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Older grad nurse/can't fit in

Nurses   (699 Views | 6 Replies)

886 Profile Views; 31 Posts

Hi, I found this when I was a student nurse at 54. I graduated nursing school in 2018 passed my NCLEX in July in 75 questions. Didn't feel as if I would fit in to the hospital setting, worked for a LTC for my first year out never fit in, no orientation, just expected to figure it out I guess. Prayed for a better job , got hired as a disabilities and special needs nurse. Again no orientation, trying to figure everything out alone, feel like an outsider. Is it me? Is it cliques that don't want invaders ? I just don't get it ...... why can't everyone work as a team? Enjoy new personalities and enjoy teaching others what the end goal is a diverse and happy organization that everyone wants to be a part of. Because when it comes down to it , it not about the authority, control or position you have but about the people that you serve. I'm rambling I know, but both of these jobs I really enjoyed the people I cared for. I just wish I could find a position that I could feel a comraderie with my coworkers nurses or not. Maybe its me........

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275 Posts; 5,356 Profile Views

Hello Chronicallychanging.  I can  relate as I am currently struggling with this myself.   I am also an older nurse (also 54 yo) and after beginning a new job 4-5 months ago, I am still really feeling like an outsider.  I am a career nurse and hav worked in quite a few different hospitals but don't recall ever having had much difficulty in transitioning to a new job before.  Not that I don't have faults, but I really don't think it's me in this instance; I am conscientious and try to be pleasant, open and friendly.  I'm not wanting to be noticed, liked, or even to make friends...and to be fair, everyone has been generally pleasant and helpful, but I'm a pretty good read of people. I just get this vibe like I'm the odd man out, just don't fit in somehow andm somehow not welcome.  Most of the other nurses I work with are younger and I wonder if this is a factor.  Anyway, sorry, no real advice, just wanting to commiserate and I also definitely get the part about just being left to figure things out yourself.  

Edited by morelostthanfound

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mmc51264 has 8 years experience as a ADN, BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes.

2,802 Posts; 39,364 Profile Views

It's not you. I was 48 when I graduated from nursing school. It is a struggle. I also was an older first time mom. Women who have kids my age kids are much younger and women my age are grandmas. 

In nursing, I don't fit in with the new grads and the nurses that are my age have been there for 20+ years. It is very difficult. 

I also have difficulty with social cues as well. I kinda do my own thing and try to get along. I admit that it is hurtful and I shouldn't be upset that a 25 year old doesn't want to be my friend, but it does. 

I am working on getting over it. I love where I work so I do whatever I can to get to know those that are good people. We have a certain clique that is like "mean girls" and I hate that let that crap get to me. 

I am who I am and I know that I am a good nurse, I love and care for my patients. That is my job and I have to be happy with that. Hang in there!!

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LibraNurse27 has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Community Health, Med/Surg, ICU Stepdown.

220 Posts; 3,240 Profile Views

I don't have advice but want to say I'm sorry you are experiencing this. I'm 28 and my best work friend is the 55 year old nurse who oriented me, my "work mom" 😃  I oriented a 52 year old nursing student and I enjoyed it! I was flattered when she said she learned a lot from me. When talking to a 48 yr old new grad I found out he had been a medic in the army and he ended up teaching me excellent IV tricks.

I think these nurses are missing out by not being open to you. Everyone has something to offer, whether it be nursing skills, life experience, friendship, support. 

In my experience teamwork and pleasant coworkers are more important than the type of unit you're on. I work in ICU Stepdown and if it wasn't for the awesome team I work with I would have left a long time ago! It is stressful but the coworkers make it worth it. I had a much easier job but the coworkers were so awful to each other that I quit after 5 months. Not telling anyone what to do, but we do spend a lot of time at work so it's good to be happy as much as possible. If you don't need work friends though and are happy with the work you're doing, your patients and your life outside work that is good too! As long as the coworkers at least help you when you need it so you and your patients are safe.

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speedynurse is a RN, EMT-P and specializes in ER.

28 Posts; 181 Profile Views

I think it really depends on your work environment. I was in one place where there was a wide range of ages and it worked out great. I have also worked in a place where I was the youngest nurse and had difficulty with that because I was often talked down to (even though I actually was not a new graduate nurse at this job). I really think it depends what kind of environment and it goes both ways. 

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TriciaJ has 39 years experience as a RN and specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory.

14 Followers; 3,693 Posts; 38,280 Profile Views

I graduated at 22 and didn't have trouble making friends at work.  (Although if there were cliques, I wasn't typically included.)  I was in my 50s when I started my last job, and the other nurses were mostly of the same vintage.  I really enjoyed working with them.  Then they all started retiring.

They were replaced by a much younger set.  Really great people.  Top notch conscientious nurses, fun and friendly.  However, they seemed to gravitate to one another much more than they did to me.  No one ever actually snubbed me, and always treated me with friendliness.  But they clearly related better to one another.  I started to feel excluded though I am positive no one meant for me to feel that way.

So, yes, I think it's an age thing.  I always thought that becoming a nurse later in life would bring its own special challenges.  I always believed that if I hadn't become a nurse by my late thirties or forties, I probably wouldn't have bothered.  Not telling anyone else they shouldn't have; we all have our own lives to live.

I think for those who are currently in that boat, enjoy that you are doing what you want to do, find meaning in it and enjoy your paycheque.  Look elsewhere for camaraderie.  And do not tolerate mean girl behaviour.  You have the wisdom and maturity to nip that crap in the bud.

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6 Posts; 230 Profile Views

I not sure it’s an age thing. I’m 35 and when I started my first job in a physicians office I got 3 days of shadowing then I was on my own. I had never done POC testing, given vaccines, used EPIC, etc, etc, etc. Since I started almost 3 years ago there has been many new people most my age, some younger and everyone else got even less than I did. When I worked as a PCT at a hospital it was the same. 
Everyone is so short handed that I just ended up being on my own early and when I didn’t run away crying, they decided I was fine on my own. I’ll be almost 40 when I finish nursing school, hopefully I get training this time around. 

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