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

Nurses   (1,832 Views 30 Comments)
by WannabRN-GA WannabRN-GA, ADN (New Member) New Member

333 Visitors; 8 Posts

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CKPM2RN has 3 years experience as a ASN, EMT-P and specializes in Med-tele.

7,210 Visitors; 186 Posts

I graduated and licensed at 49, knew that I couldn't be too picky about nursing jobs because I couldn't move residences, had other people in the house to consider, and had a few other constrictions. I spent a year in skilled nursing where they are thrilled to have any age nurse due to few people wanting to work in that discipline. 

From there I did a couple other sub-acute jobs and gained enough experience to finally get the job I wanted from the start. It only took 2 1/2 years, a relatively short time. 

The concern that others have shared is the only concern that I would have. How long since you graduated? That gap seems to matter a lot.

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ruby_jane has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing.

3 Followers; 8,292 Visitors; 2,287 Posts

5 hours ago, traumaRUs said:

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.

Trauma is one of the wisest of us all. Beautifully written.  Nobody can ask your age in an interview (but they can ask your birthday). You might scroll through previous threads about ageism. And we  heard from someone in Wyoming in a previous post - there is a real shortage of nurses in our rural areas so if you're willing/able to move where the jobs are, your chances are better.

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718 Visitors; 58 Posts

It is NOT too old and you are in a protected class, they can’t discriminate based on age.  I started in my 50’s.  I have offers right and left.  Bedside can be exhausting, for all ages.  Nurse Residency is required by many hospitals for all new hires but isn’t what nany people think:   It’s not line Dr. Residency, at my hospital, it just means an extra 3-4 hour meeting once per month on a special topic.  Most of my classmates were young enuff to be my kids and are equally or more exhausted, remember, our generation has a work ethic that is less common in the generations that followed!  There are other areas besides just bedside that are lesz exhausting.   You can do this.  

Edited by Hollyhocks720
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2,863 Visitors; 519 Posts

Nope. You're only as old as you feel, not when someone tells it to you. If you want to become a nurse, go right ahead. Good luck!

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1 Follower; 11,196 Visitors; 473 Posts

I started nursing school at 53, and when I graduated two years later, I received multiple job offers.

The job is hard whether you are young or older.

The 23-year-olds that I work with are just as tired as I am.

Eat well.

Exercise.

Get a life outside of your job.

You will be fine!

 

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263 Visitors; 43 Posts

If you are eligible to sit for the NCLEX, you should do it. You've already put in a considerable amount of time and money.  Why give up now? Because of your age? There is nothing you can do about that.  

Who honestly cares what the status quo is? Or what the typical age is? If it's not a requirement, it doesn't matter.  

As far as life goes, literally every great person who has ever done anything substantial has failed beforehand. If you don't get a job right away, keep looking.  Your attitude determines your altitude, not all the naysayers on this board with pessimistic outlooks. There is no "reality" when it comes to this- only individual circumstances & experiences. 

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263 Visitors; 43 Posts

23 hours ago, Hollyhocks720 said:

It is NOT too old and you are in a protected class, they can’t discriminate based on age.  I started in my 50’s.  I have offers right and left.  Bedside can be exhausting, for all ages.  Nurse Residency is required by many hospitals for all new hires but isn’t what nany people think:   It’s not line Dr. Residency, at my hospital, it just means an extra 3-4 hour meeting once per month on a special topic.  Most of my classmates were young enuff to be my kids and are equally or more exhausted, remember, our generation has a work ethic that is less common in the generations that followed!  There are other areas besides just bedside that are lesz exhausting.   You can do this.  

Exactly this. I'm taking prerequisites with people who are half my age, and if these are the people I will be competing with for jobs after graduation, I'm not worried ONE BIT.  There is no advantage to being young, naive, and inexperienced in life.  Unless you have an age-related physical disability then you aren't at a disadvantage physically either. It is tough for EVERYONE to stand on their feet all day.  I personally am in better physical shape than I was ten years ago.  

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Sour Lemon has 9 years experience.

2 Followers; 29,219 Visitors; 4,109 Posts

1 hour ago, BSNbound21 said:

There is no advantage to being young, naive, and inexperienced in life.   

You'd be surprised at how valued pliability is. Being "old", wise, and experienced can actually work against you.
 

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SafetyNurse1968 has 20 years experience as a ADN, BSN, MSN, PhD and specializes in Oncology, Home Health, Patient Safety.

10 Followers; 38 Articles; 13,884 Visitors; 214 Posts

Keep that core tight! My biggest issues as I enter my 51st year: how easy it is to get injured and how much harder it is to heal...takes a much loooonger time! I am super fit - lift weights, walk, run and bike when I can...and I have a good physical therapist...okay, okay, I'm married to him, but just sayin' Preventing injury will go a long way towards extending your career.  You got this. Agism exists, but in nursing you are always needed, always valued. 

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115 Visitors; 9 Posts

I graduate from my ADN program at the end of May and a woman in our class just got hired as a graduate nurse into the ICU at a MAGNET hospital in our area that typically prefers BSN nurses.  The woman in my class is in her 50s (I think she is closer to 60 but I'm not 100% sure).  Not everyone gets their dream job right away, but she sure did!

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333 Visitors; 8 Posts

I have been out of school for a while, graduated in 2011.  For the last 3 years, I have cared for my husband after he was hit on his motorcycle Jan 2017, 11 months later found out he had sarcoma,  now a year later found out it's back.  He just finished radiation for the second time in a year.  So the last three years I haven't even attempted to test until recently which was on the same day as his first radiation this go around.  He didn't want me to change it, although I know I should have.  My mind was not totally on the exam.  I know I would have passed had I my mind not been elsewhere.  Thanks for all the input. By the way, I don't look my age and I'm pretty active.  Also, I do live in a rural area and they always have positions at the nursing home but it seems that the hospital RNs are required to have experience.  There is another hospital 40 mins from me if I wanted to go that far.

Edited by WannabRN-GA

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658 Visitors; 21 Posts

No. Protected class, as mentioned above, same as asking "am I too black for this job? Too female? Too ex-military? Too Jewish? Too Guatemalan? 

You get the point. Some might discriminate against you, or hold an implicit bias, but don't let that keep you from applying. It might help to consult an employment lawyer just to review what age discrimination can look like, and how to document it if needed. 

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