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Age Discrimination in Nursing

Have you experienced age discrimination?

Career Nurse Beth Article   posted
Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist)

Nurse Beth specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

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 4 of Age Discrimination in Nursing. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

I am also 55 and an LPN for 17 years and just graduated from a BSN program. It was quite challenging but age didn't matter when it came to applying myself. For many reasons I will not be applying to hospitals for employment one of which is I do not feel like I need to work Med-surg to be a nurse given that some places work you like animals. I have thought about hospice and home care as well as Public health centers until I have completed the Masters degree in MSN/MPH. The program I attended did not appear to discriminate because there were several of the over 50 are group in attendance and we all completed the program. You must try all you can because one of the worst things in life is looking back and wishing that you had done more. Do not short change yourself, be confident have faith. Best of luck in your endeavors.

Remember these young uns are going to be taking care of us shudder

How old do you thinkI am? With a name like Melissa I figure you are in your 50's. I am 63 and not getting any younger but I am able to do 4 12 hour days a week and help my youngrr counterparts.

Of course the age doesn't matter when you are going through school, money is green no matter how old you are. Going to work with out experience and over 40 is the challenge.

I have to work until I am 70 due to change in SS rules. So listen up, young people Ss states if you want full retirement from SS yiu will have to work until 70 years old then you will see what age discrimination is really all about.

I too do traveling nursing, I have come to realize that as far as retirement money through SS this is not the way to go as SS is based on your yearly income. As a matter of fact, I am now farther in debt than I was before I started traveling. $12.00-14.00 an hour is ridiculous to try to live on in CA. The tax free money didn't even pay for my rent so I had to dip into my $12.00 an hour wage to pay for my housing. Travel nursing is fine if one is not trying to maintain a house and all the expense that goes with it when traveling.

bagladyrn, RN

Specializes in OB.

I too do traveling nursing, I have come to realize that as far as retirement money through SS this is not the way to go as SS is based on your yearly income. As a matter of fact, I am now farther in debt than I was before I started traveling. $12.00-14.00 an hour is ridiculous to try to live on in CA. The tax free money didn't even pay for my rent so I had to dip into my $12.00 an hour wage to pay for my housing. Travel nursing is fine if one is not trying to maintain a house and all the expense that goes with it when traveling.

You might want to check with some other agencies - 12 - 14 dollars taxed is low. I do know that my agency offers the option to treat all income as taxable (even if you have a tax home) if you want to maximize the amt. on which your SS is based. They should definitely be paying enough in housing stipend to cover housing costs for whatever area you are in, no matter what your other amounts are.

Jules A, MSN

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

I have to work until I am 70 due to change in SS rules. So listen up, young people Ss states if you want full retirement from SS yiu will have to work until 70 years old then you will see what age discrimination is really all about.

I'm not counting on social security to live but will take it as early as I am able to. I guess its an individual thing but imo the reason they pay more if you wait longer is because the odds are you won't outlive the years worth of income you passed up. Those extra years from 62 to 67 even though at a reduced rate can equal a huge amount of money.

The average life expectancy is 78.8 and 36.4% of people >65yo will report a disability. I'm praying I will still be spry and with it in my early 60s and at that point either way I'm done.

FastStats - Life Expectancy

https://www.disabilitystatistics.org/reports/acs.cfm?statistic=1

Sounds lIke "Employment at Will" law in PA

FranEMTnurse, CNA, LPN, EMT-I

Specializes in LTC, CPR instructor, First aid instructor..

Thank you Beth. Yes, I was picked on and discriminated by several younger students in my class when I was in nursing school although I was an EMT with 15 years exerience under my belt, a CPR instructor who had taught numerous professionals, and even a first aid instructor who kept 135 employees certified at the bus company I worked for 15 years.

I have to say I had such a positive nursing experience, I feel sorry for everyone else. I graduated at 58 yo. When the major hospital in our area came to school to talk to us, I told the Human Resource person if she didn't hire me I was not going to work anywhere because I didn't want to commute. Prior to nursing school I worked at a co. that I commuted 75 mi. each way and had to drive some more to visit clients every day. My goal in nursing was night shift, float pool, prn. They oriented me on days for 10 weeks, nights for 2 weeks. I really didn't like the area they oriented me to (ortho), but they said I was too new to float, so after 7 months they asked if I'd like to orient for another floor so they could pull me if they needed me. I said yes and they oriented me for six weeks in tele. After that they left me float almost all over the hospital; ICU and ED when they were very desperate. When I was 65 I thought maybe I was too old for the floor so I applied for Admissions position, which was interviewing admitted patients and putting info in the computer. After 6 months I was lonely for the floor and one of the manager's offered to call me when she needed someone and I'd get a day or two on the floor. Age 68 they did away with the Admissions position and because my job had me in the ED most of the time, the manager there offered me a position. Out of the 7 people who worked in our dept, I was the oldest by at least 5 years. However, when she'd be walking around the ED she'd see me emptying bedpans, answering lights, testing stool (ha Ha). It was my favorite job in the hospital, but alas, age 70 and my husband got ill and now I take care of him. I think my experience was a lot different than most people, but I want to people to know there are good places to work. Much of it has to do with attitude.

oahufish

Specializes in Surgical and Cardiovascular ICU.

Occupations with set age limits for retirement like Airline Pilots, Military, Police, Firefighters etc...all have great pension systems that kick in at that set retirement age. Most hospitals have no set pension system or like our have pushed back the eligibility for full pension to age 65! I'd be more than happy to retire at a mandated age 55 or 60 if I received a great benefit and pension package like these other professions.

I think a person should be who they are. I would like to see the discrimination law actually be put to use so people 40 and better don't have to be discriminated against. Telling a 40 plus person not to talk about their experience as a nurse back in the day, or to listen to music that a child would listen to is age shaming. A 40 plus person should be able to talk about what is important to them and listen to whatever music they prefer the same way as anyone else. You can put on whatever make up, wig, clothes you want it will not change the fact that everyone can see how old they are. Sorry, but it will take a major law suit and a land mark decision before anything changes.

Thank you for the article Beth. As a 52 year old who just completed her master's degree, I can understand the fears we older nurses have in the workplace regarding age discrimination. I also understand older nurses sentiments that they shouldn't have to change or adapt to fit the youth orientation of their work environment. However, age discrimination does exist and we can't just rely on our experience and accomplishments to get us through. Until age doesn't matter, it is in our best interests to do what we can to appear youthful and vibrant while also using our experience to lead and mentor the younger generation. Your tips to keep yourself fit and healthy, sit up straight etc. are spot on. We can't stop aging but we can face it with grace and dignity and by doing so we provide the example that aging nurse are valuable, productive, and necessary commodities in todays ever changing healthcare system.

oahufish

Specializes in Surgical and Cardiovascular ICU.

Several weeks ago our Manager was discussing a new Call in that she'd hired to try out in our unit. She then stated "He's older but we'll see if he works out, if not we can let him go before his probation period is up" and that she does not like to hire "older nurses" because they "just don't catch on as quick" in regards to our computer charting system! It's also a well known fact that she tells every new employee to "write up UOR's" on certain "experienced" RN's in our unit because she'd like to get rid of them!

I was 48 when I started Nursing School, 51 when I passed NCLEX & got my job on a psych unit (I always say age plays well there!) The only problem I have is the 23yr old nurse with 6 months more experience than me pissed off because everyone thinks I'm the charge nurse or the one with most authority because I am older:) I get the stink eye from her every time --- ask if I care ;)

I am right in the middle of this. I am 57. I got my LVN last year and my RN this year. I haven't found a job yet. Just a "Thanks but no thanks...", "We are reevaluating this position..." or "We are looking at someone who might be a better fit...".

It is frustrating for me. I worked in avionics in the Navy, I am computer literate, a BS in Computers, and I can say that I gutted it out through two gruelling years of school and I never had to remediate or retake a board. Sounds arrogant, doesn't it. No! I am proud I did it. With all the people who started and dropped from the program, I never let it get me down.

I am already heading towards either a BSN or MSN. Still deciding.

I will add that I have been out of the workforce for over a decade. I was so burned out in the computer field, I just didn't go back.

It is hard to talk about a work history that is over a decade old. I do have great references from instructors, floor staff, friends and others... I just want to work. I don't think God would put me through all this to sit on my duff to look at a diploma on the wall!

Really would love some advice if you have it.

oahufish

Specializes in Surgical and Cardiovascular ICU.

I am right in the middle of this. I am 57. I got my LVN last year and my RN this year. I haven't found a job yet. Just a "Thanks but no thanks...", "We are reevaluating this position..." or "We are looking at someone who might be a better fit...".

It is frustrating for me. I worked in avionics in the Navy, I am computer literate, a BS in Computers, and I can say that I gutted it out through two gruelling years of school and I never had to remediate or retake a board. Sounds arrogant, doesn't it. No! I am proud I did it. With all the people who started and dropped from the program, I never let it get me down.

I am already heading towards either a BSN or MSN. Still deciding.

I will add that I have been out of the workforce for over a decade. I was so burned out in the computer field, I just didn't go back.

It is hard to talk about a work history that is over a decade old. I do have great references from instructors, floor staff, friends and others... I just want to work. I don't think God would put me through all this to sit on my duff to look at a diploma on the wall!

Really would love some advice if you have it.

usnretired1997, I know this may not be ideal but have you considered taking a job as a Monitor tech, Unit Clerk, NA etc... just to get into a hospital system? In our area there are not many opportunities for new grads, so I've seen many folks get their foot in the door this way. Once you're in the system, Managers see your work ethic, willingness to learn and when they find out you have computer skills as well, you might land an RN position pretty quick. I know this has worked for many new grads in our hospital.

Nurse Beth, MSN

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

Such good advice by oahufish to take an entry level position to get your foot in the door

usnretired1997,RN --- I am looking forward to getting BS so I can do Med Review / Utilization Review for Insurance companies. You can also look at health dept., other type of nursing --- Psych is interesting! Wound Care - Home Health. Agencies as PRN for right now??? Wow - there are tons of options, you are just looking at hospitals??? Use your class mates & your instructors..... You will find something soon - Trust me --- just keep confident & pray --- the right job for the right nurse at the right time.... Let the time be now!!!!

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