Sure didn't expect this!

  1. Been an R.N. for 22+ years, am 56 yrs old. In June 2014, had a motorcycle accident with a pretty severe tri-malleolar fx w/syndesmotic injury. It put me down, NWB for 12 weeks. When released by the surgeon to RTW, (after begging her) my employer did not restore me to my position. Two months later, in November, I returned to work in the full time capacity as a School Nurse without restrictions. I was placed on regular seasonal holiday lay-off for the Christmas holiday in December and by April I was no longer employed.
    Subsequently, I applied to every open RN position imaginable, seeking work in my field 8 hrs a day, everyday for 4 complete weeks to no avail. No interviews, no calls!
    Couldn't help but wonder, "am I being age discriminated?"
    I now work full time in an unrelated field, sales, making 1/3 the wage I did as a professional R.N. I must say, I am relieved of all the stress associated with the profession and demand, but so sad and grief stricken by the professional loss. Comments??
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  2. 47 Comments

  3. by   caliotter3
    I faced age discrimination in my early 40's and have lived with it ever since, noticing that it just gets worse every year. Employers would rather hire a ditz right out of school so they can pay them as close to minimum wage as they dare.
  4. by   traumaRUs
    What about getting an MSN? Updating your certs? Getting some infomatics education?
  5. by   morte
    Quote from traumaRUs
    What about getting an MSN? Updating your certs? Getting some infomatics education?
    but who is going to pay for that?
  6. by   thegreenmile
    exactly ​morte!
  7. by   traumaRUs
    You asked for advice and I was sincerely trying to offer some tips. Obtaining additional certifications and education should be looked on (throughout the years) as an investment in your future. I am the same age and have been a nurse only slightly longer than you - as with you, nursing is a second career for me.

    Yes, there is age discrimination occurring which is exactly why we need to be on top of our game when we are competing against those many years younger than us. Other (free) suggestions:

    1. Smile!
    2. Portray a very vibrant and up to date persona.
    3. Be tech savvy. Get involved in social media (you've already taken a great first step with AN
    4. Ask younger colleagues or your kids what you could do to to look/act younger.
    5. Leave off details from your resume that would date you: the year you graduated from HS, military service dates, etc.

    I'm in the process of sorta looking to change jobs. My resume dates me by my military service dates where were right after HS. So, instead of putting dates, I just say honorably discharged.
  8. by   quixotic.dy
    I think going back to school to get a MSN is a great idea especially if you are willing to teach. There is a shortage of RNs willing to teach because many refuse to go back to school because they 1. Don't want to pay for it and 2. Don't want to make less teaching.
    Well you are already making less doing something I assume you don't love and obviously didn't spend your life doing. Who will pay? Well that is what graduate loans are for. Maybe you don't want to do that, but I think if you look at it as an investment then it won't seem like anything but a good idea.
  9. by   stunurse2015
    There are plenty of resources for anyone wishing returning to school. Plus if you have built up networking connections you can ask around your peers and see if there are other openings within your scope of practice. Even possible funding offered by your organization.

    I think what the previous posters are trying to say about "newbies" is that we have an eagerness to build knowledge of the profession that you already posses! Try harnessing your knowledge/experience and use it to your advantage!

    Good luck in whatever path you choose to take!
  10. by   enuf_already
    Any peds hospitals nearby with outpatient clinics? Age and experience are usually a plus in these areas, especially with phone triage.

    Continue to put in rsums. I find hiring, especially in my area, goes in cycles. Network with anyone you know in peds. Can you get on a sub list with local school districts? (Depending on the shift you work now, obviously.)

    If you want to return to nursing, don't give up. You just haven't found the right place yet. I'm sorry this happened. The injury alone sounds devastating enough. Hang in there!
  11. by   RescueNinja123
    Ask for less money.... This is the best way to compete in the job market nowadays, employees want cheap labor. Show off your skills, get a few more certificates and offer to do the job for less. If you can get into the facility and speak to the manager you could try and win them over with your awesome personality.
  12. by   caliotter3
    My husband asked for less money one time and was told that he was overqualified for the job, and that they would not hire him because they did not want him to leave for something better within two years. Sometimes you just can't win for losing.
  13. by   anon456
    1. Hire a professional resume writer.
    2. Home health is always hiring.
  14. by   nursel56
    Quote from thegreenmile
    Been an R.N. for 22+ years, am 56 yrs old. In June 2014, had a motorcycle accident with a pretty severe tri-malleolar fx w/syndesmotic injury. It put me down, NWB for 12 weeks. When released by the surgeon to RTW, (after begging her) my employer did not restore me to my position. Two months later, in November, I returned to work in the full time capacity as a School Nurse without restrictions. I was placed on regular seasonal holiday lay-off for the Christmas holiday in December and by April I was no longer employed.
    Subsequently, I applied to every open RN position imaginable, seeking work in my field 8 hrs a day, everyday for 4 complete weeks to no avail. No interviews, no calls!
    Couldn't help but wonder, "am I being age discriminated?"
    I now work full time in an unrelated field, sales, making 1/3 the wage I did as a professional R.N. I must say, I am relieved of all the stress associated with the profession and demand, but so sad and grief stricken by the professional loss. Comments??
    I think there is a good chance that you are being age-discriminated. I agree with traumaRus that revamping your resume to a format that doesn't include dates is a great idea. Getting the interview is your chance to show that any stereotypes people may have are not true in your case.

    We're all different in our appearance and "tech savvy-ness" so I won't make any assumptions but agree if you are a little rusty in that area try to improve on those weak areas ahead of time.

    I work in home health/private duty as well. Turnover is pretty high so it could be a very viable option for you. That is if you want to return to nursing.

    Some people retire or semi-retire but find other ways to keep involved with the profession so the sense of loss is minimized. For me allnurses has been a Godsend for almost 10 years. It's a great way to get a feel for how people of all ages and stages in their nursing journey think and feel.

    Whatever you decide to do wishing you the best!

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