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Is 54 too old to get hired as a new RN?

Nurses   (1,560 Views 30 Comments)
by WannabRN-GA WannabRN-GA, ADN (New Member) New Member

256 Visitors; 7 Posts

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I am 54 y.o., and studying for NCLEX again. So with that, I ask...what is too old to get hired as a new RN and/or get in a nursing residency?  I don't want to continue to study, pay for testing and work on getting my license, if I'm too old to get a job.  Any advice & information would be great.

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River&MountainRN has 3 years experience.

1,688 Visitors; 178 Posts

How long ago did you graduate? (I ask because of how you wrote "Studying for the NCLEX again"). That could be the only real hangup I could foresee from potential workplaces...while some age discrimination does exist, if you're a strong candidate age shouldn't matter too much.

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Sour Lemon has 9 years experience.

2 Followers; 29,031 Visitors; 4,104 Posts

It might be harder. The types of jobs new grads qualify for tend to be strenuous. You could be judged for your age.
And if you're an "old new grad" who took a while to seek their first job, that could be another strike.
If you're flexible, you will find work somewhere, though.

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RNperdiem has 14 years experience.

1 Follower; 29,054 Visitors; 4,127 Posts

How flexible are you willing to be on that first job out of school? If you are lucky, you might be in a place with lots of jobs just waiting for new grads.

If you are like most of us. The first job is probably not what you really want and more of who is willing to hire. Some places are always hiring, and it is because of high turnover of staff.

If you are a fit and healthy 54 year old, then don't limit yourself to certain shifts and specialties. Once you have some experience, then you can seek what you are really interested in.

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155 Visitors; 16 Posts

Hi! You are never too old. My best friend started nursing training being 54!!!! And now she is the best intensive care nurse! Age is just a number. Go for it!!!

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Emergent has 25 years experience and works as a Emergency Room RN.

6 Followers; 2 Articles; 63,579 Visitors; 2,700 Posts

16 hours ago, Jarek said:

Hi! You are never too old. My best friend started nursing training being 54!!!! And now she is the best intensive care nurse! Age is just a number. Go for it!!!

Perhaps true in your friend's case but, the statement that "age is just a number" ignores reality. 

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4 Followers; 17,727 Visitors; 2,727 Posts

2 minutes ago, Emergent said:

Perhaps true in your friend's case but, the statement that "age is just a number" ignores reality.

This is very  much true. I am 54 but athletic and active. I'm frequently mistaken for someone in their late 30's to early 40's. I've seen people the same age who look and have the physicality of someone 20 years older. However, the reality is that life is catching up to me as it is wont to do. To the OP I don't want to tinkle on your Wheaties but it would serve you well to think long and hard about this. Nursing is a tough gig physically, mentally and emotionally and you're coming into it late in the game. It may be hard to find a job much less do it but if you think you're up for it and have the support you're going to need then have a go.

 

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45 Visitors; 14 Posts

I am sure that you can find many employment opportunities. Some organizations may hesitate but ,from my experience, most welcome the older, wiser RN who has some life experience and maturity. Plus some agencies have a hard time finding enough RNs to fill the vacancies. Good luck to you!

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669 Visitors; 29 Posts

Started RN school at 50    got multiple job offers at 52   no worries

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79 Visitors; 3 Posts

Absolutely not. Myself and many others I know from school are all over the age of 40 and hiring into many types of RN positions.  I’ve been on my unit at a hospital for two years. Several new nurses over 40 and 50’s are recent hires. 

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625 Visitors; 12 Posts

I graduated almost a year ago at 50. Was offered, and accepted, a job before graduation. In my area, age hasn't proven to be much of a problem.  Our hospital requires participation in a two year long Nurse Residency program for all newly licensed nurses. Bedside nursing can be physically demanding and I am TIRED, but I blame that more on working night shift than on my age. 

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traumaRUs has 27 years experience as a MSN, APRN and works as a Asst Community Manager @ allnurses.

14 Followers; 130 Articles; 185,764 Visitors; 20,644 Posts

54 is mature. However, with people working until 70 or beyond this is still doable. Some questions:

1. How long have you been out of school? That might factor into a job offer more than age.

2. Are you willing to take what's offered as far as job? As others have mentioned you might need to take A JOB versus your IDEAL JOB. 

3. Are you fairly active? I still am a volunteer fireman at 60 but am more cautious about placing myself in danger where I could hurt someone else too. Ask for help when lifting, moving a pt. 

4. Much of age is your attitude. Do you smile, project a positive attitude? Are you open to new opportunities? Are you fairly computer literate? Do you willingly ask to do new tasks so you can expand your knowledge? And, don't broadcast your age - no one needs to know this. 

Best wishes on your new career. Please come back and let us know how it goes.

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