The Aging Nurse in the Workplace - page 4

GOTCHA!!!!! I haven't written a 'scholarly' anything since college, and I'm not about to start again at this late date. Come didn't really think I was serious, did you? :rotfl: What... Read More

  1. by   augustgirl
    I will say a prayer for you tonight .... that you will have a new job, your home is saved and money is once again flowing.
  2. by   Pgeidel
    I am 56 and have been an Lpn for 36 yrs. I am so burnt out and with less and less options for us job wise, I feel really trapped. I am even considering retraining in another field. There has to be a light at the end of the tunnel!
  3. by   No Stars In My Eyes
    Quote from Pgeidel
    I am 56 and have been an Lpn for 36 yrs. I am so burnt out and with less and less options for us job wise, I feel really trapped. I am even considering retraining in another field. There has to be a light at the end of the tunnel!

    Yeah, it's a sad state of affairs when a person can't retire out of their cherished career and have to consider becoming a grocery bagger (my situation). I'm not looking to haul in retirement bennies, I'm just talking about job satisfaction. I don't know what else I would want to do for work, nor can I imagine what I would go back to school to train to do. Office work would kill my soul. And who wants to hire someone with three years to go until retirement age? (Not that I'll get to retire) This is the career I dedicated myself to, and about which everyone said, " You don't have to worry, you'll ALWAYS have a job because everybody gets sick and needs a nurse sooner or later." Well, HA-HA=HA, jokes on us!
  4. by   likely2succeed
    I have been nursing for around 31 years. I guess I can consider myself a " Jack of all Trades. " I have a wealth of knowledge in most nursing areas. I took the CMSRN test without studying for it in 2009.( bragging, I know.) I worked in a brand new University Hospital. I helped with opening up 4 brand new units. I was in a charge position for 7 years with this particular hospital. I had lots of confidence and finally felt that this is good position to be in, for once in my life.

    I Have all this knowledge bottled up inside of me but after a job transfer for my husband ( in another state) I quite my job at this large University to help support him ( mentally ). Being also in his 50's brought a lot of fear in starting a new job with new demands. So, off we went starting a new chapter and an adventure in our lives.

    Well, as you can guess it my husband job didn't work out for him. We tucked our tails in and came back to the state that we loved. I thought no problem I can go an apply at the hospital that I spent the last 9 years with and get my job back or at least a job that would be just as satisfying. The hospital policy was if you return to work for them within one year after leaving, that all of your senority, PTO and pay would still be in play and resumed, as if nothing happened.

    Well, much to my surprise it wasn't that easy, either. Never assume anything !! Remember what assumes mean. You make an Ass out of U and Me. Heard a lot of excuses from them. It's their fiscal year on budgets ( and Yes, I made a lot of money ) top of the pay scale they said. And yes, they also were training for a new computerized charting. So, after many dedicated years to them I found myself as well, out of a job for over 6 months. Either I was " over qualified " for jobs that I applied for or I didn't have the " enough experience " for that particular job.

    This left a bitter taste in my mouth. Legally they can't discriminate against you but when these managers have a hiring committee to interview you and of course they are all young. Who kidding who ? It's these young nurses who determine who they want to play with. I have seen it first hand. My last manager wanted me on this committee along with other nurses between the ages of 25 -35. All these nurses that came in for an interview where late baby boomers or Generation x er's. These young nurses didn't care if they ( older nurses ) could bring knowledge or expertice to the table . They seemed to be worried about if they could carry their work load or " fit in." I was slightly appalded at their approach. As a baby boomer we have had the previlage of seeing the change in medical technology explode ! We have gone from SOAP notes to computerized charting. We have a lot of experience and knowledge to give. We even gave input on how computerize charting should be developed. Yet, we are looked at not as contributors but as henderences. Whatever happened to bridging the generational gap ??

    So, now I had to go outside this wonderful hospital and seek employment somewhere else. I took a $25,000 cut and had to start out at the bottom, forced to work nights. For crying out loud I paid my dues !!! I worked night for over 22 years yet, here I am again working nights.

    It seems like I am not the only nurse out there that has had this problem. Don't get me wrong I am grateful that this other hospital gave me the opportunity to work for them. Went for an interview on July 29th and was called 2 hrs after the interview and was offered the job. What did they see in me that the other hospital didn't ? Maybe, they seen the diamond in the rough. Maybe they seen knowledge and stabilty behind the gray hair, soft limps and wrinkles. And the knowledge...well, let's not forget about that. It's priceless !!!
  5. by   No Stars In My Eyes
    I read here about so many of us thrown over because of age/budget/etc. issues. I was going to write that I wish all HP people could/would read this thread and others dealing with similar issues, but you know what? I don't have a heck of a lot of confidence that it would penetrate and stick.
    There is this big, huge social shift going on and things like that seem to have to run their course before things change again, and even then the changes aren't always for the better; I have yet to see things go "back to a better time".
    Don't know the answer; can't solve the world; I'm just waiting ( while I search and make applications ) for ONE PERSON who has the brains and vision to hire me! WHERE ARE YOU?????
  6. by   pyegirlrn
    Yes, I have been a nurse since 1981 and am too young to retire, but at the top of my pay scale. The administration is looking at me as a liability and they have already started firing those nurses who are costing them too much money. It is only a matter of time before they come after me. I am armed with a pocket recorder which is legal in my state if one of the parties knows they are being taped (me). If any references are made regarding my age or pay scale, I will have them. I am tired of being a victim in this "right to work" state.
  7. by   kcmylorn
    I too am in your shoes- I am the same age -56, old enough to have a cap in the closet, have been unemployed, on the verge of loosing my house, filled and still in- bankrupcy, Taking what ever RN position , I can get which has been bouncing around from temporary job to temporary job. My nursing experience has been 30 yr of all hospital bedside- in all most every speciality( med/surg/oncology/critical care/ endoscopy, outpt surgery- none under a year experience) that's in those stinking hospitals and still not able to land a full time position like in the days of old. They do not want us seasoned nurses. All of you have the same thought on the why's I do- we cost too much, top of the pay scale, age discrimiation. They assume we all have health issues that make us unemployable- well to me that would be dead- wouldn't it? Diabetics work, Cardiacs work. No more talk of going out in the woods- Angel0127- you said you were a case manager- there are places hiring seasoned case mananger- what about looking into the travel nursing agencies, I don't know where you are located but what about chart auditis, the state Dept of Health, local public Health agencies, Home health. I am considering Home Health for myself. If I had case management experience- I would be filling out applications for medassurant, Medisys, insurance companies and looking up all the nursing agencies( Medstaff, progressive, Onward, On-assignment, Favorite, Cross country, American Mobile) These nursing agenies are now acting a permanent placement agencies- they have had to reinvent themselves to stay in business since the hospitals stopped using agency nurses. The agency positions are starting topick up again, and they have branched out into CM, DM and UM. Check out their websites just for fun. The great majority of travel nurses are older nurses. What about looking on the VA or Indian health depending on where you are located. The pay for CM/UM is higher than for me- a clinical nurse. I also took a $23,000 pay cut, but it was better than unemployment- I was drowning in debt real fast. Thank God it was for 1 year, gave me a chance to get caught up again for next unemployment round. The others were only 6 months. I took a per deim position at a hospital and was getting canceled. Then the NM found out that I was a temp at the state DOH- she didn't like that and terminated me. I made the decrese in pay work- I cut off all the lights I'm not using, replaced all the light bulbs with the CFI's, discontinued my cavle TV service except the internet and landline phone, grocery shop at Walmart, stay out of the dept stores, conserve gas by combining trips, sign up for paperless incentives on bills and bank account- gets cash back, fixed every leaky faucet in the house. This current temp position I applied to online at the The goverment likes/prefers, us old nurses. It's in a governemnt clinic( another new speciality for me). They respect us for our experience. I told onecivilian HR person when I went on an interview- " this is what happens when you push us old nurses out and don't hire us older nurses, we start gaining experience in other specialites to add to our resumes!! Not what she was expecting to hear. I guess I was suppose to gravel and plead... Some of the recent posts to this thread sound exactly like what I have experienced. Nursing is not real kind to it's older nurses anymore. So much for aging in place- and we're only in our 50's and 60's. To the other posters who are on unemployment- collect your unemployment and do some odd jobs under the table: take seniors to their doctors appt and errands, if you are handy with tools do fix ups, babysit, elder sit, walk dogs, house sit for relatives and friends. Hell, you may not want to go back to the grind. Utilize the public health clinics. I think some urgent care's have sliding fee for illness. Just don't let an illnes get you to an ED visit. Walmart's meds are $4.00.There are millions of uninsured in this country today. People who had insurance though an employer, but now don't. They may have jobs but the jobs are not offering insurance. I being one of them. It is something- nurses without health insurance.
  8. by   PPAA
    I feel you.
  9. by   CarolynSRN
    Oh my goodness, this is too close to my own experience!!!!
    First, if you are in risk of foreclosure, go to your bank, let them know. They do not want your house. Even if they foreclose, you do not have to leave until the house is sold.(so I have heard from reputable sources)
    Secondly, look into private duty. It is great for building relationships and easier on the body than hospital or LTC.
    Home health (visiting nurse) is another good option. Easier work, long hours and maybe alot of driving.

    I lost my hospital job about 2 years ago and have worked several jobs since. Now I do home health visits. very rewarding, but not as good pay.

    Best of luck to all.
  10. by   needshaldol
    This is all so darn scary to read. I am also at the top of the pay scale, been working at same hospital for almost 30 years and all of a sudden I feel like I am being watched. I really do. I know I am not dreaming it. Everything is about budget and I know they would LOVE to have me out and one of the younger, less paid in. I work 4/wk and want to cut back by one day every pay period. Another nurse asked this and was told "no". What I see is everyone working full time so that they do not have to pay out as much in benefits (health insurance). I watch my back now and I am also thinking of carrying a little recorder. I need to find out what the law is regarding taping a conversation. I just "feel" the atmosphere changing.
  11. by   CarolynSRN
    You are probably not imagining it. Experience is expensive. Inexperience can cost the facility in other ways. Eventually it will catch up. Probably not in time for us.
  12. by   needshaldol
    Can't fight it. Just have to be prepared and go out strong. They know I want to go down in hours and by telling me I can't, they are hoping I retire early. I just need to hang in there a bit longer. I am actually ready to let it all go in a years time, get all my doctor appointments and tests done and hope for the best. I am in great health, get around well and we know that won't last forever so it is almost time to manage well, budget well, and travel the world. Living in fantasyland?