Age Discrimination

  1. Has anybody experienced age discrimination as a result of applying for a nursing position? I am in my first semester of nursing school and when finished will be the ripe old age of 46.

    I had not have given the idea of age discrimination much thought until I read an article about a nurse in her mid-fifties who was discriminated against. She was in excellent physical condition, and had 20 years of nursing experience on her resume, but was unable to find a job anywhere. She thought that maybe the hospitals she applyed to could find a much less experenced nurse and pay them a lot less.

    I am just a bit concerned.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Stephen
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   ptnurse
    I have never had a problem or heard of anyone else having a problem in nursing because of age.
  4. by   traumaRUs
    I'm 44 yrs old - have been a nurse ten years and never have I had a problem with getting a job. I'm able to run rings around a lot of younger nurses, because of my experience and organization.
  5. by   Totone656
    Don't know if you want to call this age discrimination or what. I got my licence last year, applied at a local hospital and oriented on a Med/Surg floor only on 11-7 shift. Orientation lasted 8 weeks only because I did not feel comfortable at the end of 6 weeks. A new nurse who is coming to the 11-7 shift has gotten 16 weeks of orientation on all shifts. My age 48-her age way below mine!
    For some reason because of my age the staff tends to think I have the same or more experince then they do. I am constantly reminding them I am no different then the younger person....no experince and scared stiff!
    Is it age discrimination? I really don't know.
  6. by   NMAguiar
    I'll be 42 when I complete the nursing program I'm currently in. And I'm below the average age in my school. The oldest student is 58 years old while the youngest is in her mid-20s.

    Age discrimination? With this nursing shortage, they're hiring any candidate with a pulse on the West Coast. As long as you don't dirty your diapers during the interview ... you're HIRED! :roll
  7. by   shodobe
    Just turned the big 50! I have 25years and there isn't anyone out there that can work any harder than I. I work two jobs and put in about 14 hours a day and plenty more in overtime. They are correct when saying if you got a pulse your hired. But to get the best job and the best hours you still need the experience, so just because you have a license that doesn't mean a thing to me unless you have something to back it up. Good luck and don't let anybody push you around just because you look like their mother or father! Mike
  8. by   researchrabbit
    Heck, with the economy and retirement the way it is now, they will have to pry my stethoscope out of my cold dead hand -- yep, planning to work till I die at this point!

    Seriously, I'm 45 (46 in November, everybody remember I have a birthday coming up) and I have been offered a job at almost every place I've applied.
  9. by   cactus wren
    I graduated from nursing school at 44, was the only grandma in my class. have never had a problem with age at all. Was a traveler for several years after my youngest flew the coop. Now settled at what i hope will be my last job, before retiring. My NM and I sometimes talk about how we will still be walking the halls with our walkers ,hope I don`t have to be at this that long.....:roll But, the way the stock market has affected my retirement funds..............................maybe....
  10. by   CaliNurse
    I have never seen age discrimination in nursing. In hospitals yes, nursing staff no.

    There is such a shortage that they will take anyone who interviews well where I work. We have found with the younger new nurses that they often are not mature enough to communicate as an employee. We usually see more "no call / no shows" from younger nurses. I don't want to say younger nurses are not responsible but I do want to say that your personal maturity is an good thing to have under the belt.

    Welcome to the world of nursing,

    Cali
  11. by   RainbowSkye
    Hey, I'm 49 and have been a nurse 28 years. I have never been turned down for a job (at age 20 going on 21 for my first job or at age 46 when I started my current job). Right now I'm working in an itty-bitty rural ER while I'm going to school. Yup, I just started NP school. I wouldn't worry about being too old at all. Good luck, and have fun.
  12. by   sjoe
    Stephen--think of it this way.

    If you were the nurse recruiter for a hospital that was short-staffed, and that was ALWAYS going to be short-staffed (among its other common problems), and you had some med-surg positions to fill and you didn't want these people to leave right away (because that would make more work for you when you had to again fill the same position), who would you hire?

    1) A person with enough experience and years to be able to quickly assess the situation, see its major problems, attempt to correct them, realize nothing was going to change, become frustrated and leave, OR

    2) A person with little experience or sufficient naivete, who would think that everything wrong was HER fault or her inexperience, was so eager to please that she'd not make any waves, would work overtime or double shifts without complaint, have no life but that of the hospital, be young/compliant enough to be willing to go along with whatever was the "norm" on the unit, and take several years to figure out what the real situation was before she left to go elsewhere or to quit nursing altogether.

    ???

    Note to PC readers: female pronouns used to avoid stylistic awkwardness (and also because over 96% of bedside RNs are female--the same percentage it was just after WWI).
    Last edit by sjoe on Sep 30, '02
  13. by   live4today
    I sure hope my age won't keep someone from hiring me. If it does, I may have to go "political' on someone. :chuckle :kiss
  14. by   LasVegasRN
    When I've interviewed nurses for positions before, I didn't take into consideration their age. What I DID take under consideration was their appearance - if they appeared extremely fragile or "sickly" (for lack of a better term) I would really look at their employment history closer for any gaps. The obvious concern was attendance issues. But, you can be of any age to bring that concern with a prospective employer.

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