RN to BSN at 55 years of age

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    Profile photo of Sherree Pelfrey

    I have has my ADN for 9 years now. I am turning 55 years old this year. Is it worth my time and student loans to go back to college for a BSN? Are there any other new RN’s in their 50’s who have any advice for me?


    I’m a little shy of being in my 50s just yet, but I would say, “No, it’s not worth it.” I’m sure a multitude of people will argue against this, as education is always a good thing, and they all have valid points, but unless you have a goal in mind on what you want to accomplish with your degree, then I don’t think just having the degree is really worth the time away from friends and family and the amount of money it will cost you to get the BSN will not be made up, especially in facilities like mine, in which there is no additional pay for having a BSN.

    If you want to get a job at the big hospital, closer to your house, which requires a BSN, then go for it. If you want to get an advanced degree and teach or become a practitioner, then go for it. If you just want BSN after your name, I think you will be disappointed. I made it about half way through an RN to BSN program, and dropped out because of the time and money suck, and while they kept telling me nursing is an art and a science, the classes I were taking were more about the art, and I didn’t feel any of them actually made me a better nurse.

    Listen to what others will say here, but know what you want to do before you spend the time and money on something in which the return will be more internal to you than external to your bank account, lifestyle, or ability to do the job you are already doing.

    Profile photo of rnboats

    I finished my BSN at 53 yo and for me it was worth it. The other post had good advice. Know what your purpose for the degree is and will it increase your pay. At our hospital you didn’t get a raise for the degree. It is time consuming and tuff with working. I will also say I did the online program and it was not as tough as I had imagined it would be. But it is all writing, policies and research, so if that is not your forte, it will be hard. Bottom line is make the pros/cons list and then make your decision. It took me 18 mos and it was close to $24,000 so that is a lot of money for a degree, at our age.

    Profile photo of Leah

    HI there! How long do you think you will be working? That is a serious question to answer. If you can retire at 62 then do not do it. If you feel that you will work till 70, then do it. I am almost 47 and am going to start an RN to MSN program March 8th. Because I am pretty sure I will need to work another 20 years. But I want that to be desk work. So just weigh it out. What state do you work in? Many hospitals across the country are mandating their nurses to have BSN. If you need to work awhile longer, you may just want to get it. Make sure the institution is nationally accredited. One of my coworkers is 72 and you would NEVER guess it!! She is awesome. She only recently went part time, 3 days a week. She could not take it anymore full time. Best of wishes no matter your choice, my fellow nurse!

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