70 + nurse still going strong!!!


I spoke to a lady today who is close to 75 years young. She told me she works part time and fills in for the ADON at a nursing home. I am just bowled over by this lady. She is in decent health, great sense of humor, keeps up on what's happening in nursing, and is active in other areas of her life. (She told me she is a widow and has a boy-friend who is close to her age.) Now, I am wondering...just how many of us would want to be working in a nursing home at close to 75 years of age? If your health was good, money was good, and you still felt you had something to contribute, would you work in nursing or would you do something else? She told me she did not nurse during WWII, but worked in D.C. during and after Korea. Got married to a vet, had 6 kids and was a stay at home mom for years. She went back to work to help with kids educations and buy a farm. Kids are scattered, busy, grandkids are busy, so she decided instead of waiting to die, she would get busy too. I just wanted to pass her story along because we are often negative about our lives, jobs, and families but this lady made lemonade from her lemons. Have a great day and keep smiling.:nurse:


630 Posts

Specializes in OB, Telephone Triage, Chart Review/Code. Has 22 years experience.

Four years ago I worked with a woman on a busy mother-baby unit and was amazed at the energy she had when I found out she was 75 years old! She did not look it and she did not act it. It was all I could do to keep going working the night shift! Amazing woman. I already know I am not able to work hospital floors with 12-hr shifts anymore, so I am hoping that I can continue doing my present position until I decide to retire.

Trauma Columnist

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN

165 Articles; 21,214 Posts

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 31 years experience.

Fantastic stories ladies. Truly, I think this is the wave of the future. I'm 49, I have student loans and am not counting on SS to help with retirement so I will work until I drop. As an APN, I think I can probably do this for 20 more years. I work with a 61 y/o FNP.

psalm, RN

1 Article; 1,263 Posts

Specializes in Staff nurse.

One of our house supervisor is 82 and works 12 hour shifts, can put an IV in with one arm tied behind her back. Been a nurse for over 61 years. Another nurse on my floor is prob. early 70s, as is one of our float LPNs.


46 Posts

Specializes in 27 yrs in long term care, 5 yrs office. Has 34 years experience.

I also work with a nurse that was 70+, she was the third shift supervisor in the LTC two-three days a week. I followed her to work one night in a snow storm and couldn't keep up with her.The sad thing is I saw a program last night about retiring, and many of us, myself included, have not saved enough, they said a small percentage managed to save only 250,000, and it is not going to be enough. I am no where near that amount, so I wonder how many more years i'll have to work. My DH can't wait to retire, but realistically I know I'll have to work past retirement age if my health permits.


648 Posts

My last nursing job had a 75 year old part time nurse. She had been a nurse for over 50 years.

She was a competent nurse, but she was old school in every way. Used proper words, etiquette, statement, etc The aides hated to see her coming because she did everything by the book. They were expected to be with her upon entering the room, (strangely enough they complained about things that many aides want on here like getting report), gave them a detail on each patient and what she expected. Things were done her way but she was extremely pleasant. She never told me what to do or acted like she was the boss to me. I was just the "nice young man." We had a couch and tv at the time near the nurses station and I would just grin at the aides and they would get so mad at me.

I honestly miss working and talking with her. Fascinating lady to say the least.

Monica D

47 Posts

My great-aunt worked in dialysis at Cabell Huntington for years and retired. She was off for about 3 months or so and decided to go back working part time and she was in her mid 70s then. She passed away while she was still working there in 2004. She had received her nursing degree from St. Mary's School of Nursing back in the 1940s and always loved nursing and just being out of the house working altogether. She used to tell me that once it is imprinted in you, it never goes away.

CT Pixie, BSN, RN

3,723 Posts

Has 10 years experience.

I just ended clinicals at a LTC facility where the DON was a 77 yr old woman! She was older than some of the residents :D. But she was a energetic as any other employee on the floor! She was in the facility every morning at 6:30am and she never left before 4:30 on any day. She would work the floor when needed and could run circles around any of the nurses there.

Good for her! I was amazed at not only her energy but her dedication to the profession. Hopefully, I won't HAVE to work into my late 70's but should I choose to it nice to know it can be done.

ImMrBill3, RN

116 Posts

Specializes in ICU, Home Health Care, End of Life, LTC. Has 2 years experience.

This thread has renewed my hope. I will be getting my nursing degree on my 47th Bday and have all the loans to go with it. I love the field and hope to work a long time. Its good to know some have and have done so well.

Mr. Bill,

Congrats on starting your new career. Nursing is a love it or leave it type of job. I can speak with insight on that issue. I just talked with a friend who is a widow, 63, and works home health. She has no intention of retiring until she is 70 and the company is all for her continuing her working for them. So you are looking at a long working career if you want it. Hubby was in hospital 3 weeks ago and his favorite nurse was 64 with no plans to retire. If your health is good, mind is good, and you have the desire, then go for it.

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