Age Discrimination in Nursing - page 8

Ageism is pervasive in our society. It's not news to anyone that our society values youth and devalues age. It seems that the worst choice you can make is to grow old. Older people are often... Read More

  1. by   Kssrn404
    Quote from NurseGirl525
    I will be turning 40 in a few months. When I start looking for a job next year, I feel that being a little older gives me many advantages that I intend to bring forth in an interview. I'm a lot more stable and don't have that drama that comes with those 20 years younger than me. But, I also will not reveal my age and to be honest, I don't think you can tell with me. I am fortunate to have inherited some great genes in the wrinkle dept. My grandma in her 70s did not have a single wrinkle on her face. I also take care of my skin and wear sunscreen every day. When I get carded, I'm often told well, I never would have guessed that!!

    I also agree with wearing the correct clothing, make-up, and hair style. I have always said, never skimp on your hair and face. They are two of the most important assets that you have so take care of them. I don't dress super young, but I keep up on what's fashionable and dress for my body-type, something I find that the younger generation cannot seem to do. And never wear your make-up too heavy or a kind that cakes. Those get stuck in wrinkles and make you look older. I don't buy super expensive make-up, but I try it out and buy what works for me and my face. No dark lipstick either. That can make you look older also.

    You can use your age to your advantage, just use it appropriately. Know how to use technology, be up on the latest techniques. I just had a conversation the other day with some nursing instructors about not having to aspirate when doing IM injections. They were talking about it and I had said how I read an article on that earlier in the year. There is nothing wrong with spending 20-30 minutes here and there knowing the latest techniques and newest technology. Whether or not you agree with it, you at least know what is going on in the world of nursing.

    I do struggle with my weight, but I do work out and keep myself healthy. I take care of myself. And since I dress for my body type, you can't tell my weight too much. One of my new favorite activities is Brazilian Jujitsu. It doesn't kill me and it teaches me great self defense. I've come to realize that sport is all about physics with your body. It's not necessarily about being the strongest, it's about how to use your body and leverage to your advantage. I can run circles around other people.

    Also, keep up on your interview skills and have updated resumes. Writing a resume that is the same way you have always written it will also date you. Resume writing has come a long way even in the last 10 years. Research what employers are looking for and have good interview skills. Nurse Beth is absolutely correct to have a firm handshake, look the interviewer in the eyes, and smile. Exude confidence. You have a short period of time to convince this company to hire you. Use it to your advantage and make the right lasting impression. Not the wrong impression which I find many people do. So, you need to rehearse it in your mind. Have an idea of what you are going to say. There is a pretty standard list of questions they may ask, so plan it out in your mind.

    You only have one chance to make a great impression. Once it's gone, it's gone.
    I do agree that you need to keep up on writing resumes. I am about to turn 53 and have been out a long time raising three kids. Two of them were too sick to attend daycare due to suppressed immune systems. They are now grown and I just landed a sweet position in the cardiovascular recovery unit. I got busy and became proactive. I went back to school for a semester in an RN refresher course. Before and during the semester I bought all of the best up to date critical care books and studied very hard. I finished my clinical a on a Med/ surg/tele floor at this hospital so they would know who I was and that I could keep up and do a great job. I kept my connections with my former coworkers. It turns out that one of them is currently working in the unit I was just hired in. Join professional organizations like ANA, star nursing associations and specialty organizations like AHA. Subscribe to professional journals and keep up with the latest procedures and trends. When asked in my interview had I ever heard of the newer Left ventricular assist devices I was able to strike up a conversation about several of them and that made a big impression on the nurse manager who interviewed me. I also work out and keep physically fit for those 12 hour shifts. I invested in some new scrubs that look really sharp. During my semester back at school I made sure to take BLS and ACLS and put that on my new resume. I was hired on the spot despite my age and my huge work gap. You guys can do it if you're really passionate about your profession. As the post above stated: I am more stable as my kids are grown and I have more time to devote to my career and volunteer work in the community related to my specialty. For you older nurses out there you CAN DO IT! Work hard and be passionate!! Best of luck to those of you presently searching for a position. 😬 I know you can do it!!!!!
  2. by   NFuser
    Quote from Nurse Beth

    As for myself, I value those older people who have a life time full of experience.

    Like me.


    I am one of them. One of those older people, a senior, a baby boomer. But still a bad*** with plenty of work life left in me.
    Did all the right things. Mentored the youngsters every chance I had. Carved myself several 'niches'. Became a Super User for the new EMR From Hades (and was one of the few SU's patient/dedicated enough to lead the docs through their first, frustrating experiences with it). Heard from many of the docs what a "travesty" it was that I became 'too expensive for the organization to keep'. Even left a very helpful negative review of said organization on Glassdoor.

    I miss the "edge" I honed in the hospital. The idea of spending the next 10 years in LTC/Rehab is, for lack of a better description, anti-climactic. As long as I have a disabled spouse to support, options to flex my Experience Muscle are somewhat limited (as in no 9 to 5).

    When I passed the NCLEX I was relieved that as long as I could give good care, I could find a job. So far, that has remained the case. Not in the way I anticipated, but then, life has a way of adjusting our expectations. Like any good nurse, I can still roll with the punches. Go ahead, sling more ageism my way.

    Yes. That's a dare.
  3. by   GadgetRN71
    I have had kind of the reverse problem. I am 45 but have been told I look early 30's. I have 10 years experience as a nurse and 7 years as a surgical technologist. I have been accused indirectly (and one time directly) of lying about my experience. So, I think age perception can cause issues both ways.
  4. by   Garden,RN
    The topic is great but it really doesn't say anything most of us don't already know. One of the reasons the older nurse is discriminated against is the pay because of the years of experience. It is real, but it is just one of the many problems within the culture of nursing.
  5. by   smowris
    I retire after close to 40 years, hated it but at 58 sent a resume at 2:30 in the afternoon, had an interview scheduled by 9:30the next morning and started work the next week. Look at your resume and ensure it doesn't focus on the tasks you did rather the skills and strengths you have
  6. by   Nurse Beth
    Quote from smowris
    I retire after close to 40 years, hated it but at 58 sent a resume at 2:30 in the afternoon, had an interview scheduled by 9:30the next morning and started work the next week. Look at your resume and ensure it doesn't focus on the tasks you did rather the skills and strengths you have
    I love it!... don't focus on tasks but rather skills and strengths
  7. by   Melanie1225
    Nurse Beth,

    i truly enjoy your articles. As a recruiter I see far more of the "How much computer training will you give me?" And aol accounts than I care to mention. I encourage anyone looking for employment to follow this sound advise.

    On the flip side I would enjoy (I bet you have an article out there already) you sharing with your readers.... "just because you're young don't assume the job is yours!" It would be of benift if they would Set up a person voicemail message and check it when job hunting. And if they didn't show up for the interview in yoga pants and a tank top with their hair in a ponytail and flip flops on. And remind them to leave their cell phone in the car or turn them off.
  8. by   Nurse Beth
    Quote from Melanie1225
    Nurse Beth,

    i truly enjoy your articles. As a recruiter I see far more of the "How much computer training will you give me?" And aol accounts than I care to mention. I encourage anyone looking for employment to follow this sound advise.

    On the flip side I would enjoy (I bet you have an article out there already) you sharing with your readers.... "just because you're young don't assume the job is yours!" It would be of benift if they would Set up a person voicemail message and check it when job hunting. And if they didn't show up for the interview in yoga pants and a tank top with their hair in a ponytail and flip flops on. And remind them to leave their cell phone in the car or turn them off.
    Thank you, I love hearing advice from your point of view!
  9. by   tallielassie
    Thank you for this article. I''ll be 49 when I start RN school this Fall. I intend on going for DNP. I'm retiring from a male dominated career that had its challenges I worked through, and will do my best to overcome the unfair challenges in nursing if they happen. This article is very informative and gave some great ways to combat it. Thank you.
    Last edit by tallielassie on Jan 16 : Reason: Found a misspelling
  10. by   Nurse Beth
    Quote from tallielassie
    Thank you for this article. I''ll be 49 when I start RN school this Fall. I intend on going for DNP. I'm retiring from a male dominated career that had its challenges I worked through, and will do my best to overcome the unfair challenges in nursing if they happen. This article is very informative and gave some great ways to combat it. Thank you.
    Good luck on your journey! You're an inspiration
  11. by   dspkfm
    As a nurse who is 65 I am not ready to give up on nursing but it is ready to give up on me. I am tired but still want to work some in nursing and do not want to quit completely. Why do the facilities not see that I could fill in to help them during shortage times of the work day and assist but not take on full 12 hour shifts.....I still have a lot to give but have given for almost 40 years and am a realist and cannot give as a 25 year old can but do not want to quit contributing...yes age discrimination does happen. I am looking for a place that does see that those of us who worked without IV pumps, figured drips in our heads, mixed our own IVs, had 25 patients, still have a lot to contribute.....!!! are any of you out there who want us??? ...DSPKFM
  12. by   Ellie.D
    Quote from tjohnso6
    I believe there is ageism. As an LVN who is 55. I have applied to get my RN doing the bridge program. I have to take 4 science classes. I have been working as an LVN for 10 years. Mostly clinical work. I now work in Occupational health.

    My employer is willing to pay for my return to school. I fear age discrimination in accepting me into nursing school. I don't know how I will do but I know it will be challenging. I don't plan to do hospital work and I plan to stay at my current employer if they bump up my pay. I enjoy Occ health work as it is 75% administrative.

    I don't know if I will be accepted to the school. Can anyone give me any feedback on age discrimination in being accepted into a nursing program?
    You should not have any age related problems with school acceptance. If people believe they are not being hired due to age - maybe visit your local EEOC office. It's against the law to discriminate.
  13. by   MountainRN53
    Great suggestions! My Nurse Supervisor and the Executive Director basically suggested I step down from my Supervisor position and take a pay cut. Due to excessive corporate meetings and my position spreading to different areas, I accepted the demotion but KARMA stepped in and HR made it clear there will be no pay cut. In fact, just recently I received a merit raise. I am 64 and run circles around lazy, overweight staff members. There is times I use the word "old" to describe myself but no more!

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