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CNA Jobs - Possible Age Discrimination?

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by JMTrumpet1 JMTrumpet1 (Member)

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Hi all,

I am a Nursing Student one semester away from graduating with an Associate Degree in Nursing (RN).  I thought I would apply for a CNA position this summer at several of my local hospitals, with the goal to not only earn some income, but also to gain more hospital experience and establish a good work reputation in the hope of getting hired as an RN by that hospital upon graduation from my program at the end of the year.

The first hospital I applied at (online) for a position called me back within 48 hours and I had an interview that seemed to go very well.  They took me for a tour of the Floor and generally talked as if my being hired was practically a done deal.  But unfortunately, in the final phase of the interview I told the HR person that it was my plan to drop down to Registry at the start of the Fall semester so as not to endanger my studies and grades.  She replied that the Floor Manager was intent upon filling the position (24 hours per week) permanently.  And sure enough, a few days later I received an e-mail saying the position had been filled.  Fair enough.

But, I've also applied to 31 CNA positions at Advocate Aurora Healthcare through their online portal during the past two months.  31!!!  And I have yet to receive even a single request for an interview for any of them.  I have a CNA certification, and though I have never worked as a CNA (the CNA Certification was a prerequisite for my Nursing Program), I have completed 75% of my RN Nursing Degree program along with the requisite clinicals involved.  I would think that as such, I'd make a desirable candidate for a CNA position (especially for a hospital that constantly has 25 more more open CNA positions they are trying to fill). 

I am in my mid fifties and I am wondering if age discrimination is happening here.  Your thoughts?

Thanks,

John

Edited by JMTrumpet1

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If there is anything on your application that gives away, or hints at, your age, yes, it could be age discrimination.  Age discrimination is alive and well in nursing.  If your application is heavy with the nursing school information, any human reading it could deduce that you won't be around for the long haul and they will make the same decision not to deal with you as your first example.  Employers don't want to waste their time with overly qualified, or old, applicants.  You could try applying elsewhere and leave off the nursing school information, but then you would be dealing with the fact that you don't have experience to offer.  Hang on until you have an RN license, then get earnest about finding employment.

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22 minutes ago, caliotter3 said:

If your application is heavy with the nursing school information, any human reading it could deduce that you won't be around for the long haul

This is my thought as well.... hiring managers are not trying to hire someone knowing that they will have to turn around and repeat the process in a short period of time. 

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Thanks for the replies so far! 

Yes, my resume lists employment back many years so it's pretty easy to tell from it I'm not in my 20's.

still, I would have thought they'd by happy to have 3/4's of a Nurse working as a CNA, even if just for 8 months or so.  I totally understand the first hospital not wanting me if I was planning on going on registry at the end of the summer (meaning the Floor I was being hired for wouldn't just be suffering a cut in my hours, but losing me to the rest of the hospital).  By the way, that hospital now has an open CNA Registry position and I've applied for it.  Fingers crossed.

In retrospect it probably would have been better if I had applied for a CNA job at the start or near the start of the Nursing Program as then a prospective employer would know they'd have me for a couple of years, as opposed to a matter of months.

More thoughts welcome!

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Employment advisors say to limit your resume to the past ten, or even seven, years to help with the age discrimination.  Background checks only go back seven years.  No need to divulge past that.  Do some surgery on your resume and you might have an easier time of it. 

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3 hours ago, caliotter3 said:

Employment advisors say to limit your resume to the past ten, or even seven, years to help with the age discrimination.  Background checks only go back seven years.  No need to divulge past that.  Do some surgery on your resume and you might have an easier time of it. 

Good point, and I've just gone in and trimmed my employment history down a bit in my Resume.  Note though that all three of my Credit Reports list a company I used to own as a past employer - and this was a company I closed in 1998.  The account info only goes back 7 years, but employment info doesn't seem to ever leave a credit report.

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From the employer perspective it is expensive to search for, interview, onboard, and train new employees. I think that knowing you will only fill the position a few months is a huge red flag for unit managers, especially if there are any other candidates who will potentially fill the position long term.

Ultimately it sounds to me like the fact that you are nearing the end of your program and have no intention of staying in the positions you are applying to more than a few months is what is really holding you back from getting work as a CNA.

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As a CNA myself, I’ve always been told that hospitals require experience. So the 31 jobs you applied at, if this is all related to hospital field, don’t be surprised if they want a year of experience. The best place to go for experience is a SNF or skilled nursing facility. I just interviewed for the VA with 10 months and a few days at the place I just quit at and I also worked for a temp agency with x amount of hours worked this year and last year combine might equal a month or two of work. Now mind you the VA is/can be hard to get into and they won’t look at your resume without experience. Then again I never applied with them without experience but a lot of va employees told me you need to have experience for almost everything you apply at with them. I worked for a SNF that had a vent unit and I guess hospitals like that instead of easy peasy rehab and LTC. Try that if 31 job positions don’t call you. I applied for 6 at Valley health system of Las Vegas the same time I applied for the VA and within 2 hours I was denied by HR. I have yet to hear from the VA, but I should hear no later than October I’m guessing from when I had my interview on July 2. Good luck to you.

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Maybe they just don’t want to hire someone that is graduating at the end of the year.  Around here we can get externships in our final year of school and basically train for a job after graduation.

Edited by Rionoir

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1 hour ago, Beldar_the_Cenobite said:

As a CNA myself, I’ve always been told that hospitals require experience. So the 31 jobs you applied at, if this is all related to hospital field, don’t be surprised if they want a year of experience. The best place to go for experience is a SNF or skilled nursing facility. I just interviewed for the VA with 10 months and a few days at the place I just quit at and I also worked for a temp agency with x amount of hours worked this year and last year combine might equal a month or two of work. Now mind you the VA is/can be hard to get into and they won’t look at your resume without experience. Then again I never applied with them without experience but a lot of va employees told me you need to have experience for almost everything you apply at with them. I worked for a SNF that had a vent unit and I guess hospitals like that instead of easy peasy rehab and LTC. Try that if 31 job positions don’t call you. I applied for 6 at Valley health system of Las Vegas the same time I applied for the VA and within 2 hours I was denied by HR. I have yet to hear from the VA, but I should hear no later than October I’m guessing from when I had my interview on July 2. Good luck to you.

Hey thanks for the thoughts!
Yes, all applications are for jobs at hospitals.  While I haven't worked as a CNA I was hoping my two years of Nursing School clinicals would count as experience.  My main purpose for applying to these hospital positions is to better my chances of getting hired at the hospital as an RN immediately upon passing the NCLEX because my long term goal is to get accepted into a Nurse Anesthetist program, and Anesthetist programs require a minimum of one year of critical care experience with two years or more preferred.  Figuring even if I can get hired straight off as an RN by a hospital, I'll need to work at least six months on a normal Med Surg floor before I would have the experience to go into critical care, so at best I'm looking at one and a half to two and a half years before I can apply to Anesthetist programs - and I'm not getting any younger!

I don't think working as a CNA at a SNF will help me land a hospital job as a graduated RN (but maybe it would be better than no job experience in the health care field).  I figured that establishing a good reputation working as a CNA at a local hospital for 6 to 8 months would help me get in the door at that hospital as an RN next year.  The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry...

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9 minutes ago, Rionoir said:

Maybe they just don’t want to hire someone that is graduating at the end of the year.  Around here we can get externships in our final year of school and basically train for a job after graduation.

I'll check into that.

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7 hours ago, JMTrumpet1 said:

Hey thanks for the thoughts!
Yes, all applications are for jobs at hospitals.  While I haven't worked as a CNA I was hoping my two years of Nursing School clinicals would count as experience.  My main purpose for applying to these hospital positions is to better my chances of getting hired at the hospital as an RN immediately upon passing the NCLEX because my long term goal is to get accepted into a Nurse Anesthetist program, and Anesthetist programs require a minimum of one year of critical care experience with two years or more preferred.  Figuring even if I can get hired straight off as an RN by a hospital, I'll need to work at least six months on a normal Med Surg floor before I would have the experience to go into critical care, so at best I'm looking at one and a half to two and a half years before I can apply to Anesthetist programs - and I'm not getting any younger!

I don't think working as a CNA at a SNF will help me land a hospital job as a graduated RN (but maybe it would be better than no job experience in the health care field).  I figured that establishing a good reputation working as a CNA at a local hospital for 6 to 8 months would help me get in the door at that hospital as an RN next year.  The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry...

Beggars can’t be choosers. Clinical isnt an everyday thing and hospitals know no one wants to be a CNA, they also have a bigger budget than SNF as well as better benefits, so hospitals aren’t just going to give you a free ride. Clinical is what? A day a week? It’s not even paid work so it doesn’t count as experience. Work experience isn’t education/school experience. You have RN clinical which is probably what hospitals want because your practicing basic stuff to carry with you to them and they’ll want to teach you their way so they can keep you. CNA is an easy form of work as far as specialty, so to hospitals they’re not unique. If I have two years of CNA experience and you’re putting in your 2 years of clinical as experience for one CNA position, you vs me, you think they’ll take you? You can’t even do what you’ve learned in clinical as a CNA. 

 

Know why? Because it’s illegal. You can’t administer medication as an employed CNA even tho you’re RN certified.

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