Should I start nursing studies at age 59?


Last year Patricia asked Nurse Uncut readers whether she should start nursing studies at age 49. Now Paul, who is 10 years older, has the same question. Do those 10 years make a difference? Does he have enough time to study and then start a nursing career?

In fact, many nurses work into their 80s and even 90s – for example, this incredible woman is still working part-time at age 97!

Here’s Paul’s question [photo of Paul on right]: I have been a house-dad for the last 15 years. My kids are now quite independent and I am currently doing a Cert IV in Disability, which I am enjoying very much. I am seriously considering a Bachelor of Nursing next year. I know the study will be very challenging but I am confident I can do it.

My only worry is that I am 59 years old and so will complete the degree when I am 62. I am concerned about reports of ageism and worry that I may not get a job. I also live in regional Victoria where they have not quite caught up with big city thinking.

This is something I really want. I need as much feedback as possible, good or bad.

What do you think? Should I just go for it and hope for the best?

Please give Paul your feedback in comments below.

Previously on Nurse Uncut:


  1. Hey Paul, I honestly believe that a person can become a nurse at any age. I only just graduated with my degree last July at the age of 33. I was disappointed that I hadn’t discovered nursing earlier and felt that I had wasted so much time! In regards to getting a job, with the ageing population in Australia, more and more nurses are going to be needed. There are a lot of mature age student support groups in universities (particularly on Facebook) who help each other out, give advice and get together for a drink. Ageism is only an issue in some workplaces. Different managers have different ideas. If you are not averse to working in aged care (sorry, I know I’m always banging on about aged care nursing- it’s just that I’m passionate about it!) there are plenty of older nurses. Our patients are getting older and older therefore having more mature nurses can only be a bonus.

    • Thanks Vanessa, I have begun to realise that age care nursing is the most logical way for me to go. We also have a number of age care facilities in my town so I don’t think a job would be an issue. I am moving closer to making the decision, only biggie now is EN or RN. Thanks again for your encouragement.


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