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

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

Thank you for this article. I''ll be 49 when I start RN school this Fall. I intend on going for DNP. I'm retiring from a male dominated career that had its challenges I worked through, and will do my best to overcome the unfair challenges in nursing if they happen. This article is very informative and gave some great ways to combat it. Thank you.
Good luck on your journey! You're an inspiration

As a nurse who is 65 I am not ready to give up on nursing but it is ready to give up on me. I am tired but still want to work some in nursing and do not want to quit completely. Why do the facilities not see that I could fill in to help them during shortage times of the work day and assist but not take on full 12 hour shifts.....I still have a lot to give but have given for almost 40 years and am a realist and cannot give as a 25 year old can but do not want to quit contributing...yes age discrimination does happen. I am looking for a place that does see that those of us who worked without IV pumps, figured drips in our heads, mixed our own IVs, had 25 patients, still have a lot to contribute.....!!! are any of you out there who want us??? ...DSPKFM

I believe there is ageism. As an LVN who is 55. I have applied to get my RN doing the bridge program. I have to take 4 science classes. I have been working as an LVN for 10 years. Mostly clinical work. I now work in Occupational health.

My employer is willing to pay for my return to school. I fear age discrimination in accepting me into nursing school. I don't know how I will do but I know it will be challenging. I don't plan to do hospital work and I plan to stay at my current employer if they bump up my pay. I enjoy Occ health work as it is 75% administrative.

I don't know if I will be accepted to the school. Can anyone give me any feedback on age discrimination in being accepted into a nursing program?

You should not have any age related problems with school acceptance. If people believe they are not being hired due to age - maybe visit your local EEOC office. It's against the law to discriminate.

Great suggestions! My Nurse Supervisor and the Executive Director basically suggested I step down from my Supervisor position and take a pay cut. Due to excessive corporate meetings and my position spreading to different areas, I accepted the demotion but KARMA stepped in and HR made it clear there will be no pay cut. In fact, just recently I received a merit raise. I am 64 and run circles around lazy, overweight staff members. There is times I use the word "old" to describe myself but no more!

Recently started new position in endoscopy. Very small department run by a group of women that are close friends. Previous 3 nurses left due to bullying by these women.

Needless to say after several months there I was told I am not the right fit. I am approximately 13 years older than most of them. I have not missed a day or been late. The bullying has been horrible. Told to giddy up. Critical comments said in condescending manner in front of other colleagues.Now I am in my 50s and an employee for 20 years of this hospital searching for a new day shift position. I am waiting to speak to human resources about my options. I so loved the work in this specialty. I know the bullying affected my confidence. So upset over all of this.

Well while I certainly agree that there is discrimination, this article.seems to reinforce, rather than reduce it. I am NOT 20 years old. Why should I act like I am? If I have some trouble with technology, assist me. I assist you when nursing issues arise that you've never even seen, much less cared for. I have grey hair and wrinkles, and while I am not obese(as many of my younger colleagues are) I have put on a few pounds over the years. It does not affect my ability, knowledge, or willingness to care for patients. I am proud of my years, mlly experience, my ongoing education. I should not have to act like a new graduate to work!

I'd die without those "older" nurses. They are the critical link in helping inexperienced nurses like me along the way. Sadly many do not want to help mentor the younger nurses. I'm fortunate that nursing is a second career so I'm a bit advanced in age...they help me. The ones I work with avoid charge nurse like the plague. They just want to be nurses...and that's ok. Personally they can keep the chump change they pay for the increased headache that is charge. 😂

Instead of addressing faulty assumptions associated with ageism, this article is putting the onus on older people to work around biased attitudes. It doesn't address the actual problem (biased, untrue notions re: older nurses) but actually propagates it by suggesting older people need to change behaviors in order to make those with a bias more comfortable. I have worked with nurses a few years out from retirement and they were not only a wealth of knowledge, they ran circles around us younger nurses. I always looked up to them. They shouldn't need to change a thing about themselves! What needs to change is biased attitudes in medicine.

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 specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

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.

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.

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 specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

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 :)

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.

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

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