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am i being an old fool

(118 Posts)
finns Thu 07-Sep-23 11:29:51

i’ve always wanted to be a midwife/ nurse and come from a family of nurses and paramedics police military etc.

i started training in my 20s but was happily sidetracked by having my own babies and decided not to be a career woman ha ! I did get a degree later and have done lots of fabulous jobs, but the dream of midwife never left me. Now my children are mostly grown up and i thought about going for it - to finally have the time to myself and dedicate myself to my own dreams. I could start the journey by college and renewing old qualifications as a mature student alongside my life experiences of birth and losses and everything in between, but yet again i’ve had a crisis of confidence- am I just being a past it old fool ?, all be it a young 53yr still lively not ready to write myself off lady ? I’d be 58 at qualifying
is it too late ?

finns Thu 07-Sep-23 15:35:20

some great points there -
there is currently funding to encourage women entering STEM subjects (maths, science, engineering etc) and also a big funding incentive from the NHS as in bursaries and writing off course funds on completion of courses etc- the local college helps with the info before beginning courses and also helps with UCAS applications etc

i’m still a mum to a 12 year old so not quite pipe and slippers yet - oh and the mad dog 🐕

I think your right, to learn the new skills for the job must be slightly easier than having been in the role and had to re learn all the changes as you go - my elderly aunt was a nurse from the 1950s and couldn’t believe that you could no longer rock up at the hospital and just tell them you wanted to be a nurse and be put straight into nurses quarters !

there is still something ambitious and front line about me - and I may not make the midwifery cut as the top grades are expected from the cream of the crop - but I would still go for nursing in general

Calipso Thu 07-Sep-23 15:39:32

I'm with those who advise caution.

I trained as a midwife relatively late and with many of the transferable skills you describe OP, but retired before my 60th birthday and never regretted it. Consider the cost of the university education it would require and whether it would make financial sense. Why not speak to someone at the university and ask also if you could speak to someone on the job about the reality of what you are considering. I loved being a midwife, resilient and highly motivated, but the system almost broke me.

Dinahmo Thu 07-Sep-23 15:42:04

Definitely go for it. There may be funding available, some of it non refundable. You'll only be 58 when you qualify - that's young to my way of thinking.

Good luck

loopyloo Thu 07-Sep-23 16:14:34

Definitely go for it as soon as possible with as much help with funding as you can find.
When qualified you can work full time or part time or bank as you get older.
I went back into nursing at 58 and did further study. But studying was more difficult later. Couldn't remember the physiology.

DamaskRose Thu 07-Sep-23 17:10:55

Definitely go for it if you possibly can, you won’t know till you try. If it doesn’t work out at least you’ll know you gave it your best shot. Good luck!

Nannarose Thu 07-Sep-23 17:12:07

finns - thank you - in your situation I would definitely begin (so glad to hear that there is funding).
You sound as if you want to head for a full qualification and not one of the supporting roles. However anything you learn, and any experience you get will be useful. Should you decide you're biting off more than you can chew, you can take that into something like a doula / breastfeeding supporter or similar.
And yes, I well remember the days where you could just turn up and they welcomed you!
Good luck - and maybe you'll come back and update us!

biglouis Thu 07-Sep-23 17:36:25

I agree with the posters who says its never too late. I went to uni in my 40s and did several degrees, eventually becoming an academic. I had a 10 year career and continued to do research and consultancy even after retiring. I work for myself now but dont consider my qualifucations wasted.

The only consideration would be that employers are often very ageist towards older applicants. How is the market for midwives?

Skullduggery Thu 07-Sep-23 17:49:18

Getting accepted for a University place is the easy bit. You need to take off your pink glasses and do some proper research. Will you be able and willing to travel, work long shifts inc. nights regularly?

My neighbour retrained and qualified as a Midwife in her early 40’s and she struggled to find a suitable permanent job after qualifying. She did a few temporary positions but she’s now doing relatively low paid care work instead as her hours are more manageable.

TwiceAsNice Thu 07-Sep-23 22:49:38

Never too late to change careers . Go for it

Polly7 Sat 09-Sep-23 11:12:42

Go for it Considering state pension is around 68anyway I still work by choice in 70s. And nursing in demand!!

Philippa111 Sat 09-Sep-23 11:21:25

Yes definitely ! Why not get in touch with the relevant organisation and find out all that it entailed ; do they have ongoing support for mature students, what it would involve etc. Then you will know exactly what you would be taking on. You sound like you could more than handle it. And I’m sure they will be delighted to have someone like you with life experience and also a life long passion for the job.
Go girl!

red1 Sat 09-Sep-23 11:22:24

i would say take the negatives ,positives and the grey bits in mind.The stuff about the stress , physical nature of the job, i would think are important.Don't a lot of health workers retire at 60? Great to have goals , but i know ive had dreams which looking back thankfully i didn't follow. How tricky would it be to get a job at 58? Im a fan of the old pros and cons list! good luck .

JRTW2 Sat 09-Sep-23 11:23:55

I agree. I’ve had a great career as nurse and midwife but it’s relentless now. I wouldn’t recommend it anymore

Alison333 Sat 09-Sep-23 11:25:10

Go for it! You must have thought carefully about it and yes I hear it's an exhausting job but the country is desperately short of midwives and provided you can cope with the stresses, new mums will benefit from your experience and maturity.

If by any chance it doesn't work out, as other people have said there are other allied and valuable roles you could do.

JdotJ Sat 09-Sep-23 11:26:50

Go for it.
Someone said to me, "You'll still be living the days, weeks, months etc so you may as well use that time doing something you really want to do, instead of mourning what might have been"

pinkjj27 Sat 09-Sep-23 11:33:13

I teach sociology and politics at GCSE, A level and also on Access courses. An Access course is for people wanting to return to education after a gap. There students get funding because they have no level 3 qualification. You do have qualification so you may not qualify for an access course. However the point I want to make is that, the age of students is from 19 to around late 5Os early 60s . Although I have and still do, get older student my oldest being 83 she just wanted to prove she could do it. (They dont all get funding) There is an access to social care / nursing, which helps students get ready to apply for nursing, midwifery and social work.
I would say go for it, there is a shortage of midwives. However beware that this are is very underfunded and universities don’t take many students each year, its very hard to get into. They like you do have experience in form of some kind of voluntary work. This shows a commitment and determination, you nust show that you know how demanding the job is. The dropout rate in university for midwifes is high than the average . This has led to universities tending to select older women from what I have noticed.
Also if you get an interview don’t mention babies (they hate it) the focus is on the mothers care. Good luck Go for it .

HeavenLeigh Sat 09-Sep-23 11:35:38

58 is nothing! Only live once do what you want to do! My age wouldn’t stop me doing whatever I wanted to do and I’m much older than you, good luck x

NannaFirework Sat 09-Sep-23 11:46:24

Do it! And wishing you all the happiness and fulfilment in the World! xxx

ForeverAutumn Sat 09-Sep-23 11:47:01

During the birth of my first child I would have much preferred an older midwife with experience of childbirth. I didn't much appreciate being told that I was imagining pain and it was 'only' contractions. Luckily with my second child, I had a lovely midwife who told me this was her first delivery solo, she was an older nurse with a family of her own, very gentle and she made such a difference. Go for it, the NHS will be lucky to have you

Vwenber Sat 09-Sep-23 11:50:40

Theres plenty of older students in both nursing and midwifery.
Go for it

Pjcpjc77 Sat 09-Sep-23 11:57:43

Go for it a million times. You only come this way once. Realise your dream.

CrazyMazy Sat 09-Sep-23 11:57:45

Definitely- never too late! Go for it! If you do not at least try then you will always regret it! Good luck!

LovelyLady Sat 09-Sep-23 12:03:29

Go for it. You’ll regret if you don’t.
Best wishes.

Mamo Sat 09-Sep-23 12:06:59

Absolutely go for it!! You bring your life experience and compassion to the job and they’ll be lucky to have you.
My DH was conferred a Doctorate yesterday, a mature student aged 67!! Never too late!

Sarahr Sat 09-Sep-23 12:13:22

Never too late. Follow your dream. Good luck.