How old is too old?

February 4, 2013 at 4:26 pm (Uncategorized)

Sue Wiers is a family nurse practitioner and started the DNP at OU Fall 2012. She has been a guest lecturer and preceptor for OU NP students for years and served on the OU NP Committee. Her non-professional interests include reading, painting, gardening and quilting.

Sue Wiers is a family nurse practitioner and started the DNP at OU Fall 2012. She has been a guest lecturer and preceptor for OU NP students for years and served on the OU NP Committee. Her non-professional interests include reading, painting, gardening and quilting.

In 1981, I graduated with my BSN with the vague intention that I would eventually return to school for my MSN.

Over the next 15 years, I was juggling my career with the demands of home and family. Eventually, I started graduate school when I was in my late 30s. While some in my cohort were my age, many were much younger. I felt relatively old and ill-equipped in comparison; I had minimal experience with computers and periodical indexes were rapidly being relegated to the dinosaur category (some of you have likely never seen or used a periodical index) and I hadn’t taken a test or written a paper in years.

Despite my reservations, I earned my MSN at the age of 42 and assumed that my formal education was complete. Fast forward a few years and I could hear the rumblings about the Doctor of Nurse Practice as eventually becoming the entry level degree for advanced practice nurses.

My initial reaction was that I would be grandfathered in and I certainly was too old to be a student again. However, a Dear Abby column that I had read many years ago was nagging at me. A woman wrote to Dear Abby that she wanted to be a lawyer, but she would be ‘such and such’ age before she finished law school (I cannot recall the specific age). Dear Abby responded, How old will you be if you don’t go to law school? Ultimately, I took Dear Abby’s advice and did not factor age into my decision about pursuing another degree. At nearly 55 years old, I started the DNP program at OU four months ago. In three years, I will be 58 whether or not I get my DNP and I plan to have no regrets.

About these ads

4 Comments

  1. Erika Calhoun said,

    Thank you Sue…your story has really helped me. I am 38 years old and going back to school to take some pre-nursing courses. I have high hopes to get into the 2nd degree accelerated program next year. My goal is to get my nursing degree and continue on for my MSN.

    • Sue Wiers said,

      Erika,
      You are definitely not too old to pursue your dreams. It is never too late. Not to mention, in my world, 38 is quite young! Best wishes.
      Sue

  2. Elena Shella Villamor said,

    Hello Ms. Sue Wiers,

    Thank you for this inspiring post. What you say is true – age is not something that should hamper one from reaching her goals. You’ve done well and have chosen right.

    As an editor for Nursing Explorer (www.nursingexplorer.com), I know what it takes to accomplish a nursing degree and eventually build an impressive portfolio so I know what you went through.

    Kudos to you and this site! ‘Looking forward to reading more of your posts in the future.

  3. georgia said,

    I will be 50 & fabulous in a few months and have decided to get a BSN. I like the Dear Abby quote & fits me perfectly.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: