I am 46 years old, soon to be 47. Objectively, I look 10 to 15 years younger than my chronological age. People are very suprised when they learn just how "old" I am (LOL). I have noticed in my intensive care unit that there is a significant division between the "older" and "younger" nurses. (A very large percentage of our nurses in the unit are NEW GRADS... the subject of another topic.) I try very hard to relate to both groups. It is more than age difference, I find it is a cultural difference, generation gap issues. The younger folks have been brought up in an entirely different world than we "older" folks knew, with vastly different belief systems and morals. Regardless of the age differences, it is vitally important that we all work together as a team. In terms of keeping up, it is STRESSFUL (physically, emotionally, mentally) for ANYONE who works in our unit, regardless of age. I take tons of supplements just to feel on top. I go to work with my "skates on," ready to run all 12 hours, if need be. Don't know how long I can keep up with this pace, don't even think about it much, so far I'm OKAY. There are many forty-something nurses on our unit (including the assistant nurse manager), but NO fifty-something nurses. Don't know why. Turnover is terrible in our unit anyway. Rarely does someone stay longer than 3 years. There is a smaller hospital in my home town (in which I work parttime) that is much more older-nurse friendly. This smaller hospital has great nurse-patient ratios, offers 8 hour and 12 hour shifts, is a non-profit institution versus profit institution (this would make an interesting subject for another discussion thread), and has LOTS of older nurses at the bedside (some are close to 70 years in age!). I have decided if life gets too brutal in the "fast lane" (my present unit), I will switch to the smaller, more nurse-friendly facility .