Harsh realities - page 2

Hello all! I was wondering if any older students (I mean over 53) have dealt with the harsh reality of finding scant employment opportunities once they graduate (or heard of someone who had this... Read More

  1. by   nursel56
    Quote from geomar428
    Hello all! I was wondering if older students (I mean over 53) have dealt with the harsh reality of finding scant employment opportunities once they graduate (or heard of someone who had this problem). The nursing school's admissions committee (sp?) will not tell you that once you graduate, it might be twice as tough for you to find a job as your younger counterparts. I'm just looking for some honest insight here! Thanks to all who might respond!
    I don't think admission committees normally speculate about possible age descrimination you might face a few years later when you graduate. I don't think they were aware of what was coming around the bend, though--and for that I do hold the schools accountable. I think that if they had been more aware of the job market, they could have and should have put in place more search assistance and networking with the local healthcare facilities in a Career Center way before the new grads unexpectedly hit a brick wall after graduating. I've never seen job opportunities for not only new grads, but super-experienced nurses, too--so far in the tank as I have in the last 5 years, and it seems to be snowballing.

    I agree with Ilg that there is a cheerleader effect, and (warning: AI reference) not enough "Simons" and too many "Paulas". It's wonderful to encourage people, and another to encourage when something just flies in the face of reality. I'm old, too, and appreciate support, but sometimes I wonder how old a person has to be before the consensus shifts to "eh, maybe not such a good idea", or an accurate and honest listing of the challenges a person is likely to face.
  2. by   itsmejuli
    I got my LPN license last year at 47. I'll be almost 50 when I finish my ADN and around 52 when I get my BSN.

    Finding a job was difficult, not because of my age but because all of the employers are looking for at least 1 year of experience.

    Rumor has it that my employer just hired a brand new CNA....he's 55
  3. by   EmmyBee
    I agree that it can be harder to find a job for older nurses, especially in certain specialties or facilities. I am 38 now, and will be 39 by the time I graduate in 5 months. The age factor is definitely something I think about, even though I'm already an LPN and have been in healthcare a while.

    But like someone mentioned, it would be the same in any field, not just nursing. And if a person started getting their act together later in life, or really and truly became burned out from their first career choice, what should they do? Are they to accept their life as it is, and be miserable in their current job, because it coud be harder to land a job at their age in another field?

    I'm not for glossing things over. And yes, those who decide to get into nursing or any career, should be well informed. They should be told the good and the bad. But I just don't believe in not making changes, if you are unhappy with your current situation. And that includes going back to school for another career.
  4. by   traumaRUs
    I finished my LPN at 32, ADN at 34, BSN at 44, MSN at 45, adult CNS post-MSN at 46, peds CNS post MSN 51.

    I have been fortunate to be hired for just about every job I've gone for. I've been at my current position (first APN position) for 4 years now.

    I am always told that I'm pretty energetic. I certainly look my age but I smile a lot and look on the bright side of things. Much of the time getting hired when you are past 40 is what you bring to the job, not the other way around.

    1. Energy - don't complain about every little ache and pain - we all have them - that is to be expected. However, it makes it harder to work with older workers if all they do is complain incesseantly.

    2. Smile - can't emphasize this one enough. Bring happiness and calm to your job and co-workers. Again, older workers can be seen as stodgy and few employers want stodgy employers.

    3. Innovation - be techno smart. Learn the new EMR, know what texting is and do it, have a cell phone, electronics that you can and do use. Keep current.

    4. Keep reaching for more educational opportunities - be they formal or informal. No one wants to work with someone who says "in 2 years, 5 months and 3 days I'm so outta here." These people are not enjoyable to be around. Personally, I plan to (and will probably have to) work till I'm 70.

    Just my $0.02.
  5. by   Bobbkat
    I glad there are other people on here that are realistic. Some of the posts I read on here....it's like a unicorn vomited sunshine all over the place. I'm all for encouragement, but I'm getting sick of being called 'discouraging and negative' whenever someone asks 'Hey grads, hows the job market?!' and I tell them realistically how the job market is in my area. Then the person gives some encouraging story about how 120% of their graduating class are working in their first choice jobs, blah blah blah. That's awesome, and I'm happy for them, but is itnecessary to tell those of us that are not experiencing such fortunate circumstances that we shouldn't tell the poster what we are experiencing (when they asked, after all0?
    n
    OP, sorry to hijack...I know that doesn't really apply to your actual question. I'm only 30 and haven't interviewed yet (2 lined up...hooray!), so I don't have any clue if they are looking for younger or older nurses. I'm in the middle, so hopefully I will make everyone happy. Unfortuanatly, what the PP's said is true. Our society as a whole values the young and beautiful. Maybe not conciously.....but it's definately there. I hope you are able to find a position soon, and that people are able to take into account the unique life experience and maturity that you bring to the table with you. I also like the advice of the poster right above me, and second that. Keep up with technology and put effort forth to show them that you have energy and a whole lot of steam left in your engines.
  6. by   FLmomof5
    I am 48 and will graduate in Aug with my ASN.

    A few advantages I feel that I could offer a potential employer:
    I am energetic and outgoing.
    I am rarely ill.
    My prior background was technical (EE and I program computers)
    I look a decade or more younger than I really am!!
    I am fit.

    I worked FT while getting my degree (would by definition mean great organizational skills!).

    I am facing the same potential "discrimination", but I hope that I will find a position regardless.

    I know how some of the posters in this thread feel. You can go into the pre-nursing section and see scads of folks that have performed poorly in their pre-reqs or admission tests and everyone becomes a cheering section. I often think....well, maybe you should do something else for a living. The brutal reality is...we have folks that had high GPAs enter our nursing program fail in the program....so if you can't succeed in the pre-reqs....how on earth are you going to succeed in NS?

    My bonus is that I have a job. I don't need to worry about getting hired right out of NS.

    Good luck to all of us 'oldies but goodies'...
  7. by   caliotter3
    Quote from llg
    Many of us have tried to say such things many times here on this website, but there are always others who drown out our voices with encouragement for anyone and everyone who ever thought they might like to be a nurse. They say things like, "I knew someone once who ..." or "Don't give up! You can beat the odds!" "You're only as old as you think you are!" etc. etc. etc.

    Insight? Our society doesn't like to deal with harsh realities: so, we gloss them over -- or outright deny them. We strive to be a place "Where never is heard a discouraging word ... and the skies are not cloudy all day." It's not socially acceptable to advise someone against doing something they think they want to do ... or to "burst someone's bubble" ... or "rain on somebody's parade."

    We grow up being taught that "quitters never win" ... and "never give up" etc. While that national culture has its advantages, it also has its disadvantages and as a nation, we are experiencing some of those disadvantages now. People thought that their economic situations could only improve, so they borrowed too much money for their houses, their cars, their toys, their educations, etc. -- never thinking about what would happen when the bill came due.

    People went to college for degrees they really didn't want ... to prepare themselves for careers they didn't know much about or really want and are now wanting to change their minds and go back to school to get deeper into debt to try a second career with realities they are equally unprepared to face. It is happening all over the place. People don't do their homework ... and they avoid thinking about the down sides of things until they are forced to face them.

    I think a lot of people need to hear MORE discouraging words. If there is one good thing that might come out of this recession, maybe it will be a wake-up call for people who have gone through life without looking at the possible down sides to things before they invest their time, energy, and money in things.

    llg (age 55 with 33 years of nursing experience)
    If I had known of the harsh realities before I started out on the nursing road this time, I could have saved my money, time, and effort, and done something more productive in terms of earning a living or living on my savings. For those who continuously whine about "it's not about the money", you can't pay your mortgage, rent, utilities, food bills, or buy your own medical care, on what I haven't earned in nursing. I truly wish I had my money back. And for those who would encourage me to leave nursing, of course, I leave nursing every time I don't have a nursing job.
  8. by   kcochrane
    I had no trouble finding a job at age 47. But there are still nursing jobs in this area. In fact most of the new hires on my floor are "older".
  9. by   nursel56
    Quote from traumaRUs
    I finished my LPN at 32, ADN at 34, BSN at 44, MSN at 45, adult CNS post-MSN at 46, peds CNS post MSN 51.

    I have been fortunate to be hired for just about every job I've gone for. I've been at my current position (first APN position) for 4 years now.

    I am always told that I'm pretty energetic. I certainly look my age but I smile a lot and look on the bright side of things. Much of the time getting hired when you are past 40 is what you bring to the job, not the other way around.

    1. Energy - don't complain about every little ache and pain - we all have them - that is to be expected. However, it makes it harder to work with older workers if all they do is complain incesseantly.

    2. Smile - can't emphasize this one enough. Bring happiness and calm to your job and co-workers. Again, older workers can be seen as stodgy and few employers want stodgy employers.

    3. Innovation - be techno smart. Learn the new EMR, know what texting is and do it, have a cell phone, electronics that you can and do use. Keep current.

    4. Keep reaching for more educational opportunities - be they formal or informal. No one wants to work with someone who says "in 2 years, 5 months and 3 days I'm so outta here." These people are not enjoyable to be around. Personally, I plan to (and will probably have to) work till I'm 70.

    Just my $0.02.
    Thank you, thank you thank you!!! I have thought about posting a list like this for a long time, but I feared offending some of my age mates. You know, those posts from the older folks-- the young nurses out to get me, etc, sometimes include information such as, "when I finally got a chance to sit down, I simply flopped in the chair, let out a long sigh and remarked about how good it felt to finally get off my feet". Then I started rubbing my bunions. . . well, OK not that bad, but still. . . To be fair to us old people, I would say there are certain stereotypes associated unfairly with younger nurses like Facebook obsession and the scourge of text message-speak. I agree with everything on your list.

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