I’m a geriatric nurse in Germany who would like to live, work and study in the U.S. I don’t know what to do. Should I start all over again in an RN program or get my LPN through an exam? Please let me know. I am 50. Am I too old to pursue this?
Dear Donna replies:
Dear German Nurse,
Start by contacting CGFNS, formerly known as the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (www.cgfns.org). They can do a credentials evaluation for you to see whether additional nursing education in the U.S. will be required. They can also help with information about student and work visas.
If you do need to further your nursing education in the U.S. to get a U.S. license, I recommend you pursue RN education at the baccalaureate level (BSN). LPNs have fewer opportunities and are not used at all in some U.S. healthcare systems. Contact some U.S. universities you might want to attend and speak to the person who works with international nursing students.
At age 50 you are certainly not too old. The average age of the working nurse in the U.S. is about 53, so you’ll fit right in. Everyone is living and working longer, so you potentially have decades ahead to work and contribute in many ways.