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I want to go to college for nursing but I am 21. What do I do to get there?

I am 21 years old and live in San Jose. I want to finish my Medical Assisting Program, but I want to be a nurse. I am looking and can't find anything very helpful. Any advice?

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Violaine’s Answer

Hello Emmalee! Embarking on a nursing journey at 21 is not only possible but also quite popular. Here's a friendly guide to get you started:

Explore Nursing Programs: Start by investigating colleges or universities that provide nursing programs. Pay attention to things like program accreditation, course content, faculty qualifications, and the quality of facilities.

Understand Admission Requirements: Familiarize yourself with the admission criteria for the nursing program you're eyeing. Usually, you'll need a high school diploma or its equivalent, certain prerequisite courses (like biology and chemistry), and standardized test scores (like SAT or ACT).

Finish Prerequisite Courses: If you haven't completed the necessary prerequisite courses, sign up for them at a community college or university. Aim for high grades as they can boost your chances of admission.

Get Ready for Standardized Tests: If needed, gear up for standardized tests like the SAT or ACT. You might find test prep courses or study materials helpful to improve your scores.

Acquire Relevant Experience: Look for chances to gain experience in healthcare settings, such as volunteering at hospitals, nursing homes, or clinics. This will not only beef up your application but also offer you a glimpse into the nursing world.

Apply to Nursing Programs: Once you've fulfilled the admission requirements and finished prerequisite courses, send in applications to nursing programs that match your aspirations. Remember to meet application deadlines and provide all necessary paperwork.

Plan Your Finances: Look into financial aid possibilities, including scholarships, grants, and student loans, to assist with tuition and other college-related costs.

Dedicate Yourself to Your Studies: Once you're in a nursing program, devote yourself to your studies and assignments. Nursing programs can be intense, so stay organized, manage your time well, and ask for help when needed.

Participate in Clinical Rotations and Internships: Make the most of clinical rotations and internships offered by your nursing program. These experiences offer practical training and a taste of various healthcare environments.

Graduation and Licensure: After finishing your nursing program, you'll need to pass the NCLEX-RN exam to become a licensed registered nurse (RN). Get ready for the exam by using review materials and practice tests.

Keep in mind that a nursing career requires commitment, effort, and a real love for helping people. Stay on track with your goals, lean on mentors and advisors for support, and never shy away from asking questions along the journey.
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Filip’s Answer

You should definitely consider looking into nursing programs around your area, such as at a community college. You might find that there are transferrable credits that could expedite your journey towards a nursing degree, utilizing the credits from your Medical Assisting program. Engage in a conversation with a counselor at one of these schools, expressing your desire to not only finish your Medical Assisting program but also to ultimately earn your nursing degree. My mom was able to achieve her LPN nursing degree in her 40's, so age should absolutely not be a barrier in your quest to complete your degree. Best of luck!
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Daphney’s Answer

Greetings!!

Excellent question. I think it’s great that you are currently in the medical assistant program. that will give you a better perspective , depending on where you’re working at of what the nursing career is like. I would suggest speaking to a nursing college advisor and discussing the prerequisites that are required for the schools program.

In addition, as you research, this is an excellent time to think about which pathway you want to take… LPN, RN, RN-MSN program? Remote learning or in person? The options are limitless in nursing.

Best wishes.
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Stephanie Robin’s Answer

Hello Emmalee! You've been doing an outstanding job in providing technical solutions, so I'll refrain from repeating what's already been said. Instead, I'll share some insider advice and factors to ponder over.

Time Management: Nursing schools are incredibly engaging and require a significant amount of your time. Beyond the full days of classes, you'll also need to fulfill practical hours at hospitals. This might not leave much room for a paying job.

Mathematics: It's surprising to many that a substantial amount of math is involved in nursing. If your math abilities are a bit rusty or you find it challenging, I'd strongly suggest you begin honing those skills beforehand.

Footwear: Prioritize investing in a pair of high-quality, supportive shoes before you begin your journey and make sure they're well-worn in! You'll be on your feet for extended periods, and unsuitable footwear can lead to unnecessary discomfort!

I trust these additional tips will prove beneficial, and I wish you all the best in your academic endeavors! I have no doubt you'll excel!
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Hailey’s Answer

It’s entirely possible to complete nursing school at your age. There are students stating programs at much older than you all the time. There are different options for nursing. You could start with a LPN and complete that at many community/technical colleges. You could complete an RN bridge program from there. Or, you could go strait to an RN program.
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