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I need a change, but I think I am too old to go back to school for my BSN. Do you have any suggestions for me?

Tuesday May 21, 2013
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Question:

Dear Donna,

I have been a RN for more than 25 years. I am a staff nurse, but at my age get so tired doing bedside care. I can go back to school to get my BSN and have some change, but I am 57 and I think I am too old to back to school. Do you have any suggestions for me?

Thanks,

Tired of Bedside Nursing

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Tired of Bedside Nursing,

The great thing about nursing is that there are endless possibilities of things to do.

Going back to school is great to do at any age. And at the very young age of 57 you are not "too old" to go to school. Everyone is living and working longer. Read “Age is a state of mind” (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/State-of-Mind) and “Go Back to school and change your life” (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Back-to-School).

To start exploring nontraditional options, I suggest you visit nursing career fairs in your local area. While many hospitals exhibit at these events, there are often nontraditional employers there too. Plus, many of the nursing agencies that participate often have nontraditional opportunities available as well. See what's coming up in your area at www.nurse.com/events/career-fairs. Read “How to get the most out of attending a career fair” at www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Career-fair.

Speaking of agencies, find a few that offer nontraditional opportunities and consider doing some part-time or contract work while you decide where to go from here. Agency work is a good way to try out a specialty to see if you like it and to gain relevant experience. Many agencies have opportunities in school nursing, occupational health, pharmaceutical research, and so much more. They also offer benefits in many cases.

You might consider attending my Career Alternatives for Nurses seminar to fully explore your options, get up to date on job-finding and self-marketing strategies, and get specific contact information and leads. See where I'll be at www.nurse.com/events/ce-seminars. And if you can't attend a live seminar, the program is available in a home-study version at http://ce.nurse.com/Professional-Development.
Best wishes,
Donna


Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nurse.com’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/Asktheexperts/Deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://Events.nursingspectrum.com/Seminar.