Age of a Nurse

Nurses General Nursing


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902 Posts

We have many RN's who have worked 40+ years and are in their 60's, a few in their 70's. Not all at the bedside, but many are still. Our hospital newsletter posts the names of employees who have reached a 5th yr anniversary, at intervals up to 45 yrs!! I'll be turning 60 next year and plan to work until 70!!


194 Posts

On my unit the nurses range in age from 27 to probably 60, with quite a few mid-late 30s.


82 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care.

We definitely have nurses in their 50's, maybe one or two early 60's. It's such a tough environment, the wear and tear will eventually slow even the healthiest, most robust nurse eventually. When you go into bedside nursing, expecially critical care, you definitely need an exit strategy.


1 Article; 2,188 Posts

Specializes in Home Care.

Our consulting psych ARNP told me yesterday that he'll be 65 next month and has no intention of retiring. He gave me inspiration to continue on with my education beyond BSN. Why not? I could have a doctorate by the time I'm 60 LOL

There are plenty of desk jobs for nurses, that's one of the many reasons I chose to go into nursing at my age. There's no way in H e double L that I'll be able to afford to retire at 65.


243 Posts

I will need to work until I'm 70. But one thought haunts me. Twenty years ago, when I was starting my first nursing job, one of the nurses took me aside and said, "Look around. You will not see any bedside nurses over 40. The expectation at this hospital is that you will move up the ladder into a non-bedside position by 40. If you don't, well, there are ways to get you out if management wants you out." I did look around, and by golly she was right. Now,combine that type of thinking with the customer service mentality. Is it just a matter of time before someone does a study that shows that customers prefer young, slim, attractive nurses caring for them? Can someone prove they even heal faster when cared for by a young, attractive caregiver.? Don't laugh, stranger things have been "proved," at least for a while. My point is, know your hospital's stance on using older nurses at the bedside, and if your findings are disturbing, start educating yourself and making crucial connections with management NOW.

dudette10, MSN, RN

1 Article; 3,530 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, Academics.
Those of you who are RN's. Do you see people working as an RN until they are in their 60's or even close to 70 years old? I was wondering if it was a career that people can stay in that long. I am a high school teacher and the oldest that I have ever seen a HS teacher work is 50's occasionally into early 60's but that is rare. People do not teach for 40 years very often.

Do you see people being a RN for close to 40 years very often?

Also, would you say that nursing is a very emotional career.


One of the things you might want to think about before comparing nursing to teaching is your retirement package. Your pension is probably about 75% (or more) of the highest of X number of years in your last years of teaching, right? You might also be able to retire based on years of service, rather than age, correct? Nurses don't get that, unless they are unionized like teachers are. So, you'll probably see a larger proportion of older nurses in their industry than teachers in their industry. :)

mvg rn

56 Posts

Specializes in NICU.

I work in the NICU and we have several nurses in their late 50's and early 60's - most of whom I can't imagine retiring anytime soon.

loriangel14, RN

6,931 Posts

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

I know a bedside nurse that is still working at 68 and she can run circles around the rest of us!

Testa Rosa, RN

333 Posts

Specializes in Tele Step Down, Oncology, ICU, Med/Surg.

As a new grad RN, I've run into several older nurses--most notably in our Peds rotation.

She still wore the white dress, thick hose and white orthopedic shoes--all she was missing was the hat! She rocked that floor and was the "go-to" RN if you had questions.

As a second career RN in the tough new grad RN climate of the SF/Bay Area, I feel I've run up against ageism. I've been a very strong candidate for a couple of new grad RN programs, yet they ultimately hire the 24 year olds. I am a health nut, and can run circles around many 24 year olds. I hope this ageism doesn't continue as I develop in my chosen profession. I intend to work a long time.


198 Posts

I work with several Nurses and Techs at bedside who are in their late 60's. I give them credit, the job is physically and emotionaly demanding.

In my state Teachers have a very good pension plan, maybe they can better afford to retire than Nurses.

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