Nurses: So You’re Going Back to School…At Your Age?

American Sentinel University’s healthcare blog, ‘The Sentinel Watch,’ launched a new eight-part nursing blog series: ‘Back to U – Karen’s Corner’ available at and guest blogger, Dr. Karen Whitham, assistant dean, undergraduate nursing programs shares her personal experiences about what it’s like going back to school mid-career and offers valuable insight about balancing work, life, and school to earn an advanced degree for career advancement.

It’s bound to happen - that look of shock and disbelief when you tell your friends and family that you’re going back to school to get your BSN. Their questions are probably the same ones you’ve been asking yourself: “At your age? What for? How will you manage school on top of work and family?

Here are a few encouraging words from someone who has been in your shoes.

You're not alone
The average age of our students in the RN to BSN program is 45. Typically, these are nurses who have been out of school and working in the profession for 10 to 20 years. As someone who took this path in her mid forties, I can tell you from personal experience that older students often have many advantages over their younger classmates:  focus, commitment, life experience and the maturity to self-advocate, to name a few.

You love your profession
You want to elevate the level of patient care. The most experienced RNs are often the ones most surprised when they learn something they can put to use right away. I call these “aha moments” and it’s just wonderful to see nurses get excited about knowledge they can take back to their patients. Of course, there are plenty of employment-related reasons to get your BSN, but that’s a topic for later discussion. The best reason to get your BSN is this: when the level of nursing education goes up, mortality and morbidity rates go down.

You can make this work
The average time commitment per week is 10 to 15 hours. All of the classes are 100% online so that you can fit them in around work, family and friends. Having done this myself as a working mother, I will tell you that it is entirely doable. It does take commitment and discipline, as well as the support of family and friends, but you can do it and still enjoy your life.

Stay tuned to ‘Karen’s Corner’ as Dr. Whitham shares more helpful tips about the RN to BSN program.

The ‘Back to U – Karen’s Corner’ blog series will run through September 7 and covers such topics as:

-So You’re Going Back to School…At Your Age?

-Is This the Right Time to Get Your BSN?

-How to Get Your BSN and Still Have a Life

-The Virtues of a Virtual Classroom

-Study Tips for the Online Student

-Balancing Homework with Family

-No Stress, No Struggle: Ask the Question
-Making Time for You

If you’ve ever dreamed of earning your BSN learn how American Sentinel can help make that dream a reality and earn your BSN in under one year and for less than $12,000.

American Sentinel University offers market-relevant, high-quality nursing degree programs, including a CCNE-accredited RN to BSN program that is ideal for nurses who want to expand their knowledge base, become more marketable and enjoy greater career stability and mobility. The RN to BSN can be earned in less than one year and for less than $12,000. Learn more about American Sentinel University’s RN to BSN degree program at or call 866.922.5690.

About American Sentinel University 
American Sentinel University delivers accredited online degree programs in nursing (BSN, MSN, and DNP) and healthcare management (MBA Healthcare, MS in information systems management, and MS in business intelligence and analytics). Its affordable, flexible bachelor’s and master’s nursing degree programs are accredited by the Commission for the Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), of One Dupont Circle, NW Suite 530, Washington, D.C., 20036. The DNP program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) of 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, Ga., 30326. The university is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, DEAC, 1101 17th Street NW, Suite 808, Washington, D.C. 20036, (202) 234-5100,

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