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Is 58 Too Old to Land a Job?

Nurse Beth   (196 Views 1 Comments)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Advice Column) Writer Innovator Expert

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

15 Followers; 91 Articles; 229,598 Profile Views; 1,890 Posts

 Dear Nurse Beth,

I graduated 2016 from ADN program and passed boards Feb 2017. I continued to work for same hospital where I was a patient care tech. This was a second degree for me and a “calling”. I worked tele med surg for 9 months and then resigned (new grandbaby and mom was septic and holidays).

I have been doing hospice volunteering and also faith community nursing as a volunteer since then. I’m now starting school for BSN (almost everyone requires now). I’ll finish December 2020. I will be 58. I do not want to do 12 hour shifts. I feel like I have something to give but prefer part time. Am I too old? I hate that hospital nursing requires you to put hospital first before family. Given my newness, lapse of time since working on floor, how should I proceed in looking for work?

Dear Will be 58,

You should start looking now. The reason is that one of the challenges you face is your work history and gap in employment. It is much easier to land a job when you are employed than when you are unemployed.

You are further narrowing your chances by not wanting 8 hour shifts and wanting only part-time. Those are preferences more available to a nurse who has spent a solid 1-2 yrs at the bedside and then transitions to a non-bedside position. There are 8 hour positions, but you need to find some that don't require recent clinical experience.

The contacts you make doing your BSN (students, professors) can be a great help. Let all your contacts know you are looking for a position.

Ageism in nursing is a real thing but not insurmountable by any means. Read Age Discrimination in Nursing for insight and tips. 

Congrats on pursuing your BSN, you are right, it is necessary. It shows commitment. Your work history, however, does not shout "commitment" to an employer. You will be asked why you quit, and you can say "family reasons which are now resolved" but avoid saying "holidays".

Highlight your hospice and faith community nursing experience, it will fill out your resume and may just open some doors for you.

Best wishes, 

Nurse Beth

Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!

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