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

My experience with Sacramento Mather Veteran's Administration. About a year ago (59 yo at time), I had my first taste of age discrimination when interviewing for a part-time position in a Palliative clinic with Sacramento's VA. The young Hispanic MD for that clinic stood from the conference table extending his hand to take mine. I was impressed until I noticed he was looking for signs of Arthritis. Unfortunately, my broken 5th finger did not get his approval, but he did comment, otherwise. my hand was youthful. Of the 5-person panel, He was the last to interview me. He used everything imaginable to discredit me. On their application, if you retired from a federal agency, you need to check yes to avoid double dipping. I had semi-retired but not from a federal agency so I checked "no." Even though the Chief P&S explained to him the difference, He still called me a liar for checking "no." He looked for every reason to pick apart my resume. I had suffered fractures from an assault and battery while at that state position and was fired because their internal investigators chose to believe that (male) staff members story that I had lied about the incident. Even though, I shared with the interviewing MD my entire nursing history, that interviewing MD's focus was so negatively inclined, he needed to know if I were ever fired before in my life. He was relentless to the point of abuse and stated he did not believe my report of assault and battery either. That Doctor (I should say young doctor) put me into shock, I abruptly left the room. He was not someone I could have supported. He promised to permanently scar my future applications so all of the VA administration would know I am a liar. I tried to report him to VA's administration at Mather, but could not get access and trying for VA's Federal Admin web site was no better.

DREAM'N : It may not be the "serious" age discrimination that is discussed in the article but it is still "serious" and real. I decided to share my experience and how age discrimination affects me on a day to day basis; a piece that the article did not touch on. May not seem like much to you but it is to me, so please dont undermind that fact.

Edited by Girlygirl23
Forgot to address

I'm a student nurse and there's this nurse in the ER where I clerk who loves to teach and help people along all the time whether they're actually students or just wondering about something. I love to hang with her when I'm not doing anything because she always wants to show me something she knows I don't know but she always builds on what she knows I do know. Some people might say she looks old but she definitely doesn't act like it :) I'm 19 and she could definitely be my grandmother but nobody ever treats either of us like that. I love my job :D!!

OldGrayNurse specializes in Medicare Reimbursement; MDS/RAI.

Does anyone have any input concerning the trend I'm seeing in my area? I mean, with the passing of the ACA, many facilities, particularly LTC facilities, are getting rid of benefits always offered before, including long/short term disability, health insurance, and retirement accounts (like 410K), and instead, offering a higher salary. I've seen many younger nurses turn down jobs because most of them have families/children that need coverage and in SC, ACA coverage is expensive. Not to mention a trend towards offering no disability benefits or life insurance benefits unless you have your own policy (which I do). At our facility, HR set up insurance companies to come and "court" the employees with their quotes on these policies at a "health fair", but there is no payroll deduction or contribution match by our employer. It's only convenience is that the providers come to our facility, instead of us having to go out and find policies on our own.

I only mention this in this particular thread because I'm wondering if this is a national trend, and if it is, would this benefit older nurses who probably carry their own insurances/retirement accounts, or at the least have no dependents to cover; as in, would not having to factor in these benefits for them make them more attractive to hire?

Kaylight specializes in Med-Surg.

Great topic and very appropriate. Ageism is very real, and happens all the time. I think your suggestions were good ones. Some of us need to (me especially) not mention our age at all. Sometimes it feels like I am being left out or ostracized, and while in nursing school I even had comments from a younger individual saying that no one wanted to be around me (because I was older).

I was trying to keep my age secret, but it is difficult while sitting in a room full of twenty somethings. The school I was in announced it in a powerpoint which I think was inappropriate.

I have begun running 20 minutes a day, and using luminosity to sharpen my brain and reactions. I have also started looking at what the hip crowd does, and dress my best staying stylish without wearing things that are uncomfortably revealing.

I have had all sorts of age discrimination. I could write a whole book on it. I was bumped out of teaching during the recession, because they would not hire older teachers. I switched over to nursing, and I have had to struggle with science and keep up with younger folk in this field, but I wanted to hang in there and keep studying nursing, because I want a career that I enjoy so much that I would not even want to retire from.

bbyRN specializes in TCU, Dementia care, nurse manager.

The number of different jobs and positions that nurses are suitable for, if not best qualified for, are so numerous that we all should be employed and paid well until we unambiguously cannot do the work. Age does make a difference, but there is more to nursing than floor nursing. If there is only one type of position that one is willing to take, then, sure, rejection is going to be the norm. Maybe should be the norm. For employers who cannot make use of older nurses in the many positions that they are qualified for and needed for, well, they can get what they deserve when they need health care in the health care system that they have created with shortsightedness and discrimination. Same goes for those who refuse to pass on knowledge and embitter the lives of those willing to learn and work hard.

In my case, I was "laid off" due to cut backs 2 years ago, told my position no longer existed, and escorted to my car. Here in North Carolina, you can be let go from your job for no reason due to the no hire law. NC is the only state that has this law. Even though my job no longer e sited, new grad nurses were hired to replace me and several others let go at that time.

As an RN you would have more responsibility in you department doing assessments for RAI. If you feel ADN is a waste of your time then don't do it. But I think you will be very proud of your accomplishment. Good Luck with your decision

I have a good one. The other day I was in an interview. The person who was interviewing asked me the age of my son and I jumped right in there with 38. I did not get the position and yes, I do believe it was because of my age.

I wonder how many of us are dated by our names? Karen, Debbie, and Linda, are names from the 50's and 60's. If I had a name like Tiffany, Amber, or Brittany I think I could fake my age very well.

I just finished my DNP - I'm a little older than you are.

I'm looking for a teaching position - I've been teaching part-time for the last 11 years.

So far, several interviews....apparently, I don't have enough research in my background. Well, DNP's work in translational research, not original research. Maybe we're too new?

I'm still looking tho!


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