Mature Student applying for Nursings. Advice needed

May 21, 2020
6 posts
1 upvote

Mature Student applying for Nursings. Advice needed

Hello all,

I've been working within a hospital for over 12 years doing various jobs. I think I'm capable of being an RN but am nervous entering a 4-year program as a 30-year-old. I have a few questions i'll list out that are concerning me.

1) I have a business diploma as well as a certificate for a program I took at Seneca for a position at my workplace. My gpa for the diploma completed 8 years ago, were around 2.7, for the certificate program I got really high grades and this was done a year ago. When I apply, will they focus on the Diploma GPA or the GPA of the Certificate? is there a method to get in a little easier?

2) Are there any Nursing programs that I can do pre-requisite / elective courses online and bridge into a physical location after?

3) How challenging is this program? Full disclosure I attempted engineering but fell apart at advanced calculus and higher level math/science courses and moved to business. I also never took highschool Biology. Are the math courses very complex like advanced calculus or is it digestable like accounting/ finance related equations?

4) Working in the departments I've worked in I have a good repertoire with nurse managers and other high-end staff members, so assuming I can "talk my way in" after getting my accreditation what school offers the "most forgiving" program. I'm currently focusing on Ryerson but open to suggestions on easier-going schools.

5) Will I still be able to apply for OSAP? I paid my osap off before graduating from my diploma so I'm not sure if im eligible for osap twice especially at my age

Thanks for any advice.
4 replies
Sr. Member
Jul 15, 2006
868 posts
Mississauga, ON
Hi Dillon,

Nursing programs are rigorous, but not unattainable.

I advise contacting the Advising departments at various colleges that you're interested in, so that they can walk you through their admission requirements process and any pre-requisites that you may have to complete.

With regards to OSAP, my understanding is, if you have paid off your previous OSAP and you meet the eligibility criteria, you may be eligible again.
Sr. Member
Nov 9, 2011
912 posts
Don't quote me on this, but I am almost certain that your diploma grade count more than your recent certificate. Given your low GPA, I think you should also look into Ryerson Collaborative Program Nursing program through Centennial or George Brown rather than direct entry into Ryerson.

And I think you will need to complete that high school biology course.

What is your current role at the hospital? Ward clerk?
Mar 31, 2017
13 posts

I took my RN at 43, completed at 47, so your age is NP.
Can you write papers to a high standard? As in lots of them?
Math is not hard, no need to worry on that front!
Can you work with others?
Its an intense 4 years, it's more constant workload than anything else, you will need to put your personal life on hold for 4 years!!
Lots of science in the 2nd year plus collaboration group work in 3rd year. Expect to put in around 60 hours per week particularly from 3rd year onwards.
I studied at Laurentian Uni, each facility has different schedules.
If you can do it, it's an amazing job and you never stop learning.
It sounds like you may have to do pre-health too, so more than likely allow 5 years, however you previous diploma will give you some credits but not as many as you may like.
Do not take the RPN as second prize purely from a financial point of view, it's simply not worth it. That is not to diminish RPNs in any way, they are fantastic co-workers, but they all complain about the financial differences, which is understandable as once you hit 8 years plus you often make 50% less and have way less job security.
Good luck, it's worth all the blood sweat and tears.
Jr. Member
User avatar
Dec 14, 2012
104 posts
Richmond Hill
When I was in nursing school, my final preceptor at my last clinical placement had gone to nursing school and graduated in her 60s after having worked as a bartender prior to. Plus when I had gone from highschool straight to the nursing program, I found that most of the people in my classes were coming from another program, older with families of their own, international students who were changing careers. So don't you worry about age. Never too old to learn.

I agree with a lot of what has been said above. Consider taking a pre-health program to increase your GPA for applying to a collaborative nursing program (ex. Ryerson-George Brown-Centennial or York-Seneca-Georgian). Speak with the academic/registration advisor of the respective schools you are interested in applying to before doing anything.

Most nursing programs are fairly structured and require to take courses in a particular order. You can consider doing elective courses prior to even applying to nursing programs and then ask the elective course you took to be counted. But again, consider speaking with registration/academic advisor.

I personally didn't find it challenging (I personally did not like advance functions in highschool). In most nursing programs there are some courses that include math (ex. statistics, research and basic medication calculations) and most of the 'science' based courses start from the beginning (ex. human anatomy and physiology, biology).

When you mean easier going... do you mean easy to get into? More flexible with work schedule?

Best of luck :)