Age Discrimination in Nursing

Updated | Published
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist)

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho. Has 30 years experience.

This writer says it exists, and it's real. Maybe you are having a hard time getting hired, or worse yet, you've lost your job for flimsy reasons. Here are some tips to help.

You are reading page 10 of Age Discrimination in Nursing. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

guest825264

guest825264

82 Posts

I was very disappointed in the article. I usually like your articles and find them helpful; but; Keep in shape, don't talk about using your reading glasses, Don't talk about your aches and pains? About the only thing you didn't tell us to do is dye our hair and have a face lift! I am a nurse in my 50's, I am not in the best shape, but I can tell you there are nurses half my age that are in worse shape. I think my age gives me perspective on my patients that I did not have when I was younger. I am more understanding and less idealistic then I used to be. Do I have aches and pains? sometimes, but so do the younger nurses esp the pregnant ones. How could you effectively understand a patients pain if you never experienced it yourself? I think my patients appreciate that I am real, genuine and not a fake perfect person. I don't think I have experienced age discrimination in the workplace but I sure know that the younger nurses appreciate it when I take their shifts so they can take children to the MD, care for a sick child or go trick or treating. I remember how it was to be a working mom and enjoy the fact that I can help other young moms and dads. As a matter of fact, I never even thought my age was an issue until I read this article. I was; however, discriminated in the past for being a single mom with child responsibilities. I got through that; wouldn't want to work for that type of employer anyway. My last point is that we are nurses, we have all taken care of patients who have died or have been incapacitated at a very young age. No life has a term contract...so what does age have to do with it anyway?

Nurse Beth, MSN

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho. Has 30 years experience. 151 Articles; 2,731 Posts

I was very disappointed in the article. I usually like your articles and find them helpful; but; Keep in shape, don't talk about using your reading glasses, Don't talk about your aches and pains? About the only thing you didn't tell us to do is dye our hair and have a face lift! I am a nurse in my 50's, I am not in the best shape, but I can tell you there are nurses half my age that are in worse shape. I think my age gives me perspective on my patients that I did not have when I was younger. I am more understanding and less idealistic then I used to be. Do I have aches and pains? sometimes, but so do the younger nurses esp the pregnant ones. How could you effectively understand a patients pain if you never experienced it yourself? I think my patients appreciate that I am real, genuine and not a fake perfect person. I don't think I have experienced age discrimination in the workplace but I sure know that the younger nurses appreciate it when I take their shifts so they can take children to the MD, care for a sick child or go trick or treating. I remember how it was to be a working mom and enjoy the fact that I can help other young moms and dads. As a matter of fact, I never even thought my age was an issue until I read this article. I was; however, discriminated in the past for being a single mom with child responsibilities. I got through that; wouldn't want to work for that type of employer anyway. My last point is that we are nurses, we have all taken care of patients who have died or have been incapacitated at a very young age. No life has a term contract...so what does age have to do with it anyway?

I hear you and agree 100% that age brings value.

I'm glad you have not experienced age discrimination.

TXRNIam

TXRNIam

Has 1 years experience. 2 Posts

I am a nurse of 4 years. This is a second career for me and one that I love; however, I have felt so frustrated because I didn't feel like I was going anywhere. I am in the same position that I started in right out of school. I was amazed when I could answer yes to each of your questions!!! I am 51 years old have a business degree and now a BSN. I am current working on my MSN as an NP. Yet I rarely even get asked to be charge nurse. I do however seem do get the problem patients. (Which I accept as a challenge!) I would like to have some more varied work experience. Any ideas? I plan to implement those that you have suggested.

Thanks

RN just trying to get ahead.

TXRNIam

TXRNIam

Has 1 years experience. 2 Posts

Beth,

I think you are right. Regardless as to whether it is fair or not, sometimes you have got to play the game! It's the same in business. If you don't change with the times you will get left behind.

TXRNIam

Nurse Beth, MSN

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho. Has 30 years experience. 151 Articles; 2,731 Posts

I am a nurse of 4 years. This is a second career for me and one that I love; however, I have felt so frustrated because I didn't feel like I was going anywhere. I am in the same position that I started in right out of school. I was amazed when I could answer yes to each of your questions!!! I am 51 years old have a business degree and now a BSN. I am current working on my MSN as an NP. Yet I rarely even get asked to be charge nurse. I do however seem do get the problem patients. (Which I accept as a challenge!) I would like to have some more varied work experience. Any ideas? I plan to implement those that you have suggested.

This is exactly what I've seen. You are a qualified nurse with valuable life experience being passed over for leadership roles by presumably less qualified but younger nurses.

Why is this? Sometimes I think it's because younger nurses are easier to direct and initially ask fewer challenging questions to disrupt the status quo. I have seen several young nurse managers promote only fairly new and young nurses nurses perhaps because they're more comfortable with that age group.

Have you applied to any charge nurse positions? Not to say they could not turn you down, but they'd have to take a good look at your experience and credentials if you formally applied.

It's good you are getting your NP because you may be more respected in that role. Best wishes :)

Zenny12

Zenny12

1 Post

I'm going to add my experience with age discrimination. A small group of very proficient RN's, along with an amazing boss took our tiny department and grew it, until it was a bustling department, 30 beds, earning millions$. Recently the corporation fired the boss, set up all of the older nurses in various ways (example and older RN received final write up because she placed a swab on a table in too hard of a manner & this was described as "hostility") and in their places placed very young new RNs. The new management says this was a positive change because the young nurses are happy with the older nurses gone.

RK694

RK694

Specializes in Medical Writer, Licensed Teacher & Nurse, BA Psych. 50 Posts

Bottom line: Start your own business/practice. You don't have to deal with ignorant employers.

Kitiger, RN

Specializes in Private Duty Pediatrics. Has 43 years experience. 1,728 Posts

On 9/2/2015 at 5:43 PM, Nurse Beth said:Emphasize your technology skills. Put your LinkedIn url on your resume as a contact. If your email account is aol, change it to firstname.lastname @gmail.com.

Why is having an aol account a bad thing?

 

 

Jml1986

Jml1986, ADN

22 Posts

2 hours ago, Kitiger said:

 

I guess it shows your age, that you were alive when aol was at it’s height-or at the very start of the “internet.” This article is pretty disappointing all around. 

Kitiger, RN

Specializes in Private Duty Pediatrics. Has 43 years experience. 1,728 Posts

17 hours ago, Jml1986 said:

I guess it shows your age, that you were alive when aol was at it’s height-or at the very start of the “internet.” This article is pretty disappointing all around. 

Well, I WAS alive back then.

I remember, in the early 1980s, when a friend brought his new computer to our house. He connected it to our TV, as the computer didn't have its own screen. He showed me this amazing new thing that his computer could do; he could write something, and then go back and edit it - actually change the words on the TV screen!

He said it was something called "Word Processing".

Truly amazing! 🙂