Retirement in the nursing field.

  1. 2
    There is an issue going on at health care facilities about nurses who are still working as nurses well into their 60's and 70's. Assuming everyone ages differently, consider the effects of aging (such as decrease in vision, hearing, unsteady gait, ect.) do you think they put their patients and themselves at risk for injury? If so do you think there should be a mandatory retirement age for nurses?
    Etone LPN and Fiona59 like this.
  2. 92 Comments so far...

  3. 20
    Some nurses in their 20s and 30s can put patients and themselves at risk for injury. It's not so much the age as it is the knowledge and the physical ability. I've seen nurses in their 60s run circles around the 20-something new grad who knows it all, "cause we just learned about that in school". If you're concerned about a nurse you are working with, then you should report facts (NOT opinion) to your manager, who may already be aware of the situation. There are some out there who believe older nurses should retire and make space for new grads; I certainly hope this doesn't turn into that. I also hope this isn't a homework question.
    Cindycin37, HazelLPN, HazeKomp, and 17 others like this.
  4. 10
    Can you cite specific instances of an experienced nurse putting patients at risk? Or are you just assuming? What types of health care facilities have this 'issue'?

    Decreased vision and hearing are found throughout the age spectrum and are easily treated with glasses and hearing aids. A nurse with an unsteady gait would be unlikely to be employed as a bedside caregiver to begin with.

    As another poster stated, I feel is FAR more vulnerable to a new grad than an experienced RN.
    HazelLPN, pgrn33, OCNRN63, and 7 others like this.
  5. 15
    Quote from A.B.123
    There is an issue going on at health care facilities about nurses who are still working as nurses well into their 60's and 70's. Assuming everyone ages differently, consider the effects of aging (such as decrease in vision, hearing, unsteady gait, ect.) do you think they put their patients and themselves at risk for injury? If so do you think there should be a mandatory retirement age for nurses?
    Is there a specific facility that you are familiar with that is experiencing frail, tottery nurses who cannot read their MARs?

    Or is this a generalized assumption?

    I truly don't mean to sound cavalier. I have just never heard of this "issue" and am wondering what statistical and/or anecdotal evidence exists to support it.
    Last edit by roser13 on Feb 11, '13
    emmasuern, HazelLPN, pgrn33, and 12 others like this.
  6. 12
    What 'issue'?
    60 isn't old...and I have 2 aunts that are nursing and in their 70's. My charge is in her 70's, too.
    If a nurse can perform the job, why would you pull them off the floor?

    You need to re-evaluate how you see 'your elders' and remember that everyone of a certain age isn't one in the same. Just because someone's hitting 70 doesn't mean that you have to take their car keys and make them retire/sit at home 24/7.
    They're just old. They're not broken and useless.

    On another note - and while we're making poster requests - please don't turn this into an anti-new nurse thread, either.
    I notice that OP didn't even mention it and posters are already in here trying to take digs at 'new grads'. Really? LOL
    I mean, think about: Someone mentions older nurses/safety issues and, like clockwork, the posters start throwing jabs at new nurses in defense of the older ones among us?
    What the hell sort of knee-jerk response is that?
    It's an AGEIST issue...not a new grad vs experienced nurse issue.
    ...and, anyway, new nurses OVERstand that they lack experience and skill. So...why do people on here continuously mock them/us for it? It's ridiculous. Even on the internet, some people don't know better than to play out their adversarial tendencies.

    No, it doesn't hurt my feelings. LOL I just think it's stupid and petty. And...I just thought it ironic (how the dialogue's playing out so far) and decided to remark on it.

    I'm just saying....
    Seems like nurses ought to be trying to work together...and sorry - that can't happen if you consider one part to be less than the whole.
    >shrug<
    mirandabear, emmasuern, pgrn33, and 9 others like this.
  7. 2
    I work on a busy oncology floor. We had a RN that retired last year at 74. She could not keep up but was working full time. Often other RNs picked up her slack. Also, the reports she gave at shift change were terrible.
    Fiona59 and SoldierNurse22 like this.
  8. 7
    Welcome to AN.com! You sure picked a great subject for your first post
    brian, OCNRN63, tnmarie, and 4 others like this.
  9. 10
    I dislike mandatory retirement ages for anything, as i am almost always against lumping any group of humans all together as "all just the same".<-----almost invariably a mistake to do this.


    I think older nurses, should be evaluated just like any other nurse-----------based upon her performance, etc. If a nurse, of any age, is having problems, well, those problems need to be addressed, or the nurse has to be let go,
    but, i don't see the connection between a nurse having gray hair, and not being able to be an awesome nurse. I don't like "agism" and i suggest each and every nurse,
    regardless of her hair color,
    be evaluated based upon on her or his performance.



    None of the things that the OP lists as "effects of aging" are specific to ONLY older people:

    //(such as decrease in vision, hearing, unsteady gait, ect.) //
    Any and all of those things can strike various humans at various ages. A nurse of any age, can easily perform well even if she is nearsighted or slightly hard of hearing, using glasses, surgery, or hearing aides, etc.

    Even handicapped nurses, of any age, who can not walk well, can occasionally find areas of nursing where they can still nurse.
    Last edit by Esme12 on Feb 12, '13
    HazeKomp, OCNRN63, LockportRN, and 7 others like this.
  10. 21
    I'm 58 and plan on working at least 20 more years. My hearing is better than any 20 year old's and I can still run circles around most of the younger nurses who complain they are exhausted after working 24 hours a week. I work at least 50 hours. People should be judged on their performance and their ability to do the job not on their age.
    Last edit by CapeCodMermaid on Feb 11, '13 : Reason: Punctuation
    Here.I.Stand, rn/writer, pgrn33, and 18 others like this.
  11. 10
    I have known a few nurses in their early 70's who definitely did need to retire. That being said, I have also known nurses in their early 20's who needed to quit and change careers.
    HazeKomp, rita359, Fiona59, and 7 others like this.


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