Where are all the "older" nurses? Where are all the "older" nurses? | allnurses

Where are all the "older" nurses?

  1. 2 I'm a new nursing student. 2nd career. I'm 48. I've been doing a lot of student shadowing at my local hospital in the different departments lately and its been amazing! Everything from NICU to Cardiac Cath lab the whole gambit. One trend is a lot of 20 something early 30 something nurses. Both male and female. Primarily female. All very professional and knowledgeable. What happens to the 40 to 70 year olds? They make so much money they retire early? haha really?
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  2. 77 Comments

  3. Visit  meanmaryjean profile page
    #1 45
    I worked the PICU until age 60. I was the oldest BY FAR on my unit. I tell you where the older nurses are. In management and in places where there are 8 hour shifts. I'm now a full-time faculty member- but I do miss bedside care.

    However, it is currently -4 degrees here, and instead of commuting in my scrub pants, I had a leisurely 15-step commute to my home office in sweatpants and slippers. Age has its benefits!
  4. Visit  HouTx profile page
    #2 24
    Patient care is a VERY physically demanding job, beset with high back injury rates. Direct care jobs are also characterized by severe salary compression... they usually top out at ~5 years or so. So - if you are >60 years old and still capable of running & heavy lifting for 12 hours straight, my hat's off to you.

    I do know a 78 year old nurse still chugging along as a relief night shift House Supervisor in a mid size hospital. She's a marvel who attempted to retire and decided she wasn't cut out for a "life of leisure". The last time I spoke to her, she told me that she's going to try retirement again when she turns 80. I look forward to the party.
  5. Visit  martymoose profile page
    #3 15
    Not sure where they are. All I know is that 90 percent of my floor is under age 30 ; of that probably 50 percent of them are under age 25. I've been there for 10 years

    All the older nurses have bailed to non acute jobs. The demands are too much. And the young ones dont plan on staying anyway. Turnover has been ridiculous .

    Could be also that I haven't seen any older people hired. Not sure if that's because the "older" people are smart enough to not even apply to acute care, or they just aren't getting hired in acute care in the first place.

    Could also be the age discrimination thing, which I am very afraid of, as I need to get out of acute care before I lose my mind completely from the stress.
  6. Visit  caliotter3 profile page
    #4 11
    Age discrimination very real for many. If they don't make it into the hiring process, you won't see them on the floor.
  7. Visit  dirtyhippiegirl profile page
    #5 9
    I work in a hospital-based PAT clinic doing 10 hr shifts. No weekends or holidays, minimal heavy lifting, and we make hospital base pay. The average age of the nurses in my clinic is probably 55-60. Most have been nurses for as long as I have been alive. :O
  8. Visit  Sour Lemon profile page
    #6 5
    Quote from tjcnurse
    I'm a new nursing student. 2nd career. I'm 48. I've been doing a lot of student shadowing at my local hospital in the different departments lately and its been amazing! Everything from NICU to Cardiac Cath lab the whole gambit. One trend is a lot of 20 something early 30 something nurses. Both male and female. Primarily female. All very professional and knowledgeable. What happens to the 40 to 70 year olds? They make so much money they retire early? haha really?
    Behavioral health can be a little less demanding, physically ...especially in a charge nurse position. That's where I'm planning to "retire" to.
  9. Visit  RNperdiem profile page
    #7 5
    The older nurses might be working the "off" shifts- nights, weekends. I worked some weekdays this week, and found myself the oldest nurse (44yrs old) of the eleven of us. The weekday nurses tend to be younger, single and childless. Weekend and nights has more age variety in my department.
    I went to a pre-op and PACU conference last year, and the majority of nurses there were over 50.
  10. Visit  TruvyNurse profile page
    #8 10
    I have an appreciation for the "older nurses." I work with 3 nurses who are in their mid 60s and they rock! I have learned so much from them and will hate seeing them go!
  11. Visit  runningbarefoot profile page
    #9 11
    Adult med/surg nurse here. I'm in my 30's and I'm considered one of the old ones on my unit lol. Adult med/surg is so physically demanding, a lot of nurse that are 50+ leave because their bodies can't take it. We regularly get patients that are over 400 lbs. We used so have enough support in the form of CNAs and techs to help but but with staffing cuts nurses are doing more themselves, and the older ones are leaving because of it. Its a shame because they are so knowledgeable and great resources.
  12. Visit  tjcnurse2b profile page
    #10 1
    why would they discriminate?
  13. Visit  Sour Lemon profile page
    Quote from tjcnurse
    why would they discriminate?
    Older individuals can be seen as less pliable ...more set in their ways. There can also be concerns about illness/injury and just keeping up with the physical demands of a "heavy" unit. Lack of comfort with technology can be another perceived deficit. And with older experienced nurses, higher salary requirements can be an issue.
  14. Visit  tjcnurse2b profile page
    Quote from runningbarefoot
    Adult med/surg nurse here. I'm in my 30's and I'm considered one of the old ones on my unit lol. Adult med/surg is so physically demanding, a lot of nurse that are 50+ leave because their bodies can't take it. We regularly get patients that are over 400 lbs. We used so have enough support in the form of CNAs and techs to help but but with staffing cuts nurses are doing more themselves, and the older ones are leaving because of it. Its a shame because they are so knowledgeable and great resources.
    Not that it makes a difference but I'm a man. That work in my favor? 900 seconds between post...who's idea was that? 639 to go....606. What if I had a humanity changing thought right after a post and forgot to write it down in 900 seconds? 559.....505. Who knew a second was soooo long? Now I'm mad at myself for wasting my comment time on my first lame comment....426. Is this a micro look at the "red tape" healthcare comes with? 358...oh Lawdy...wth man get the president on the line! 277.
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