Too young to be a nurse??

  1. Hello, I have a friend who was telling me that the younger the person goes into nursing field the more they're looked down upon by other nurses. I would thing that if we were being judged it would be by our work skills not our age.I am starting feel like I am a little naive about these things but I would really like to know. So, just out of curiosity how old was the youngest nurse you have worked for? How are younger nurses seen in your work enviroment? Is there really that much of a discrimination on age? I would like to know of any personal experiences or comments about this matter.
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    Joined: Jul '11; Posts: 7; Likes: 1


  3. by   tokmom
    I think that depends. If the young nurse comes in as a know it all, it won't go over well. If she comes in willing to learn, she will be accepted. At our facility, we have a 23 yr old that is just starting out. She is quiet, eager to learn and we are very protective of her, because she isn't obnoxious, lol.
    Last edit by tokmom on Aug 5, '11
  4. by   Seas
    I finished nursing school at 21 and started my job. I just turned 22 a few days ago. Everyone's been so nice and helpful with me so far.
  5. by   GHGoonette
    That's a difficult question. To an extent - and solely in my own experience - there is a tendency amongst CERTAIN types of "older" nurses to give youngsters a hard time. This didn't happen in the large teaching and training hospital where I finally completed my training in the 1980's, but it definitely happened in the psychiatric hospItal and in the combined acute care/spinal injury/LTC care facility that I worked in during the 1970's. I believe that the problem in those two hospitals was that there were too many really "old" nurses in those hospitals who had a very bad attitude towards students.

    That said, I also encountered some really awesome nurses in both facilities who taught me a lot, so although my memories of these places are not very happy, they are not universally unhappy.
  6. by   gonzo1
    2 of the brightest, smartest nurses I know were in my nursing classes and they were both 18. They were smart, studied hard, just really cool people and are excellent nurses today, now 8 years later.
    Neither one of them had any trouble that I am aware of, and I worked with both of them when we were all new grads
  7. by   Isitpossible
    while I dont have an answer, I have the complete opposite problem. I am 40 and will finish my program this year, and am very worried that my age will hinder my ability to obtain employment b/c I'm not a younger hard to tell
  8. by   33762FL
    And a friend told me once that women who live with cats in their house become infertile because of the cats Just because somebody tells you something doesn't mean it's true or that it's even worth wondering if it's true. Friends are capable of feeding you a bunch of hooey just like strangers are.

    Bottom line - if you want to be a nurse, going to nursing school when you want to. Don't delay just because you're 18 now. If you study/work hard and show everyone that you are serious about nursing, you'll be taken seriously no matter what your age is.
  9. by   Allie911
    I graduated as a RN at 19. I worked pediatrics so I was always older than my patients ) but some of the parents would ask if I was the CNA or even the candystriper. I looked young too and they would ask if I was 12, but I never had them complain about my work and I got along great with co-workers. I was made charge nurse at at 20. I don't think it is age that is important, it is competency
  10. by   LegzRN
    I became licensed at the age of 19, and of course people had their own views about a nurse of that age, but I think that would come with any job. I feel that a 19 year old kid just starting out on the railroad or the coal mine would have the same stigma attached.
  11. by   butterfly134
    Im from Ireland and studying for a BSN. The majority of our class started studying for a BSN straight out of high school. The majority of us were about 18 in first year and when we qualify we will be about 22 years old. Of course there are mature students in our class but they are in the minority. Here in Ireland its completely normal to be a young new grad We are expected to act professional. So to answer you question, once you act professionally, do your best , it should be fine. However if the majority of the staff are older, it might be hard to become friends with them because obviously ye are at different stages of life but ye should be able to work together as a team and get on well best of luck
  12. by   Jenni811
    i'm 23 years old and have my bachelors degree in nursing. I started right out of high school when i was 18, so it makes sense. I am the youngest one on my unit, including the CNA's. I don't get discriminated against at all. I look about 16 years old, no joke. I still get people surprised i'm even able to drive! much less have a BSN. only crap i get is from the patients
    "Is it take your child to work day?"
    "Are you shadowing a nurse?"
    "Is this your daughter?" (to my coworker who was 28!!!! lol)

    I feel like my coworkers are more protective of me than anything. I am eager to learn and i love what i do. Sometimes i feel like the doctors walk over you a bit more because they KNOW you are new because your young. My coworkers will quickly jump in. I don't know if thats due to my age or my personality (quiet/shy).

    Couple of the CNA's i work with have kinda given me a hard time, because i am alot younger than them and delegating tasks to them when i used to be a CNA with them when i was in nursing school. They are not rude, but you can tell they sometimes just don't take my seriously.

    I don't feel discriminated against at all, because its not just my age, it's me just being new to nursing.
  13. by   jbluehorseh
    I do not think being young is a bad thing but, he or she has a lot less work experiences; younger people tend to have less work ethics and life experiences. mostly he or she needs guides as becomes a great nurse. Treating someone badly just because he or she is young leads to bad things.
    I recently had a conversation with my female charge nurse about a new nurse's attitude; he comes off as very arrogant which is not good for a new nurse. In which he made some medication errors in a short time.
    She gets really mad at male nurses because they are the hardest to get through, and are all arrogant to some level, and that is why she is so hard on male nurses. In addition she thought it had more to do with her being a woman. I had a big problem with her when I first started because she was very hard on me to the point other nurses where offended by her actions. Now just for the record I always had female bosses, so it never bothered me. The working relationship is better now because I stood up to her, but it created a very negative environment. My statement to her was "if you belittle, are disrespectful or degrading to men (or to anyone for that matter, New young nurses) it is counterintuitive to you goal of making that person a better nurses. A man is less likely come to you for help which will lead to mistakes compromising patient safety. Who wants to go to some for help just to be degraded?
  14. by   Ruas61
    I was all of 20. I was the second youngest in the class by a few days