult. You might question yourself. You might question if you are too old. Not smart enough. Don’t have enough time to study. Afraid to miss family functions. 

Questioning yourself every single step is really common, especially for students in second-degree programs. But it is important to remember that being older and starting a new career comes with benefits. 

  • Ability to prioritize
  • Accept challenges
  • Commitment to studies 
  • Life experience
  • Motivated to succeed
  • Willing to accept challenges

Becoming a nurse is often an unfulfilled dream for many. In fact, many work in some facet of healthcare prior to going to a second-degree program. 

With hundreds of second-degree programs around the country, the options are available for you to take the plunge into a new and fulfilling career. Remember, age is just a number. It’s never too late to follow your passions and your goals while making a difference. 

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