As you know, age is no barrier to being a great nurse or midwife and there are a lot of very hard-working nurses and midwives who join the profession after many years in different careers. Many work into their 80s and even 90s – for example, this incredible woman is still working part-time at age 97!
Earlier this year we posted a story from Paul who was considering studying nursing at the age of 59. Your responses were very encouraging and we couldn’t be happier when Paul contacted us to let us know he starts studying next year. Here’s what he had to say:
Remember me? Well, I am enrolled at university next year for a bachelor of nursing. I had to go through a few hoops but I was given an early round offer much to my surprise and delight. I am now anxiously, but also very excitedly, waiting to see what I have signed up for. I think it will be hard but I am up for it.
I had a negative response today when I told someone what I am doing. Told me I was too old, won’t get a job and will be competing with 20 year old nurses. I didn’t flinch and said “That’s okay, I will deal with that when I get to it”.
I was very encouraged by all the comments I received to my last post as well, some negative but one has to have a bit of a balance. Sometimes the negative comments have merit too and make me aware there will be some tough challenges ahead. Most people who look at me think I am mid to late forties and I don’t correct them. It’s amazing how a number can immediately change perceptions, they no longer look at me as a person with ambitions just like them but more as a nuisance who needs a reality check.
As I am already enrolled at university, I have full access to the student portal. I think I am most looking forward to learning new things and new skills. I have not done anything new like this for about 40 years. I know I will be the oldest student in the group and even if I am championing my own cause on my own I am up for it.
Evidently not everyone starts nursing in their early 20s. Do you have experience studying to be a nurse or midwife a little later on in life? Let us know your story and offer your words of wisdom to Paul in the comments below.