I will be starting an entry level master of nursing program next week and I am excited! However, my greatest nightmare is to be $60,000 in debt and no job because of ageism. You see, I will be 56 or 57 when I am done!( I am 53 now). A little background- I have a B.S in Microbiology with a minor in chemistry from 1983. I went on to become a licensed Medical Technologist after working in R&D for a nationally known company for a year before. Due to a devastating family tragedy, and the fact that my husband was just starting his professional career, (we had 2 small babies at the time), I stepped out of the professional working life and became a full time mom very active in my community. Fast forward. My youngest of 3 is 20 so I thought "What am I going to do with the rest of my life?" I always wanted to be a doctor, and found out about the accelerated program to get an RN-BS and then an N.P which is pretty darn close to my dream of being a doctor without going to medical school! So -off I went to Community College, did all 10 prereq's in a year with a 4.0. Got accepted into a good private Christian college (important to me). AND- I am scared to death that I may do all this and be overlooked because of my age even though I think I bring a lot to the table. I want to work in a Doctor's office or a clinic and volunteer to go on mission trips to help others less fortunate than me. But I can't stand the thought of putting my family into a financial hole (we have no pension because my husband is self-employed and due to the recession, have used most of our savings!) with nothing to show for it. I would love to hear some thoughts, suggestions and yes, encouragement, that I am not crazy to be pursuing my dream at my cough, cough, "advanced age".
Sep 1, '12
If we have gotten to the point where your experience and enthusiasm is undervalued then the younger nurses already employed need to consider the future they are creating for themselves. All my thoughts to you.
Sep 1, '12
Hey just wanted to add that I am in great health and am told I look like I am in my early forties. I hate that that is even important to add here- but that is what our society values and first impressions are important.
Do I even have to reveal my age in interviews? Can I just leave off dates from my previous work experience and education on my resume?
Positive or negative feedback would be appreciated!
Sep 6, '12
Thanks for all the feedback guys!
Sep 11, '12
Is funny you mention age in a negative way. I became a RN at 22 and will be a FNP at 26. My mother got her RN a year before me. Patient's assume she has tons of experience because of her age. Being valedictorian of her class, she's a very smart woman, but her age has only helped her with patients (not to mention the life experiences that you have - you have NO IDEA how important those are - having babies, etc.). My youth will help me more later down the line (when I've had decades of experience), but now...it is hard to earn respect of patients and other providers. Many assume there is no way I know what I need to to treat or care for them...which is fine, just takes a little longer to prove them wrong. You shouldn't have to reveal your age. Employers can usually gauge it though when they see your high school graduation date though
In my opinion, you would have as a good a chance if not better than any other new grad looking for employment.
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