Average Nurse Retirement Age

  1. From your experience, do most nurses work until in their late 60s or do they retire earlier than that (due to the physical nature of the job etc), I know many people in their 60s are in great physical shape, (my mom can run circles around me lol), but what is the norm?
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  3. by   Lasoniamacaroni
    From what I've noticed, many get off the "floor" by about 50, then take it easy working in a doctors office or some other desk job. That is my plan. I hope to go as long as I can with the "traditional" nursing role, then finding a desk job and leaving it to the younger whipper snappers who can keep up.
  4. by   llg
    I wish I had the statistics on that ... but I have seen very few nurses working at the bedside beyond 60 years of age. Even above age 50, many find the physical nature of hospital nursing too hard on their bodies (and spirits) and either find less physically demanding work or work only part time.

    This is one of the reasons for the current nursing shortage that often fails to get a lot of attention by those people who claim "there is no shortage" because statistics show that there are so many nurses who are not working full time in hospitals. Some people fail to fully appreciate the implications of the fact that hospital nursing has NEVER been a career in which the majority of its members remained employed full time at the bedside until age 65. People used to think of nursing as something you did "until you got married" and then you worked part time a little as your kids grew while your husband paid most of the bills. Only a few (impoverished or single or widowed etc) nurses continued to work full time into their 60's.

    Therefore ... the entire nursing culture, career tracks, compensation packages, etc. have not traditionally been geared for long-term careers. That encourages the practice of early retirement and/or exit from the profession trend .... which fuels the culture of nursing not being a long-term career ... which drives the evolution of the culture, compensation packages, etc ... which encourages the .... etc. etc. etc.

    Great question. Great doctoral dissertation for somebody.

  5. by   writer2nurse+
    What about second-career nurses? Would love to hear from folks who started nursing in their 40s....
  6. by   oramar
    Would you believe that on my unit the bulk of the RNs are fifty or close to it. The youngest RN is 42. As for LPNs they are even older. Two of them are mid sixties and very close to retiring.
  7. by   nursemichelle
    Thats good to know, since I'm old (38) and just starting nursing school, I was wondering if it would be a short lived career :chuckle
  8. by   llg
    Yes, the 2nd careerists and the changing economic realisties and the changing societal expectations are changing the demographics of nursing dramatically.

    I can't quote the numbers exactly off the top of my head ... but only a few years ago, the average nurse was in her 30's. Now the average nurse is in her mid to late 40's. That is not what a lot of jobs were designed for -- and that will necessitate change. You'll find discussions of such topics in journals geared for nursing and hospital administrators, but it's not yet a well-explored topic.

  9. by   orrnlori
    I was 42 when I graduated, am 48 now. I can't imagine lifting, tugging, and pulling my guts out until I'm 65, and I'm in the OR so I lift less than many bedside nurses do. I live on 800mg Ibuprofen X 3 every day. Where I work you can retire with full benefits when your age plus number of years there total 75 but they are talking about making the total 85. So I have to work at least a total of 17 years to get retirement health insurance, which will make me 59+. There are a few nurses in the OR over 60. I don't know if I can do that.
  10. by   Hardknox
    I became an RN at 42 and retired from hospital nursing at 62. Too stressful and too physically demanding!!!! All I heard from the younger nurses after I turned 60 was "I'll never be doing this job when I'm your age!!" Yet I could run rings around many of them. I'd still be in my hospital job if they had safe pt/staff ratios, no MOT.........
    Last edit by Hardknox on Mar 30, '04 : Reason: spelling
  11. by   CCU NRS
    I work nurses in their 50s and a few 60s, I think someone mentioned those easy office jobs good luck with that I have been to many offices and never seen an easy one. This is a really good question tho, there are many types of nursing and areas to move to. I am 40 and just started full time at my facility and i beleive I have to get 20 years in to retire, I will be loking into that now.
  12. by   Tweety
    Where I work most of us are in our 30s to 50s. Don't know where all the 60s are, so I'm thinking like above they must leave floor nursing, or retire earlier off their spouses retirement. There's a generation of us that are going to have work to the bitter end into our mid-60s and up to 70.
  13. by   oramar
    All the nurses in their 60s announced their intentions of retiring by end of year. That is three people retiring at same time. Quite a blow because they are all excellent nurses. Two will be turning 62 and one will be turning 65 sometime this year. All three of them are full time but only one may remain on as casual staff. The other two say they are just tired of the hectic pace. I am between 7 and 10 years younger than the three of them and I must say I can hardly keep up with them.
    Last edit by oramar on Apr 6, '04 : Reason: additional info
  14. by   maddiecat
    I am 45 and am just now going BACK into floor nursing after years of a cushy desk job.....I'm so bored! I'm dying to get my hands back in. I feel I can keep up the best of them physically, but don't know for how long!