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Who wants to hire a graduate nurse at 55?

Nurses   (10,713 Views | 113 Replies)

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llg has 43 years experience as a PhD, RN and specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

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The "law" background is probably hurting you, too -- maybe a lot.   People could be afraid of hiring someone who is "legally minded" in any way.  They could be afraid that you might stir up trouble in some way because of your interest in the law and legal issues.   Would you be "on the lookout" for violations of labor law?   Would you be encouraging patients to sue?   Could you even be working for an attorney right now, hired to look for legal weaknesses in our system?   Might you be politically active and encourage our staff to form a union?  etc. etc. etc.

As they think of these possibilities, the easy thing for them to do is just not to get involved with you.   Hire someone who brings less risk of legal entanglements.   That gives you a third "strike" against you in the hiring game (age, lack of experience, and a legal background)  --   that could be scary for anyone considering hiring you.

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juniper222 specializes in Pre Nursing.

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1 minute ago, llg said:

The "law" background is probably hurting you, too -- maybe a lot.   People could be afraid of hiring someone who is "legally minded" in any way.  They could be afraid that you might stir up trouble in some way because of your interest in the law and legal issues.   Would you be "on the lookout" for violations of labor law?   Would you be encouraging patients to sue?   Could you even be working for an attorney right now, hired to look for legal weaknesses in our system?   Might you be politically active and encourage our staff to form a union?  etc. etc. etc.

As they think of these possibilities, the easy thing for them to do is just not to get involved with you.   Hire someone who brings less risk of legal entanglements.   That gives you a third "strike" against you in the hiring game (age, lack of experience, and a legal background)  --   that could be scary for anyone considering hiring you.

That thought never occurred to me.  Perhaps she could omit that information on education history.

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4 minutes ago, llg said:

The "law" background is probably hurting you, too -- maybe a lot.   People could be afraid of hiring someone who is "legally minded" in any way.  They could be afraid that you might stir up trouble in some way because of your interest in the law and legal issues.   Would you be "on the lookout" for violations of labor law?   Would you be encouraging patients to sue?   Could you even be working for an attorney right now, hired to look for legal weaknesses in our system?   Might you be politically active and encourage our staff to form a union?  etc. etc. etc.

As they think of these possibilities, the easy thing for them to do is just not to get involved with you.   Hire someone who brings less risk of legal entanglements.   That gives you a third "strike" against you in the hiring game (age, lack of experience, and a legal background)  --   that could be scary for anyone considering hiring you.

I thought of this but never to this extent. Hmmm! You may be right...so what now? Hmmm...Thanks for your insights.

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Unfortunately I think your age is working against you, as mine is working against me (a few years younger than you, but also a new grad). I'm in super-competitive No Cal and was shocked that some of my classmates were getting hired when I wasn't (average students, average personalities). I have had 6 interviews and luckily for me, 2 offers. But neither of the offers is from the prestigious residency programs that interviewed me, but rather from hospitals that struggle to hire enough RNs. So anyway...here we are. I try to look as young as possible but there's no hiding that I am 40+. Age discrimination is real in nursing. But when I started nursing school the two women who inspired me were new grads at ages 48 and 54 who got hired and loved their jobs (one in a hospital, one in ambulatory). So it can be done. Most of my older classmates had to leave the immediate area and are working in rural hospitals. So maybe you could look into that...

Good luck!

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I have read that one can leave off references to another line of work, or downplay them, on a resume when changing careers.  I would eliminate the masters degree in law outright.  Only list your BSN and your healthcare related (CNA, HHA, PCA type) work while lumping your previous work experience together in a catch-all sentence or two.  I did this with my 20 year military career until I had enough healthcare experience (my first job as a licensed nurse) so that I started listing that first while omitting the previous career altogether.

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17 hours ago, caliotter3 said:

BTW an employment department representative advised me when discussing age discrimination in hiring that one should make subtle attempts at downplaying their age with their appearance, especially coloring grey hair.

Oh, good grief. I’ve been gray since my early 20’s. What on earth is wrong with us? 

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I graduated nursing school at age 52. When I looked for a job as a new graduate BSN, I absolutely encountered age discrimination. (I will not go into the details.) It was very discouraging. I did eventually find that long-term care and sub-acute rehab (SNFs) seemed to like older nurses. They knew we older nurses have patience with geriatric patients and may very well have geriatric parents ourselves.

However, several years later, when I looked for a job as a new graduate NP, my age was considered a big plus! I think that's because most of the patients were middle-aged and older and my employers figured I could relate to them. Which I can! 🙂

Good luck! Keep trying!

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I am a new grad and got hired for a crazy busy ED in their new grad residency program. I am 50 and out of 5 of us there were 2 -50year olds. I think you just have to find the right fit. They treat all 5 of us equally and I think my facility values the life experience.

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myoglobin has 12 years experience as a ASN, BSN, MSN and specializes in ICU, trauma, neuro.

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I always think of an article that I read back in nursing school (when I was in my late 30's and feeling old) about a nurse name Peggy Morris working in a medical floor in Nevada in her early 80's. She didn't start nursing school until her late 50's or 60's because she became "bored" after her husband died (I believe she had been a waitress before that).  After reading about Peggy I felt slightly less sorry for myself.  Still, now that I'm 50 and a new PMHNP, I'm feeling sorry for myself again!

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juniper222 specializes in Pre Nursing.

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6 hours ago, jobellestarr said:

Oh, good grief. I’ve been gray since my early 20’s. What on earth is wrong with us? 

It's funny to me that a fashion trend for many young people today is, you guessed it, dyeing their hair grey!

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Been there,done that has 33 years experience as a ASN, RN.

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It IS discrimination to ask your age .  However,  I always assumed they could do basic math and figure out how old I was by my resume.

" feel free to reapply or apply for a different position " does sound promising. The hospital needs shift all the time. I think you should try that approach.

Good  luck, it's a jungle out there.

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I have a legitimate question for you.  Did you not think age would be an issue for you when you decided to become a nurse later in life?  The thought had to cross your mind.  I had a woman in her late 50’s in my new grad residency many years ago.  But it was only one.

Age does play into hiring decisions whether we like to believe it or not.  And I’m going to suggest that you get rid of the gray hair if you have it, and make sure your interview skills are spot on.  Also, make sure they know you are proficient with technology.

An employer looks at whether or not you are a good investment.  It costs over $100k to train a new grad.  They want to make sure they will get a return on their investment.  If they think you are close to retiring, they are going to pass and get someone younger.

I personally think when you are older you can bring a level of maturity and level headed thinking.  But employers are looking at money.  So, you need to present yourself in such a way that you are seen as a good investment.  
 

We hate to think age discrimination doesn’t exist, but it does.  It why I don’t always think it’s the best idea to go spend money and time on a new degree after a certain age.  I know, it’s everyone’s dream.  But dreams and reality don’t always match up.

Good Luck.  I hope you find something. Make sure your resume and interview skills are perfect first.  Then go from there

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