RN MGR Told me I'm too old.

  1. I graduated last May with my BSN, mid 40's. I had a phone interview, the RN Mgr didn't remember me at first, but then she did from a recent career fair. She told me the unit was "very heavy" and fast-paced, I need "alot of stamina", if I get tired that would affect my "critical thinking" skills, "I'm 57 and I can't do bedside nursing anymore", the young ones can do it. "I can let you shadow a shift, so you can see what you're getting into."

    I told her thanks, but not thanks. I did call her on having an issue with my age and she denied it. I left a voice mail with the HR person that set up the interview and asked to call me back and let me know what units do hire "mature" RN candidates.

    Should I call and complain to the hospital about this? Did I make a mistake my getting my BSN at 47? I'm completely floored, my self-esteem is really low. I wanted to do this my whole life, excited to finally make some money, and now this.

    Thanks in advance.
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    About gumbi_12

    Joined: Feb '11; Posts: 49; Likes: 10

    42 Comments

  3. by   meanmaryjean
    That manager committed a serious error- and I do think you should pursue it. RIGHT NOW write down everything about that interview so you don't leave anything out.

    Although I would have taken her offer of a shadow shift - I think you made a mistake there.

    You are a new grad? How long have you been licensed? How many applications and interviews have you had? Where are you applying?
  4. by   NICU Guy
    The manager may have done something wrong, but I can see her point of view. She stated that is a very heavy, fast paced unit that requres a lot of stamina. The manager herself said that she couldn't do the bedside nursing anymore. She offered for you to shadow to get an idea of the pace of the unit. I don't think she was discriminating against you, just concerned that you will quit after 3-6 months due to the pace.

    I graduated with my BSN at 48. I knew that I couldn't deal with a fast paced adult unit, so I chose NICU where my heaviest patient is 5 pounds and all my patients are within 10 feet of each other.
  5. by   Ado Annie
    Quote from meanmaryjean
    That manager committed a serious error- and I do think you should pursue it. RIGHT NOW write down everything about that interview so you don't leave anything out.

    Although I would have taken her offer of a shadow shift - I think you made a mistake there.

    You are a new grad? How long have you been licensed? How many applications and interviews have you had? Where are you applying?
    I agree with this comment. It isn't acceptable to be discriminated against because of age. I graduated at 48 and hired in to a fast-paced unit and I'm so glad I did. I have a little bit easier job (most days) now and at 56 sometimes "feel my age". But I don't want to be told I can't do something or that someone (who doesn't know me) is worried that I can't do it.

    To the OP: could you have given the impression of being slow or "low energy" in your interview? not that it changes things, but my (perhaps unneeded) advice is to be sure to appear energetic and ready to tackle the job.

    NICU Guy, I'm glad you got the job you want. I've wondered if peds units discriminate. It seems that at my old job all the peds nurses were young. I think I'd love working with children.
    Last edit by Ado Annie on Oct 21 : Reason: added question/comment
  6. by   Kooky Korky
    Quote from gumbi_12
    I graduated last May with my BSN, mid 40's. I had a phone interview, the RN Mgr didn't remember me at first, but then she did from a recent career fair. She told me the unit was "very heavy" and fast-paced, I need "alot of stamina", if I get tired that would affect my "critical thinking" skills, "I'm 57 and I can't do bedside nursing anymore", the young ones can do it. "I can let you shadow a shift, so you can see what you're getting into."

    I told her thanks, but not thanks. I did call her on having an issue with my age and she denied it. I left a voice mail with the HR person that set up the interview and asked to call me back and let me know what units do hire "mature" RN candidates.

    Should I call and complain to the hospital about this? Did I make a mistake my getting my BSN at 47? I'm completely floored, my self-esteem is really low. I wanted to do this my whole life, excited to finally make some money, and now this.

    Thanks in advance.
    Do you think complaining will help you get hired?
  7. by   Leader25
    Quote from gumbi_12
    I graduated last May with my BSN, mid 40's. I had a phone interview, the RN Mgr didn't remember me at first, but then she did from a recent career fair. She told me the unit was "very heavy" and fast-paced, I need "alot of stamina", if I get tired that would affect my "critical thinking" skills, "I'm 57 and I can't do bedside nursing anymore", the young ones can do it. "I can let you shadow a shift, so you can see what you're getting into."

    I told her thanks, but not thanks. I did call her on having an issue with my age and she denied it. I left a voice mail with the HR person that set up the interview and asked to call me back and let me know what units do hire "mature" RN candidates.

    Should I call and complain to the hospital about this? Did I make a mistake my getting my BSN at 47? I'm completely floored, my self-esteem is really low. I wanted to do this my whole life, excited to finally make some money, and now this.

    Thanks in advance.
    While Ithink refusing to shadow was a mistake,you my be over sensitive about your age.The truth is bedside nursing or any nursing can be really rough and hard on you physically,mentally depending on your own fitness and area.I have seen seasoned nurses leave adult floors thinking it would be easier in NICU,ER,Nuero whatever, only to find out it was a big mistake.

    I agree with other posters that the Mgr was trying to avoid having you quit too soon.
    Some Mgr that are younger than their staff already can not do the job on the floor.It happens. Some younger nurses have back pain,foot problems,headaches,joint pains too.
    While older nurses make up for age with experience,knowledge and pure guts in difficult situations and the doctors love them.

    Do what you need to get hired ,get experience.You might not have enough solid proof for age discrimination so I would not want to fight this yet,wait.,perhaps other positions will open up in same hospital.
    Good luck to you,I am sure you will find something eventually,be open to it.
  8. by   canoehead
    I believe its illegal to discriminate based on age, but whether its worth pursuing is up to you.
  9. by   fibroblast
    I don't believe it is anyone's business to tell you that your age has something to do with stamina. Only you know that unless you led something up to you being a certain age. Plenty of specialties in nursing can use an 'older' nurse. Not sure the patients really care who takes care them in their sick, vulnerable days.
  10. by   traumaRUs
    Ageism does exist to some extent in nursing. Some things I've done:

    1. Smile, appear energic, be able to answer questions in interviews quickly, think on your feet.
    2. When shadowing - smile, show genuine interest, ask some questions but not so many that you appear "needy"
    3. During orientation - smile, ask questions, do your homework about the type of unit you are orienting to and the general care of the patients
    4. Never mention your age, comment on grandchildren, etc. I have a friend who self-sabotages by calling herself "Granny" and complaining about the walking required.
    5. Update your hair/make-up routine. (Yes I know this shouldn't be considered for hiring but let's face it - it does).
    6. Look physically like you can do the job: you don't have to be an Olympic athlete but be able to move around easily and appear energetic

    As to whether to pursue this - I wouldn't especially if this is the only hospital around. Word travels fast in nursing.

    Best wishes on landing a great job!
  11. by   Jedrnurse
    Yikes! I think you truly burned that bridge, both by declining a shadow shift and by leaving a semi-snarky VM with HR. To have a case, you'd have to show bias, but by not going through with the shadow shift YOU brought the (potential) hiring process to a halt, not them.
  12. by   Cococure
    The manager is DEAD wrong she cannot make assumptions based on age that's just crazy. Yes nursing is demanding physically and mentally but you will see plenty of older nurses. Some are better physical shape than others, I have worked with older nurses that were in better shape than I was...lol Once worked with a 75 yr old nurse on a cardiac floor and she ran circles around everyone. If you take care of yourself and excercise it shouldn't be a problem. However, if you have aches, pains and other medical issues it might become a problem. If you think you cant handle it try NICU, peds or even outpatient areas.
    Just my 2cents
    Good luck!
  13. by   Dean Uguan
    Quote from traumaRUs
    Ageism does exist to some extent in nursing. Some things I've done:

    1. Smile...
    2. When ...
    3. During...
    4. Never...
    5. Update....
    6. Look...
    Great pointers! I might add:

    7. Be technologically savvy.
  14. by   ruby_jane
    Quote from canoehead
    I believe its illegal to discriminate based on age, but whether its worth pursuing is up to you.
    It is. It's illegal for a manager to ask about age. The manager was skirting around that, dangerously close. OP, don't let anyone decide your future for you. You may be fit and sharper than I am...at 50 I self-selected to get out of the hospital gig for the reasons that manager said BUT it was my choice. Hang in there.

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