Am I Too "old" To Return To Hospital Nursing??help!

  1. I'VE BEEN A NURSE FOR 34 YEARS, WORKED IN CCU FOR 15 YEARS, HAD CHILDREN, RETURNED TO GET A BSN, NOW A STAFF DEVELOPER IN LTC WITH GERI-CERTIFICATION. LOVE TO TEACH, BUT I'M REALLY WANTING TO RETURN TO A HOSPITAL SETTING, PROBABLY ONCOLOGY. IT IS MY I'ST "LOVE" AND NOW THAT KIDS ARE OLDER I'M READY FOR A CHANGE...BUT DOI NEED TO DO A "REFRESHER" OR JUST TAKE THE CHALLENGE? I HAVE REMAINED CLINICALLY UPDATED, WITH CLINICAL SKILL BEING MY STRONGEST POINT. MY PROBLEM :WILL A HOSPITAL EVEN CONSIDER SOMEONE WHO IS OLDER AND BEEN AWAY FROM ACUTE CARE? ANYONE WHO HAS ANY THOUGHTS I'D APPRECIATE. MY PASSION IS STILL NURSING!
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  2. 26 Comments

  3. by   Anaclaire
    Since your clinical skills are up to date, why don't you try to take the challenge? After all, if you pass it you won't need to take the refresher course for that. On the other hand, I've heard only good comments from nurses who took the refresher courses saying that they were very helpful in more ways than just clinical skills. If you have the time and inclination, a refresher course would just show your prospective employer how much you care to be up on everything. Your future coworkers would have less to "complain" about if they would be the least bit catty about things. As far as I can see, they would all be thankful beyond belief to have you working with them... with your experience and education... all this comes into play and should only be a help... not a hinderance.

    Good luck! Let us know how it turns out, okay? You'll find lots of support here, you know!!

    Warmly,
    Anaclaire
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    If you feel well and your heart is in it, I say welcome back, sister. We would love to have you back, Liz. My aunt has been a peds nurse 42 years......she tried "retirement" for a couple years and could not do it...so now she's back and loving it. YOU ARE NOT TOO OLD if you feel up to it! Experience like yours is priceless!
  5. by   live4today
    I think nurses are like teachers.....never too old to give of themselves in a helping capacity such as human service fields. There's a place for you, I'm sure...and I wish you well in finding that perfect job just for you. :kiss
  6. by   LPN & EMT-CT
    You are only as you feel!!! GO for it. Good luck.
  7. by   renerian
    I hope your not to old! I have been away from acute care since 92. I worked in home health and long term care since 91. I found no traveling company would take me till I got at least 6 months to a year recent acute care. My goal is to travel. I did home health traveling and loved it except getting to know a county or two was really hard......to much driving. I am starting back to oncology on 9/10. I think you should go for it. I am not taking a refresher course. I think I just need to learn the equipment and their systems................ I am going to renew my chemo classes and get tele training.....................let me know what you decide........
  8. by   nimbex
    too old? NEVER Think of all the new grads each year that face the challenge of starting on a unit, knowing only the basics and making a go of it successfully, purely because this is what they want.

    If our newbies can do this, you are more than well prepared with a WEALTH of professional and life experiences that will ease the transition.

    You have many assets that you'll bring to any unit..... you know the commercial..."Just DO IT!"

    GOOD LUCK, best wishes

    carol
  9. by   jnette
    You are NEVER too old to do what you love if you love what you do ! Hey, I'm 53 and am just NOW getting my Nursing degree ! And I intend to put in a good many years of fulltime nursing... because it's what I love to do ! From there springs forth your strength, your joy, your commitment, your ability, your endurance. DO WHAT YOU LOVE ! Jnette soon 2bRN
  10. by   renerian
    jnette Good for you.........................what type of floor do you want to work on? Hey I got my BS at 44 after being out of school 15 years. I am working on my MS at 45 and plan to be done in less than one year.........

    You go girlllllll..............


    renerian
  11. by   Dr. Kate
    If you're interested in doing it, you're not too old.
    Since you want to go into oncology, I'd suggest you take a basic oncology course and a chemo certification course. While many places will send you to these classes, it's always a plus on your side to be able to go in having already taken them. It confirms your interest and desire to be in oncology.
    You might also want to look into the Oncology Nurses Society.
  12. by   GailWHNP
    Hi, Liz . . .
    Nursing is my second career. I received my BSN when 42 yrs old, worked with the state for a year as my kids were in elementary school (hey, I knew all about birth control!), then as a nurse practitioner until the last child was in high school. I had to relocate in '99 due to family illness and took my first hospital job as there was no NP position available. I absolutely *love* working in L&D. I was oriented to the unit for two months and sent to the hospital's OB nursing class. So, I seriously doubt you're too old! I am the type of person who believes in going for what you want to do, so you go, girl!
    Gail
  13. by   Tephra
    Hi Liz --
    First, you're never too old for anything if your heart's in it. So go girl!

    But.. second, be prepared. We joke that I'm the "unit hag" (at 37!) on my shift in ICU. I love it (I'm very immature, LOL!)! But there are a few 20-somethings with a bit of arrogance out there (not getting on 20-somes in general! but I've seen a few scary individuals). Take the refresher -- you'll meet a few like-minded folks and can form a good support network. I don't have the same needs/interests as a 22-year-old in his/her first job, and you likely don't either.

    Third... hospitals are no more "nurse-friendly" than they've ever been. Staffing is often a joke or a nightmare at many (MOST???) places. Being told to "make do" still happens, admin pushes for "customer service" while ignoring basic safety, mandatory overtime is often an issue, and some families think "hospital" is the long form of "hotel". Just be *prepared*.

    And good luck! Let us know how it goes.
  14. by   jnette
    Hey there ! I'm currently working as a hemodialysis tech at a small clinic..(about 30 pts.) and have been there 5 yrs. Intend to stay there for awhile yet because I really do love it (except for getting up at 0330) and am very attached to my patients. But am looking to work at a hospital nearby prn as well on their med/surge floor after I get my licence to use some other skills as well since we are so dialysis specific... limited in what we do there. There's much I want to learn and experience, and I'm not quitting til I fall over dead ! Heck, who can afford to retire these days, anyway !? Wonder if you can still nurse in a wheelchair? Heh, heh...

    See ya, and good luck in persuing your dreams as well !

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