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Ageism in Nursing

Nurse Beth Article   (9,690 Views 36 Comments 1,036 Words)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Advice Column) Writer Innovator Expert

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and works as a Nursing Professional Development Specialist.

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We are so accustomed to ageism in our society that it's not always recognized for what it is- prejudice and discrimination. You are reading page 3 of Ageism in Nursing. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

Hoosier_RN has 20 years experience as a MSN and works as a Dialysis.

186 Likes; 3 Followers; 2,039 Visitors; 1,164 Posts

22 hours ago, fibroblast said:

One thing that Ruby and Hoosier forgot was to read my bottom paragraph. 

One thing that you and Ruby forgot was to read my bottom paragraph. Most people turn a blind eye to the truth. Being that there is a stigma sort of with being an older nurse as ya'll suggest, wouldn't the so called older nurse adapt if they aren't equal to men in the workplace instead of pout if they aren't willing to organize? You refuse to see my post as informative but want to feel defensive. 

I didn’t feel I was defensive. Actually, I did just try to tune out the men are better part as this article is about ageism, not sexual discrimination. I’ve met some in all age groups who are a$$es. That’s a personality issue, not an age issue

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232 Likes; 3 Followers; 95,220 Visitors; 36,400 Posts

Not on topic, a question.  What is going on in this thread with all of the guest posts?  There are so many of them that it does not seem normal.

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN.

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12 hours ago, caliotter3 said:

Not on topic, a question.  What is going on in this thread with all of the guest posts?  There are so many of them that it does not seem normal.

I don't know, but I don't like it!  It seems that if you're going to post controversial opinions, you should take accountability for them.  I pulled up AN on an old iPad, and it let me start posting an opinion.  Only after I had finished composing the post did I realize that I wasn't signed in and was posting as a guest.  Oops!  I didn't hit the "Submit Reply" button, and I'll be very careful in the future to avoid doing the same.

 

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232 Likes; 3 Followers; 95,220 Visitors; 36,400 Posts

1 minute ago, Ruby Vee said:

I don't know, but I don't like it!  It seems that if you're going to post controversial opinions, you should take accountability for them.  I pulled up AN on an old iPad, and it let me start posting an opinion.  Only after I had finished composing the post did I realize that I wasn't signed in and was posting as a guest.  Oops!  I didn't hit the "Submit Reply" button, and I'll be very careful in the future to avoid doing the same.

 

I didn't even know this was how it works.  I always thought guest posts were from people who had shut down their accounts.

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Hoosier_RN has 20 years experience as a MSN and works as a Dialysis.

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On 1/19/2019 at 11:34 AM, morelostthanfound said:

     This is only partially true...to see the bigger picture, as some have suggested, is to 'follow the money'.  It's not about not smiling enough, having wrinkles, wearing bifocals, not embracing technology...all red herrings.  More likely, it's that seasoned nurses usually command much higher wages than entry level/inexperienced nurses and often, are not as easily malleable to the sometimes ridiculous demands and wishes of the 'pencil pushing' MBA administrators.  For them (management), what's proven to be better for the bottom line is to whittle away over time at employee benefits, effect wage stagnation, and disincentivize long-term employment.

      Believe me, years ago, as a young nurse, I didn't see or believe it either, after all, it's expensive to hire and train new staff-right?  The sad reality is that having worked in many states and hospital systems, I have come to see that nurses are sometimes considered an expendable commodity.  In many overcrowded markets with a ready supply of applicants, this formula has proven to be effective.  Ah yes, better to make nurses feel that after years of loyal service, they're no longer relevant or "can't meet the demands" of the job.  So yes, ageism in nursing is alive and well.  I suggest that if you haven't witnessed it yourself, to consider yourself fortunate.

Thank you for stating what I was getting ready to.  I live in a very saturated rural market, 1 local hospital began finding reasons to let seasoned nurses go, the other forced them to take pay cuts if they wanted to stay.  The former has nothing but brand new nurses all the time and can't figure out why they leave to go be NPs or to other non-bedside nurses, and they've had to up their pay game to compete with out of town hospitals. The other still has their seasoned staff, but they are not a happy bunch, knowing to command a fair wage, they would have to drive 1-1.5hrs to the big city hospitals, which still may not get them a job. None of them want the drive either way. For whatever reason, neither facility wants to pay the seasoned nurses what they are worth, and it makes no sense whatsoever.  Thankful to be out of the acute care game!

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Hoosier_RN has 20 years experience as a MSN and works as a Dialysis.

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On 1/18/2019 at 10:57 AM, OldDude said:

The first I've heard of Ageism, which, I guess, is a good thing. Good article.

because you are forever your OD!

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Hoosier_RN has 20 years experience as a MSN and works as a Dialysis.

186 Likes; 3 Followers; 2,039 Visitors; 1,164 Posts

23 hours ago, Guest Jekgrn3 said:

I agree with ataymil8.  I am in my mid 50s and have been a nurse manager for many years.   Most of the time it boils down to finances not necessarily ageism.  

Call it what you want, but usually the older seasoned nurses are the ones that are getting higher rates.  I'm grateful that I haven't been in that position as I left acute care years ago.  I have a few friends that have been touched by 'cutbacks'

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This is a timely article.  I am a PCC (Patient Care Coordinator) in a Canadian hospital (read Head Nurse) and work a .74 position on an Acute Care for Elders Unit.  Up until last year I worked full-time and was fortunate that this part-time position became available.

I turn 72 next month.  I don't want to retire yet, but am getting very tired of the OMG when are you going to retire or I sure don't want to be working past 60 etc etc.  I am respected by doctors, families, patients, and staff.   I know my nursing and was hoping I would know "when to leave".  I don't want to stay and be a "that" person who didn't know when to leave,  I just had a performance review and there was only one issue.  We now have portable phones with voicemail.  I don't like voicemail in the role I am in, but now make a more concerted effort to reply.  As technologically savvy as I am, and I am, I liken my job to being a traffic controller and keeping the flow smooth with a minimum of angst amongst staff, administration, and patients/families. 

I love the work I do.  Working on an ACE unit means educating people about elder-friendly care and I am a walking example of showing that just because you are older doesn't mean you are done.  Maybe I'll never be done.  If I retire I will go back to school or ????  Dilemma, dilemma.

 

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Sue Salisbury has 45 years experience and works as a RN, BSN.

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Those of us who are older nurses will surely remember President Ronald Reagan's classic 1984 presidential debate comment, when grilled about his age precluding his being able to do the work, "I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience."

This is a good topic, and I agree with many of the posters who noted the value of experience.  Education is wonderful, of course, but experience and maturity can take a good many years in the field.  We need, young, middle-aged, and older nurses - we are all in a tough but rewarding field - it takes all of us.

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freesia29 has 5 years experience and works as a LPN.

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As an LPN going back for RN and graduating at 49, I certainly hope not.  I have always dreamed of working at the hospital.  I am hoping the shortage of nurses we have here will help me get into the hospital right away!

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lilajan has 20+ years experience and works as a Critical Care RN.

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During an interview, at a large teaching hospital, I was asked by the nurse manager how I would deal with a charge nurse younger than myself. When called back for a peer panel interview, two questions were asked regarding working with and being supervised by younger nurses. Several other, more subtle remarks, were made during a unit walk through and conversation with the Clinical Nurse Specialist. 

A position was offered, but only on nights (we need more experience on that shift).

Ultimately, I passed on the opportunity. 

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traumaRUs has 25 years experience as a MSN, APRN and works as a Asst Community Manager @ allnurses.

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On 1/19/2019 at 10:34 PM, caliotter3 said:

Not on topic, a question.  What is going on in this thread with all of the guest posts?  There are so many of them that it does not seem normal.

Thanks for bringing this to our attention - this issue has been resolved

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