Starting Over at 64

  1. Hello fellow nurses,

    I am an older Diploma RN who is starting over in the field of nursing after 15 years. I have recently taken a refresher course and need some advise as to my next step. I was thinking of taking my CPR refresher course in the fall, as well as other courses offered at my local magnet hospital. I was an Oncology nurse for 2 years, but spent must of my remaining 8 years on an Orthopedic floor of a hospital. What are my chances of aquiring a hospital job after being out of nursing for so long? I realize this is a very long time and that nursing has probably changed a great deal. Then their is the problem of age, but I am in very good health. I respectfully ask my fellow nurses, what would you do in my shoes?
  2. Visit Cathy4836 profile page

    About Cathy4836

    Joined: Nov '11; Posts: 71; Likes: 24
    Diploma RN; from US
    Specialty: 16 year(s) of experience in Orthopedics; Oncology


  3. by   Horsebytes
    I'm not a nurse - yet - still in school - but I think you are right to get your CPR updated. We have an LPN who's 65 and she's in school with us getting her RN. Don't talk to people who poo poo what you are trying to do, don't talk negative talk to yourself, and don't listen to it from others. Be positive and go for it! Your experience (life and professional) is valuable and needed! You will need updated computer skills and a smart or android phone so make sure you cover that and make sure you are current on all your vaccines.

    God Bless You!
  4. by   nursel56
    You will definitely need your BLS for healthcare providers and perhaps ACLS, too.

    I'm not sure if you are aware of the general sea change in the supply and demand ratio for jobs now. I re-entered nursing in 2004 after a long hiatus as well. I had a little bit of trouble getting hired, but the whole process only took about 4 weeks.

    Now we have a situation where there is actually a glut of nurses (especially new grads) who can't get hired despite being willing to relocate, etc. When I returned my acute care shelf life had expired long ago. Hopefully your completion of a refresher course will be seen as an asset. I would love to think our age would be an attractive quality, because life experience teaches you things in subtle ways that no amount of schoolwork can do.

    Even though you are a re-entry nurse and not a "first job" hunter our forums on the job hunt, interviewing skills, networking etc will prove to be helpful to you. Our site map also has an extensive list of forums that may be helpful in your situation. I wish you the very best!

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  5. by   Cathy4836
    Thank you to all of those who commented on starting over at 64. I have a smart phone and ipad, also computer skills. I will take your advice and start BLS, and anything else the hospital offers. Where God closes a door, He always opens a window. Blessings
  6. by   expipe
    To test your getajobability you could apply for travel nursing jobs on line. You fill out your skill lists and talk to a recruiter. You can find out a lot about yourself and what is out there for you in a short time, you might find a job, or you dont have to accept one even if you interview with an employer over the phone. Think about it this way, What would you do if you weren't afraid? I will be 65 in Feb, retired since 2009 and enjoying it. When I go back to work it will be travel, some companies hire for 6 weeks, 3 mo,6mo, temp and permanent. Some travel companies will hire you to work local as a traveler. I have travel nursed before and found it empowering because you have more control in where and what you do and for how long and you can always say no to any offer. Just dont forget your insurance. Just because you have been on the shelf for a while, dont underestimate your value. Get back on the bike. And if travel works for you, dont forget to sign up with as many companies you can handle, competition is good. Good luck.
  7. by   expipe
    I forgot to mention that I am also a Diploma RN, graduated 1980 and worked steady through 2009. Having a great vacation but also looking forward to going back to work. When you reach your full retirement age, you will be able to work without any deduction from your social security. I am looking forward to that. Getting old is not so bad, dont let the youngins intimidate you.
  8. by   vstreet76
    I am 51 and just entered the LPN-RN transition program and have never worked as a nurse. I was a volunteer EMT with lots of life experience due to a chronically ill child. I take much comfort in your desire to return to nursing and think you should go for it!!! I am sometimes filled with self doubt and wonder if I am doing the right thing, so thank you for your energy and desire and proof that age is just a state of mind! Please post how your journey is going~~God is with you on your new journey!!
  9. by   Cathy4836
    Thank you for your kind words vstreet, I will post my journey to return to hospital nursing. I too was a LPN who took the LPN to RN program. Everyone in my class that were LPN's passed boards the 1st try, not so for the other students. I also think the mature student does much better in school than younger students!

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  10. by   kcmylorn
    Sent from my iPhone using[/QUOTE]

    Hey Cathy,- check you out. Who ever said us old nurses are 'techno' challenged must have been reading a strange "Sci-Fi book" You go girl!!
  11. by   Cathy4836
    Thanks, I guess I'm not totally behind the times

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  12. by   billyboblewis
    I am 66 and worked in nursing most of my life. BLS is no biggie and only takes 4 hours including breaks, Most ACLS courses are a snap now and often given by your employer on company time. Dont Worry about a refresher it is basicly still the same. Just ask when you dont understand. I recomend you start in a nursing home (LTC) and go on from there.