Can a short person be a nurse?

  1. Hello Everyone!

    I have an unusual question to ask regarding nursing.

    I've wanted to be a nurse since I was in grade school. After high school, marriage and family obligations took over and I never was able to go. After my youngest son graduated from college last June, I decided it was finally my turn!

    I am about half way finished with my pre-req's and will be eligible to apply to nursing school in about a year. Last summer, I took a CNA course and just fell in love with working with my residents....even the "unpleasant" tasks were no problem.

    Okay here is my question...... has anyone ever encountered a height requirement for nursing school?? The reason I ask this is that I am a small person at 4'8". I had aboslutely no problem as a CNA and made sure to double up for lifts or use a mechanical lift (policy per resident home). Though small, I am evenly proportioned, have a rather large skeletal structure and am quite strong.

    Originally, my plan was to get my LVN and then later go for my ADN. The school for LVN had no problems with my height nor did the facility I trained at to be a CNA. However, I decided I might just as well go for the RN right away. In Nursing School Orientation, nothing about height was mentioned and also there is no mention of a height requirement in the Nursing Handbook on-line.

    My grades for my pre-req's have been good.... A's and B's except for one C in Political Science...... missed a B by 2 points! The college I will be applying to uses a lottery system because they are so impacted by applications.

    I'm hesitating to speak to them directly about his too soon as I do not want to plant a seed of doubt regarding the issue.

    Any insight in this area would be greatly appreciated. If you work with a short person, is there anything that comes to mind that they do to compensate for their short stature.

    Thanks so much!!!


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    About MryRose

    Joined: Jan '04; Posts: 382; Likes: 10
    Pre-nursing Student


  3. by   TraumaQueen
    A LOT of the girls that I work with are somewhere around 5'0" tall, and none of them have a problem! Sometimes it's difficult to reach things that are high, or reach over a large patient to turn them on their side, but they just learn to ask us tall folks for help once in a while!
  4. by   2ndCareerRN
    Your height should not be a problem. You will adapt, overcome, and perform the job to the best of your ability.

    The flight nurse I turned a patient over to last night had to under 5' tall, and she was nursing without a problem. The only concession made was she did not have to lift the patient from the ER gurney to the Flight gurney from the side. She took the feet at the end of the gurney so she would not have to stretch across the gurneys.

  5. by   Tweety
    Good luck! I've worked with a short female before and she just tippytoed a lot while hanging piggyback, but never had any problems. I haven't heard of a height requirement before.
  6. by   P_RN
    Short and sweet. Yes you can.
  7. by   MryRose
    Thank you so much for your quick replys! I am quite relieved to know that there are other "shorties" out there doing well. I am so excited!

    I still want to know if anyone has encountered any problems with shorties and patient care.... I'd like to find ways to work around any issues beforehand. I'm known at school as the "researcher" lol..... always prepared.

    Again, Thanks a bunch for your time and kindness.


  8. by   unknown99
    They say dynomite comes in small packages. From what I've seen, short nurses are just as good as any other nurse. A nurse that I work with is 4'10"
    and is an absolute wonder as a nurse.
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    well yea!!!!!!!!!

    i am short.

    and a really good nurse.
  10. by   Roland
    I saw a special on Discovery Health a few years ago about "little people". In any case ONE of the featured individuals was an orthopedic surgeon (maybe four feet tall). I think that he indicated that his medical school made accomodations in order to facilitate his success. My point is that if HE can become a surgeon YOU can certainly become a nurse! Also, should you need some sort of "reasonable" accomodation keep in mind the ADA (although it may not apply to primarily state funded hospitals) if you do not receive coaperation. Personally, I think that having challenges can make someone a MORE effective nurse or doctor because it can increase empathy for patients. Please don't give up on your dream because your success will help to inspire others who may have to overcome even greater obstacles.
  11. by   karenG
    I'm 5'1 and dont have any problems... cept sometimes reaching top shelves! I did get turned down by a nursing school because of my height but that was over 20yrs ago!!

    Good luck

  12. by   gwenith
    Hey! I work with a lot of asian nurses and some are so tiny that they take size 5 gloves!!!! Worked with a female paediatrician who was about 4ft nothing (dwarfism) - one of the better docs I have ever worked with too.

    Mind you I keep complaining that they make ICU's for tall and thin and I am neither
  13. by   Havin' A Party!
    Mary -- Hi! There were posts on this same subject a short while back. (You may wanna check the archives here.)

    From what I recall, we were all unanimous that height wasn't, and shouldn't be, a deterrent.

    Do remain cognizant of body mechanics though. But you'll do fine.

    The best to ya!
  14. by   HannasMom
    I'm short. I'm 5' 2". And I'm a nurse. We have a stool so us shorties can reach the tall shelves. Also the CNA on my shift is tall, so she often reaches things for me, if she is nearby.