? age limit to practice as R.N.

  1. hello again,
    is there an upper age limit for being allowed to work as an R.N. in the States....does it differ from state to state?
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   2banurse
    I can't think that there would be any set nursing age limitation. I would think it would depend more on the nurse who applies to see if they would be able to deal with all the nursing responsibilities. Also, because it can be quite hard on the body, being on your feet for very long shifts and having to do a lot of strenuous activity, it is usually the nurse who decides when it is enough for them. I don't think that any able bodied nurse is going to be refused if they can handle the job, especially with the current nursing shortage.

    Kris
  4. by   Agnus
    NO. Federal age discrimination laws protect us against this.
    I have known nurses paracticing well into thier 70's and have know one who was 80.
  5. by   Agnus
    I see from your profile that you are still a young-un. I trust you are not asking as you think you may be entering the profession too late? I was 50 when I entered.
  6. by   Jenny P
    I know several nurses that are still practicing here (in Mn.) in their mid 70's. These are very vital women who leave me awe-struck whenever I run into them. What is even more impressive is the group of retired nurses that I know who still put in full days of work as volunteers at several hospitals around here. These gals are ages 75-85 and are still globe-trotting and working in busy specialty hospitals (3 work in the eye hospital I've taken relatives to; these 3 have been there 3-4 days /week in between their trips to Israel, Turkey, and Eygpt!). There are also several nurses who volunteer in our very busy surgical waiting room--they don't get paid for the stress they put themselves in!

    I think it's the old saying "Once a nurse, always a nurse!"
  7. by   Jenny P
    Agnus, you were 50 when you became a nurse? I thought you were one of us old-time nurses and not just one of us old-timers! You give such GOOD old NURSING advice!!

    Love you! Keep on giving that good advice!
  8. by   researchrabbit
    My mom practiced well into her 70s!
  9. by   momrn50
    I work almost eveyday with a wonderful nurse who is 73...she is much better and a lot more fun than some of the younger nurses I work with...in fact she is going white water rafting with her grandson this summer...
  10. by   zudy
    A friend of mine once told me about a nurse that was 91 when she retired from our local VA hospital, on a med-surg floor. I can't imagine. It's all I can do to drag myself out of bed some days.
  11. by   llg
    You don't even have to be alive to have a license! A friend told me about one man she had heard of who kept up his late wife's nursing license for many after she died "because it meant so much to her."

    While I would not want to see an age limit imposed, the issue is going to become a more serious one as the baby-boomers age and don't retire early. From an administrator's point-of-view, we may start having problems with increasing errors, the need for more "breaks" during work, shorter shifts, etc. as those who are not "aging well" and are having trouble keeping current hang on to their jobs longer than they should.

    While some of the needs of the aging nursing workforce may result in some positive changes within the profession, there may be some people who stay in some jobs longer than is safe. My family had some concerns for my father (a physician) as he neared retirement. We worried about his possibility of making a big mistake and were VERY relieved when he finally retired. Similarly, I have worked with a few people (nurses, secretaries, etc.) who seemed to have trouble keeping up with changes in the work environment, new technology, etc. The concerns are very legitimate and we will have to deal with them. We can't pretend they don't exist -- although some people are wonderfully healthy and professionally competent well past the usual retirement age.

    Good question.
    llg
  12. by   K O'Malley
    As long as you have a pulse you can practice.LOL!
  13. by   emily_mom
    We have an RN who is 82 on our floor....has been on that same floor for 47 years!!! Worked at the hospital for 58. She knows her stuff and can work harder than most of us!!! A true inspiration to us all!!

    Kristy
  14. by   azgirl
    I worked with an RN who was 80. She went down to PT at about 82. She was dependable and a good nurse. Might be some hope for us yet.

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