Agism in nursing???? (furious rant potential) - page 8

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   WDWpixieRN
    Quote from RaElrA
    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 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.
    Perhaps the reason a 4.0 isn't as highly regarded is exactly for the reasons you outline....I don't care too much of what career you've chosen, unless you're the next Bill Gates, I think a "newby" should assume that you take what's available to you. You shouldn't expect to demand much more than that. Just because you've got the GPA, doesn't mean you've got a wit of common sense or compassion.
    I fully expect to work nights, holidays, weekends. I'm fortunate that my baby is leaving for college and starts school 90 minutes from me the same day I start school. Once I graduate, I'll be happy to weed through the job openings and hopefully at least find one in an area I enjoy working in. But as for the hours I work that unit, I'll take what I can get and be glad for the experience that moves me that much higher on the food chain!!:trout:
  2. by   aviator411
    gmta2000,

    Good for you! I salute you for your service to us all!

    I did 5 yrs w US Air Force during Viet Nam era but decided not to make a career out of it. Sometimes wonder if that was the best decision but no real regrets. Had a great time of it, many wonderful memories and experinces.

    Don't get me wrong. Ageism is not universal; it's where you find it; not everywhere. I don't give it a lot of thought because I know I can do a lot of good with the years I have left in spite what anyone thinks about my age.

    You KNOW your patients are going to appreciate your efforts if you do a good job for them (well, most of them). As long as they pay us on friday, who cares what anyone thinks about our age. And there is PLENTY of work out there for us! Even though most nursing schools have some sort of waiting list in recent years, I don't see a job shortage happening during my lifetime; probably never. I don't believe there will ever be enough people who are willing to do the work that nurses have to do and to put up with what nurses have to put up with to ever generate a surplus.

    wdwpixie,

    You are soo right. My wife knows her job well and I long ago learned that to argue is to waste both our time!

    Best of luck all,

    John
  3. by   nursemike
    I firmly disagree with the notion that one ought to approach a potential employer "cap in hand" and be willing to take whatever one can get. I certainly don't think having a lot to offer should be seen as a handicap, nor do I think many successful managers--in any field--will be intimidated by a well-qualified applicant.
    Of course it's useful to approach a job interview with a degree of flexibility. One of our primary functions, as employees, is to make our employers' lives easier. Rigid demands signal someone who is going to need a lot of placating. But confidence and a firm sense of one's goals are strengths, and if there are some employers who can't see that, there are others who can. Our profession happens to be very much in demand, at the moment, so it makes little sense to settle for something unsatisfactory.

    The nursing shortage doesn't mean one can waltz in and name one's terms and be assured of being hired. As Chris, and others, have shown, it doesn't even necessarily mean one will get a particular job one deserves. There are assuredly plenty of short-sighted and even incompetent managers and human resources personnel. But, with persistence, one can find a position that will suit one's needs.

    To those looking forward to graduation, I heartily recommend beginning the job search even before graduating. I was able to start my final semester with a position waiting for me, and didn't have to "bid" against a whole flock of new graduates. That option may not be available at every institution, but it's well worth looking into.
  4. by   chadash
    I think it is simply a fact of life, something we have to overcome with our attitude.
    Last edit by chadash on Aug 7, '06
  5. by   summerland5
    just because you have a 4.0 doesn't mean you don't have MORE common sense, compassion, and more than ALL the others either. the people who are the most interested and passionate about nsg. are inevitably the ones who make the best grades, and they usually do equally well in clinicals.
  6. by   Night Owl RN
    All of this talk of ageism in Nursing is extremely upsetting. I have a couple of classes to complete and I'll be ready for clinicals but, considering the wait list, I'll be 60 years old when I get my ADN. Actually, I haven't met or read of anyone my age just starting out in the profession and I am very concerned my age will be a negative factor when I begin a job search. It would be nice to find out now (before I invest anymore effort or money) if I will be able to work as a nurse. If I can't, striving for that goal will be more than frustrating.

    This is a third career for me and I already have a B.S. in Biology so I'll not likely pursue a BSN. I anticipate a 15-20 yr nursing career because I'm in excellent physical condition and don't intend to retire and rust. I just want to produce a "work product" that truly is useful for a change. In my past careers, my job duties contributed to corporate profit making and there didn't seem to be any real human benefit derived for any of it. I'm ready for a change, but I need to know, straight up, if my age will be a roadblock.
  7. by   WDWpixieRN
    Quote from Night_Owl
    In my past careers, my job duties contributed to corporate profit making and there didn't seem to be any real human benefit derived for any of it. I'm ready for a change, but I need to know, straight up, if my age will be a roadblock.
    I'm 10 years younger than you, and starting the RN program in a few weeks <EEEEK!>, and this has been a concern for me.....second career, holding a BS in MIS and also pursuing ASN rather than BSN.....if you search around on these threads (Pre-Student & General Student), I think your fears will be put to rest....there's plenty on this subject and believe it or not, you are NOT the oldest person who ever graduated from nursing school according to what I've read and been told!!

    By the way, your reasons for going back to school and in to this field are written so eloquently....I just gave my 2 weeks' at my IT job yesterday and don't know how I'm going manage financially without that check getting direct-deposited every 1st and 15th, want to get physically sick everytime I think about it, but am SO excited to be moving in to something that will hopefully make getting up in the morning (or at night!) feel worth it!!
  8. by   Night Owl RN
    Thanks for the encouragement wdwpixie. I, too,worked in IT for 15 years. The last job was a a Network Mgr for a national telecomm company and I was based in NY, NY. On call 24/7 for network outages, with 3 teenage boys and a husband in the Army, I developed superhuman powers that persist today. So the question in one's 50's becomes, "What am I supposed to do the rest of my life?" Already had my turn at the corporate ladder, kids are out of the nest & living in distant places, husband is functional workaholic, and both parents are gone. I'm not used up yet and nobody (even me) cares how great my home looks or whether my gardens are perfect. There must be some purposeful meaning to "the golden years" and I'm hoping the nursing profession will allow me to experience it.

    I notice you're from the midwest and so am I. Wouldn't it be surprising to find we're in the same area? Good luck on your new adventure in nursing school. I envy you because despite being mentally, financially, and academically ready, I'm struggling to get on as many waiting lists as possible with no chance of really digging into nursing until next fall at the earliest. My timing is off. I should have started planning for nursing school last fall or winter rather than in May.
  9. by   HARRN2b
    I guess I will just have to get a facelift. Do not want to but cannot afford to face age discrimination. My aunt had to get one to still look young and youthful to keep in the employment market. This is just the way our culture thinks.
  10. by   nursemike
    Quote from Night_Owl
    All of this talk of ageism in Nursing is extremely upsetting. I have a couple of classes to complete and I'll be ready for clinicals but, considering the wait list, I'll be 60 years old when I get my ADN. Actually, I haven't met or read of anyone my age just starting out in the profession and I am very concerned my age will be a negative factor when I begin a job search. It would be nice to find out now (before I invest anymore effort or money) if I will be able to work as a nurse. If I can't, striving for that goal will be more than frustrating.

    This is a third career for me and I already have a B.S. in Biology so I'll not likely pursue a BSN. I anticipate a 15-20 yr nursing career because I'm in excellent physical condition and don't intend to retire and rust. I just want to produce a "work product" that truly is useful for a change. In my past careers, my job duties contributed to corporate profit making and there didn't seem to be any real human benefit derived for any of it. I'm ready for a change, but I need to know, straight up, if my age will be a roadblock.
    Obviously can't speak for every unit in every facility, but I work in a hospital with half a dozen nursing schools in the area, including that of the institution itself, so I don't think we're as hard-hit by the nursing shortage as some. I had no trouble getting a job here at 48, but already had a foot in the door, since I'd worked there for 7 years as a UAP.
    We have a lot of candidates at the beginning of June, and a smaller wave near the end of December. In between, it seems like our NMs are always scrambling to find bodies to fill holes. I don't mean to sound unflattering--it's just that you can't stay open without nurses, and at times any nurse with a valid license is worth a shot.
    Age is a two-edged sword. The downside is pretty obvious, at least to us old farts. On the other hand, you probably won't get married and move away in the next year or so, your SO is probably pretty settled in his/her field and less likely to get transferred to Timuctu, and you may well be pretty accustomed to the notion of working for a living.
    A lot of the nurses I work with are my age, or older. Granted, they have a lot more experience than I do, but we have a lot of other things in common, like realistic expectations of life, a tendancy not to panic over little stuff, and a sort of glazed-over expression whenever we hear Iron Butterfly. At least some of these traits are advantagious to a nurse.

    Of the five nurses hired to my unit when I started, two remain after a year. Hiring a nurse is a crap shoot--the odds of keeping them more than 5 years are definitely against management, regardless of age. There are just too many other opportunities. So it isn't as though the 25-yr-olds you'll be competing with are likely to be there in 5-10 years. You'll see dozens of new nurses come and go before you retire.
    Last edit by nursemike on Jul 28, '06
  11. by   HappyNurse2005
    All of this talk of ageism in Nursing is extremely upsetting. I have a couple of classes to complete and I'll be ready for clinicals but, considering the wait list, I'll be 60 years old when I get my ADN. Actually, I haven't met or read of anyone my age just starting out in the profession and I am very concerned my age will be a negative factor when I begin a job search. It would be nice to find out now (before I invest anymore effort or money) if I will be able to work as a nurse. If I can't, striving for that goal will be more than frustrating.

    This is a third career for me and I already have a B.S. in Biology so I'll not likely pursue a BSN. I anticipate a 15-20 yr nursing career because I'm in excellent physical condition and don't intend to retire and rust. I just want to produce a "work product" that truly is useful for a change. In my past careers, my job duties contributed to corporate profit making and there didn't seem to be any real human benefit derived for any of it. I'm ready for a change, but I need to know, straight up, if my age will be a roadblock
    I graduated in May 2005 with a man who was 60 years old when we graduated. There is a 72 year old nurse on my floor-who does nights! Like i tell my patients, its not how many birthdays you've had, its how you feel
  12. by   chadash
    Quote from HARRN2b
    I guess I will just have to get a facelift. Do not want to but cannot afford to face age discrimination. My aunt had to get one to still look young and youthful to keep in the employment market. This is just the way our culture thinks.
    Ouch!
    I don't think I want to alter my naturally wizened appearance just to get a job. But, you might be right.
    But then, do you really want to work for an organization that factors in your physical appearance when considering you for employment? If they don't see the value of your wisdom and life experience, what are they looking for?
    Just visited a hospital website to find I have been dropped for consideration for three more jobs. I know it is a good hospital, and I am really not sure what my problem is, but they haven't even seen me yet, so it can't be my cute little old lady wrinkles!
    Accept yourself, don't change a thing! It is inevitable, they will get old too!
  13. by   summerland5
    You are right-a facelift might be needed by all of us older gals.
    i know i could use one (51) and even though nsg is a second career for me, too, i'd rather have a facelit than continually be discriminated against by other nurses and/or physicians

    i doubt the pts care about age-many would probably prefer older nurses-how many 25 year olds have heart attacks or cancer or need gallbladder surgery?!?

    shouldn't be this way-a terrible reality!

    a face lift might not overcome all agism in getting jobs, but it would certainly help ON the job!

    I think we older ladies will make much better nurses than most of the younger grads!
    Last edit by summerland5 on Jul 28, '06

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