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Full time jobs hard to find ?

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I am applying to an accelerated program. I’m in my 50s.
will I have a hard time finding a full time position with benefits?
I hear hospitals are cutting back and a lot of nurses are per diem.

Sour Lemon

Has 9 years experience.

23 minutes ago, Anotherdegree4me said:

I am applying to an accelerated program. I’m in my 50s.
will I have a hard time finding a full time position with benefits?
I hear hospitals are cutting back and a lot of nurses are per diem.

You might. Many jobs available to new graduates are labor intensive, and your age could be a negative ...although no one is going to say that directly. Managers also seem to like pliable new graduates, and older individuals may be perceived as overly opinionated or set in their ways.

You are wise to do do a good amount of research before proceeding. A lot will depend on the specific area you're in, whether or not you're willing to move, and what sort of nursing you're hoping to do.

You may have already considered the cost verses the number of working years you have left, and what you're giving up to pursue this new career.

It can definitely be done, just go in with your eyes wide open.

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 29 years experience.

Does your current/prior career give you either an edge (healthcare related) or some strategic contacts? Either could help...

No. I’m an admin. No health care experience other than taking care of a friend during her cancer battle.

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience.

Research here, you will see many new grads have a problem finding a position. What area do you want to go in to? What sparked your interest in nursing?

Not sure yet. I think oncology. I cared for a friend for many years with her battle and I know I have the experience to help there.
I have a friend who is hospice nurse and she said older nurses are a plus there because the young ones don’t have the life experience or maturity to deal with that.

verene, MSN

Specializes in mental health / psychiatic nursing.

It depends on your flexibility in terms of potentially moving to a less saturated geographic area, willingness to work in a specialty that isn't your top choice (or is a less competitive specialty) and taking less desirable shifts (e.g. nights)-- until you build experience. For a new grad finding full-time work is easier than finding part-time work typically as many new grad residency positions are full-time.

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience.

3 hours ago, Anotherdegree4me said:

Not sure yet. I think oncology. I cared for a friend for many years with her battle and I know I have the experience to help there.
I have a friend who is hospice nurse and she said older nurses are a plus there because the young ones don’t have the life experience or maturity to deal with that.

Your intense relationship with your friend and her illness/ death has lead you to this point. Feel that you are romanticizing nursing. Please don't go any farther until you explore that with a professional.

I don’t think I’m romanticizing at all.
just that’s all the experience I have had with health care and I was good at it.

I don’t know what working on med surg is like but don’t think it will throw me. I’m a pretty strong person and don’t get squeamish.
in know to expect a lot of unpleasant things.

maybe during rotations in nursing school I’ll find my niche. I just know I want to make a difference and do something meaningful.
sitting behind a desk and being a servant ain’t cutting it for me.
I make decent money but that’s not what it’s about anymore.

LibraNurse27, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community Health, Med/Surg, ICU Stepdown. Has 8 years experience.

I have had recruiters reach out to me for home health and hospice even during covid. From what I've seen the pay is a bit lower than hospitals in my area but if you are interested in these areas maybe it will work out. I can only speak of where I live but it seems hard to get into oncology as a new grad, because it is so specialized on top of the basic nursing. I've had some friends start in oncology and thrive, others found it to be too much to learn at once. Good luck and I hope it works out for you!

Sour Lemon

Has 9 years experience.

2 hours ago, Anotherdegree4me said:

I don’t think I’m romanticizing at all.
just that’s all the experience I have had with health care and I was good at it.

I don’t know what working on med surg is like but don’t think it will throw me. I’m a pretty strong person and don’t get squeamish.
in know to expect a lot of unpleasant things.

maybe during rotations in nursing school I’ll find my niche. I just know I want to make a difference and do something meaningful.
sitting behind a desk and being a servant ain’t cutting it for me.
I make decent money but that’s not what it’s about anymore.

The "difference" you're going to make will be lining the pockets of your administrators. There's little to no time for hand-holding. The unpleasant things you might experience will be:

Having 16 hours of work to complete in 12 hours

Back-breaking labor (I've had patients as large as 700lbs)

Patient and families who will call you a ******* ***** after you've done everything to help them

Being counseled about the one thing you did wrong while the hundreds of things you did right are ignored

Chaotic schedules and time off requests refused over and over

Filling out the same information, on two paper forms and three places in the computer, for each patient, at regular intervals, "or else"

...and too many other things to list. 😉

I actually like my work, but it took me close to ten years to find a good spot and it's still rough sometimes. I swear I'm not trying to be all gloom and doom, but real nursing is not the nursing you see in movies or on TV. If you go in feeling idealistic, you're bound to be very disappointed.

Is there anyway you might be able to take a short course and work as a nursing assistant? You might get a closer view that way, and it's all work you'll be doing after graduation (and during school) anyway. It might also help you network if you decide to move forward.

I went to school in my 30's and am happy that I did, but I had a low-paying "minimum wage" job and nothing to lose. If I'd been financially secure and wanted to make a difference, I would have probably done some sort of volunteer work.

So again, it's very doable, but you have a lot to think about. You say you don't want to be a servant, but as a nurse, you will be a "servant" to patients, families, your nurse managers, your charge nurses, physicians and other health care providers, every other department in the hospital, the phone they require you to carry, etc.

You will have patients who ask you for 10 different things, then hit their call light as soon as you're five steps away from their door and ask for ten more. Okay, I'm done. 😁

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience.

7 hours ago, Anotherdegree4me said:

I don’t think I’m romanticizing at all.
just that’s all the experience I have had with health care and I was good at it.

I don’t know what working on med surg is like but don’t think it will throw me. I’m a pretty strong person and don’t get squeamish.
in know to expect a lot of unpleasant things.

maybe during rotations in nursing school I’ll find my niche. I just know I want to make a difference and do something meaningful.
sitting behind a desk and being a servant ain’t cutting it for me.
I make decent money but that’s not what it’s about anymore.

Many, many moons ago I also "wanted to make a difference." That, by the way, IS romanticizing nursing. The health care system beat that out of me pretty quick. Standing on your feet for 12 hours without a potty break will wear you down pretty fast.

You think you're a servant now? Imagine being a slave to call bells. When a patient hits that sucker, you better hop to it. Hospital reimbursement is tied to patient satisfaction scores. It' s all about the money, not the patient.

21 hours ago, Anotherdegree4me said:

I don’t think I’m romanticizing at all.
just that’s all the experience I have had with health care and I was good at it.

I don’t know what working on med surg is like but don’t think it will throw me. I’m a pretty strong person and don’t get squeamish.
in know to expect a lot of unpleasant things.

maybe during rotations in nursing school I’ll find my niche. I just know I want to make a difference and do something meaningful.
sitting behind a desk and being a servant ain’t cutting it for me.
I make decent money but that’s not what it’s about anymore.

You may very well be good at caring for someone. It’s very commendable that you did that for your friend. But I’m going to reiterate, that is not nursing at all.

Somedays, I get to provide that feel good caring care that we think about when we think of a nurse. 97% of the time though, I’m running my butt off to check all the boxes I’m expected to check.

I’m an ICU nurse. Here is my typical day. Arrive early. I start at 7, but now I have a long ways to walk as all entrances except a few are closed. Find out which mask I’m wearing for the day. I clock in at exactly 0655, no earlier or I will be written up. Get my assignment. Listen to huddle and all the new COVID info.

Go to my pod. Get report. Look at orders and labs. Do my morning assessment as morning docs will be rounding soon and I need to communicate what the patient needs. Find out one is going to transfer. I just chart all of their assessment now. They have a bed and a bad trauma is coming. Wait, I gotta get them their 0900 meds. Charge asks, have I called report. Plus, I have a slew of new orders on my other patient. Doc wants to extubate them. But I’m getting an admission!! Admission comes. Labs and meds to hang. Oh, their BP is in the 70’s. I need to start pressors and get an art line. Other doc wants to know why my other pt isn’t extubated yet.

This is my entire day everyday. Lunches? Not usually. I’ve gotta get the 2-3 hours of mind numbing charting done. Plus, I probably have 10 family calls. Many requesting to FaceTime. Yeah I’ll fit that in somewhere. There’s also a chart auditor to tell me I missed a pain reassessment or a temp on a fresh TPA patient.

It’s a constant battle of checking off boxes and trying to progress the patients care so I can get them closer to home.

Try to see if once all this COVID dies down a little, you can shadow a nurse to get an idea of what you are getting into. Your age will play a small part but I’ve seen people older succeed. But if you have a good paying job, keep it!! You are not going to get this immense personal satisfaction from nursing. I promise.

2 hours ago, LovingLife123 said:

You may very well be good at caring for someone. It’s very commendable that you did that for your friend. But I’m going to reiterate, that is not nursing at all.

Somedays, I get to provide that feel good caring care that we think about when we think of a nurse. 97% of the time though, I’m running my butt off to check all the boxes I’m expected to check.

I’m an ICU nurse. Here is my typical day. Arrive early. I start at 7, but now I have a long ways to walk as all entrances except a few are closed. Find out which mask I’m wearing for the day. I clock in at exactly 0655, no earlier or I will be written up. Get my assignment. Listen to huddle and all the new COVID info.

Go to my pod. Get report. Look at orders and labs. Do my morning assessment as morning docs will be rounding soon and I need to communicate what the patient needs. Find out one is going to transfer. I just chart all of their assessment now. They have a bed and a bad trauma is coming. Wait, I gotta get them their 0900 meds. Charge asks, have I called report. Plus, I have a slew of new orders on my other patient. Doc wants to extubate them. But I’m getting an admission!! Admission comes. Labs and meds to hang. Oh, their BP is in the 70’s. I need to start pressors and get an art line. Other doc wants to know why my other pt isn’t extubated yet.

This is my entire day everyday. Lunches? Not usually. I’ve gotta get the 2-3 hours of mind numbing charting done. Plus, I probably have 10 family calls. Many requesting to FaceTime. Yeah I’ll fit that in somewhere. There’s also a chart auditor to tell me I missed a pain reassessment or a temp on a fresh TPA patient.

It’s a constant battle of checking off boxes and trying to progress the patients care so I can get them closer to home.

Try to see if once all this COVID dies down a little, you can shadow a nurse to get an idea of what you are getting into. Your age will play a small part but I’ve seen people older succeed. But if you have a good paying job, keep it!! You are not going to get this immense personal satisfaction from nursing. I promise.

Thanks for the feedback. Perhaps I do have an unrealistic expectation. Shadowing would be good for me. If I can set that up.
Just this evening I had a chance to talk to a friend of a friend who had been an associates degree nurse for about 25 years. She pretty much said the same thing.
she said I’d be much happier as a rad tech or some other area and nurses are overwhelmed.

marienm, RN, CCRN

Specializes in Burn, ICU. Has 8 years experience.

If jobs are scarce in your area, are you willing to move? Are you willing to work any shift? Would you be willing to work in a hospital/at a clinic/at a procedural center/at a school/at a SNF with 40 patients assigned to you/at a jail? Like, how flexible are you willing to be to get a job (keeping in mind that some of those options probably won't...and really shouldn't...hire new grads).

On the topic of age: are *you* willing to be trained and supervised and evaluated by people younger than you? I would say that the "average" charge nurse at my hospital is under 35. Some of them have been nurses twice a long as I have...I'm early 40's but nursing is a second career for me. Other new grads are early 20's and I definitely have days where I feel like we were raised on different planets! (Of course this could be true in any job but I imagine that as an admin you have a particular niche and this will be a complete change of environment for you.)

I believe it depends on where in the country you are - the majority of those who graduated from my BSN cohort with me this past December found full time jobs, including at least 3 I can remember who are in their early fifties. Most secured jobs before graduating. I am 42 myself, and I had three offers for full time jobs before graduating and began working as an oncology nurse less than a month after passing the NCLEX. I am in Northern Virginia.

If this is something you are interested in, I think you should get some shadowing or other experience to make sure it's a good fit; however, if you find it is for you, go for it! I'm surprised how many people are discouraging you. We had several people in their 40's and 50's with no prior healthcare experience and they did great in school and are enjoying their jobs. It is tough and draining but I am loving it!

Edited by Misteighbloo

When I went to nursing school, I did so to specifically work in the outpatient realm. I haven't experienced some of the inpatient concerns above. Remember, one of the big draw-backs is working on or around holidays. It is difficult to use your PTO in this profession because most units are run on a shoestring budget and are continuously short staffed. Health care never closes. I envy my friends and family members that they can get several days off around Christmas.

ruby_jane, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing. Has 12 years experience.

OP you've gotten great advice from people who've been doing this a lot longer than I have.

If you're going to go to nursing school you'll need to get in the best shape of your life, physically and mentally. Then you'll have to work at an acute or semi-acute facility to get enough experience to be attractive to a hospice program. Please know I am not trying to dissuade you.

I've been a school nurse for eight of my nursing years. I love it. But school nurses now need a BSN and two years of other experience, at least in my district.

The one advantage you may have in oncology is that you're "past childbearing age." There are Onco nurses who don't want to work with certain chemicals (understandable). Putting all your eggs in one basket is a little risky. Best of luck.