Dear Nurse Beth,
I am an LPN that has been on disability d/t blowing out 5 discs while transferring a patient. Have had 5 surgeries to help fix issues. I am 56 yrs old and am thinking of going for my RN this fall. How realistic is it that anyone would hire a new 58 yr old RN? I am/ was a good nurse but am unable to do the physical stuff on a daily basis now. I want to work again but am really concerned that because of my age and past injury no one will take a chance on me.
I'm glad you have recuperated from your back injuries. Has your doctor released you to work and do you have any restrictions?
Technically you do not have to reveal your back injuries to an employer unless you are looking for a work accommodation. Even if you don't have restrictions from your doctor, being a new grad at age 58 with a bad back is a challenging start to a nursing career...
There is ageism in nursing
but the limitations from your back and the risk to your back are more concerning. How do you plan to provide clinical bedside care when you are unable to "do the physical stuff on a daily basis"?
There are non-clinical positions, but many require a Bachelor's degree plus one to two years of clinical practice.
The last thing you want to do is put your health at risk, and you have to listen to your body. You still have the "want-to" so the key is finding a job that matches the "can-do". An option to going back to get your RN could be putting that same energy into job searching. You may be able to find an LPN position in employee health or an immunization clinic.
Best wishes on your decision,
Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job
"...and your next!