Agism in nursing???? (furious rant potential) - page 7

I gave up just short of $1,000 in pay in order to attend an internship fair at Baylor Medical Center in Dallas in October. I dressed up, polished up my resume, made a bunch of copies. I shook... Read More

  1. by   aviator411
    Very well-written GB61,

    It also often has to do with competence and self-confidence of the management. Weak managers tend to be very insecure about having subordinates with more experience or ability than they do. They have an inordinate need to be surrounded by newbies who are easily snowed and pushed around and who will look up to them.

    My wife has been a neonatal RN ever since the unit was established here 30 years ago. On her 30th anniversary with the unit a couple weeks ago, her HN didn't even acknowledge that she existed. She goes out of her way to make the environment as unfriendly and uninviting as possible for those who helpled establish the unit 30 years ago with the obvious agenda of getting rid of those who know more about the business than she does; she took the HN position just a few years ago when the very first HN retired. Her long-term predecessor suffered no such insecurity and welcomed those with more experience and utilized their knowledge and experience as the valuable resources they are. The new HN loves to be surrounded by new grads who have had little opportunity to get to know the neonatal business and many of whom have little interest in learning it.

    I tell my wife, "If you went into nursing to be liked and appreciated and treated fairly, you did it for the wrong reasons"! It is, after all, supposed to be about the PATIENTS. My wife loves the clinical work and the patients but it is very frustrating for her to see them receive less than optimal care because of inept managment.

    I'm preparing to enter nursing as a second career at age 62. My wife thinks I'm crazy. She's never been wrong about anything yet!
  2. by   RNBSN2DFW
    I REEEeeeally hate hearing this stuff. I am a new graduate/older student. Second degree, second career after retiring from the military. I also have a pretty impressive resume. The last thing I want to hear is that my age will be a factor. So far I love the field and know that I've made the correct choice in choosing nursing - however - I also chose nursing because of the 'supposed' nursing shortage and the fact I thought my age wouldn't make a difference....Now I'm hearing it will!!!:angryfire
  3. by   RNBSN2DFW
    I REEEeeeally hate hearing this stuff. I'[EVIL][/EVIL]m a new graduate/older student. Second degree, second career after retiring from the military. I also have a pretty impressive resume. The last thing I want to hear is that my age will be a factor. So far I love the field and know that I've made the correct choice in choosing nursing - however - I also chose nursing because of the 'supposed' nursing shortage and the fact I thought my age wouldn't make a difference....Now I'm hearing it will!!!:angryfire
  4. by   WDWpixieRN
    Quote from aviator411
    I'm preparing to enter nursing as a second career at age 62. My wife thinks I'm crazy.
    As an "older" person myself, getting ready to start nursing school in August, I applaud you!! Best wishes!!

    But as for your wife's thinking, that, too, is part of her "job"....we all think our husbands are crazy!! :roll
  5. by   SCGreywolf
    To all the folks out there that are worried about age discrimination.

    I am 60 years old, traveling for a living, work ICU. I have my MSN AND an MBA. I have been turned down for assignments after the interview....and I have turned THEM down....simply because I wasn't a good fit to their needs. Usually, it was because I was overqualified and they were afraid I would intimidate the young nurses on the unit (OBTW, I'm male). Don't blame it on the age....step back and look at it from the employer's side....do you fit their unit? would your personality be abrasive to their charge nurse (or them)? could you withstand the doctors and their personalities?

    I do not want to sound like 'Pollyanna' and declare there is no discrimination. Because there IS discrimination based on age...just as there is discrimination based on skin color, sex and (if you are in the southeast) religion...You better be a Baptist, boy!! (I actually had that comment made to me by a nurse manager). Thing is...do you REALLY want to work for people that have this bias but hire you anyway? I believe that life with them would be miserable. Plus you have the usual problem>>>PROVE that they discriminated!!! I don't care if its age related, sex related etc....TRY to PROVE it!! Dang near impossible. The only thing I can say is that in 23 years as an RN, I have been without a job approximately 2 months total. And I never worked for an employer longer than 5 years. I have never had anyone turn me down because of age.....I did lose one assignment because they wanted to float me to L & D and they didn't think a male should be in there....that was ok 'cause I didn't WANT to go there.

    18 days and countin'...and Mama's waitin' at the door
    the wolf
  6. by   HARRN2b
    I actually got my first taste of age discrimination when I was 30 and applied for a sales position with a well known company, that everyone here would know. I went on to work for their competitor for 10 years. However, they had the attitude "churn them and burn them". My boss with 15 years experience and a wonderful manager, was let go. He was replaced with, you guessed it, someone around 25. Nursing is a second career for me, and I sure hope not to encounter ageism. My God, in this society is one only good for about 10 years, and after that throw them out in the pasture!
  7. by   Selke
    The good news is that, there is growing awareness among nurse researchers and hoo-has that the nurse workforce is aging and that, hey! older experienced bedside nurses just aren't just a drag on the budget and are walking potential workmen's comp claims, but actually have positives to offer, so we better find ways to retain them! (Sorry, do I sound cynical? I remember not long ago in the 1990s when management scrambled to find reasons to justify laying off older, higher paid RNs to save $$$) However, there is at least a 10 - 15 year time lag for latest research to trickle down to nursing management level, so they'd better hurry up so we don't all leave or retire early. Medscape has had a few articles recently on this.

    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/537115?src=mp

    And just discovered their bb:

    http://boards.medscape.com/forums?14@@.29d5670b

    I've also read more articles on how to adapt work environments to physical limitations of "older" RNs because we need to retain them at the bedside, but don't have references at my fingertips. Strangely, these are the same suggestions, such as lift teams, and other ergonomic adaptations of hospital nursing, that we've been trying to get going for decades for overall safety and to decrease wear and tear on ALL RNs -- if you help save the body of the 20-something RN, she's less likely to physically burn out and get injured and leave the profession in her 40's.

    (BTW, I think older "newer" nurses also have as much to offer as older RNs -- from your life experiences and prior work experiences. I'm 49, anyway. And young RNs have a lot going for them, too -- I personally do not believe age in healthcare professions is an either/or !!!!! We are all in this together and need to support each other.)
  8. by   Shaneomac
    There is ageism in Nursing, I am a student and I get treated like an amatuer. But I am an amatuer so maybe I'm wrong.
  9. by   gauge14iv
    Quote from Shaneomac
    There is ageism in Nursing, I am a student and I get treated like an amatuer. But I am an amatuer so maybe I'm wrong.
    Hehehehe - that made me laugh.

    it *IS* hard being an older student - you are wise, but you just dont know all the NURSING stuff so people treat you like a little kid. This too shall pass - soon enough you will not be a student anymore.
  10. by   catlady
    Before crying "age discrimination," you have to be sure there was nothing else that ruled you out as a candidate. Presumably if you were called in for an interview, they found something in your resume that was positive, despite knowing from your years of experience that you weren't 21. So look at your interview skills. Did you come across as experienced, or know-it-all? Was the first thing out of your mouth a demand that you be paid at the top of the pay scale? Did you focus on how wonderful you were at all the other jobs you've had, forgetting to let the interviewer know why you want and will be successful in *this* job? Did you dress appropriately, or did you pull out that outfit that looked really great on you in 1986, or worse, show up straight from work in your teddy bear scrubs? Did you make the mistake of assuming your experience would speak for itself, and forget that you still have to sell yourself and make a great impression?

    I say this, being middle-aged myself and having felt the pinch of age discrimination. I do believe it exists, but before waving that flag, make sure it's the real reason you didn't get the job.
  11. by   printernurse
    My take is that hospitals are more willing to train younger nurses as they are considered a better investment. I don't necessarily agree with this. My haunch is that they believe that if they train a younger nurse that that nurse will be with them for a lot longer. Again not necessarily true. Hospitals also pay attention to GPA and past work record. I have a friend who just graduated. She is 62 years old with a GPA of 2.1. She was also dismissed form her last job for reasons that were not entirely her fault. She has applied to many places and only receive a couple of interviews. I applies to 4 places and got interviews on 2 floors at each place. Neither place hired me. I had a 3.1 GPA in nursing classes and a 3.8 in every in all other classes. I was a little bit bumed out as part of the reason I went into nursing was because of the supposed easy of getting a job. I was especially surprised that I did not get a job one of the hospitals as it has a large spanish speaking population with few nurses who speak spanish. The next 2 places that I applied I was offered jobs almost on the spot. I don't kwow if it was age discrimination at the first 2 places or perhaps they had too many new grads. I do know that both still have many want ads posted. My guess is that every new grad will get a job, but that they will have to be willing to take less desirable positions and shifts, i.e. a med/surge floor 3:00 PM till 11:30 PM to start out.
  12. by   burn out
    Discrimination against the aging worker is not just contained in the nursing field. I think that as the age for retirement goes up that there will be more older people forced in the job market and will be seen as a threat by the younger work force and therfore target of more discrimination. These people need to realize that we are their future and how they deal with us now will be how they are dealt with when they reach our age.
  13. by   RaElrA
    Your post struck fear in my heart. After breathing into a paper bag for a few minutes, I can attempt to reply. I am currently a student and will be (augh!) 57 when I graduate. I wish I had done this a few years ago, but wishing serves no purpose. Onward, through the fog! I spoke with several of my clients who are nurses because I did not trust the advisors at the college (they, after all, want my money). Every single person told me no, no, no ageism is at play. What is at play, according to the nurses, is being a newby. I have been told to be humble, smile, take the crappy job and shift, and be happy--in the beginning. It makes sense to me. Strangely, I have been told over and over that having a 4.0 is not as attractive to potential employers as, perhaps, a 3.5. I dont' understand, but I've been told too many times to not believe it. I too have a 4.0, and should it not "take care of itself" (and I feel confident it will) by the time I am finishing school, I will make sure that I drop it a smidge before I finish. I had a friend who thought she was experiencing ageism when she graduated, but then I realized that she was asking for specific floors, hours, no weekends, etc. She knocked it down a notch and got hired. No offense, but perhaps you should try being more "hat in hand"? Get your foot in the door first.

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