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Who wants to hire a graduate nurse at 55?

Nurses   (11,932 Views | 114 Replies)

RNat55 has 1 years experience as a ADN, RN.

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

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On 1/17/2020 at 3:43 AM, 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 yeah! Could  not hurt to look  as young as possible

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Hoosier_RN has 20 years experience as a MSN and specializes in LTC, home health, hospice, ICU, ER, dialysis.

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11 hours ago, jobellestarr said:

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

Sadly, it's a reality with our Instagram/FB world where everyone looks perfect. And youth, sometimes incorrectly,  signifies energy

Edited by Hoosier_RN

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laflaca has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN.

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On 1/18/2020 at 8:40 AM, LovingLife123 said:

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.

It's a fine line between trying to offer practical advice to someone in a marginalized group, acknowledging the reality of an unfair world, vs seeming to uncritically accept the unfairness or even blame the individual. I know what the OP is talking about.... you couldn't prove it in court, but sometimes you can clearly tell from the look on someone's face the second you walk in: no matter how great your interview answers may be, today is not your day. Though of course you still try your best. 

So be a little  careful. I agree that we should all try to have top notch interviewing and computer skills. But you wouldn't tell someone "well, you knew there are very few African-Americans/Muslims/gay people new to this field, right? It had to cross your mind. And employers want employees who will fit in and stay a long time, making the training investment worthwhile. So maybe try to seem less black/religious/gay."  I can dye my hair; I still look like a middle aged woman.  

OP you're going to have to search harder than some new grads, but I think you'll find something. I agree about leaving the legal career off your resume; lots of nurses (including me) are career changers, and in my experience hospitals don't really care much about your Life Before. Maybe work up some brief little anecdote or interview answer to sum up how you got from there to here, but only if they ask.

You see lots of older nurses in schools and in public health, and those are great jobs, but I started in my 40's in a big ED. It's probably about getting the right hiring manager at the right moment.  Just keep trying, and don't let it get in your head.

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I also think it is important to use your circle to network. If you have a friend or fellow students that got hired somewhere or places you did clinical at...try to get your resume on one of their desks. A current employee reference can go a long way.

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laflaca has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN.

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1 hour ago, Cindyel said:

I also think it is important to use your circle to network. If you have a friend or fellow students that got hired somewhere or places you did clinical at...try to get your resume on one of their desks. A current employee reference can go a long way.

Yes, this too!  As a matter of fact I'm considering changing jobs right now, and I just went to renew my ACLS.  I went to the same training center I used before, the instructor remembered me (and also remembered that I sent a friend there once), and we got to chatting....after which the instructor offered to put me in touch with nursing managers in places where they conduct classes. 

You don't want to be pesky or aggressive, but it never hurts to mention that you're looking. 

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futurepsychrn has 3 years experience as a ADN and specializes in Pschiatry.

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I graduated at 54. My first job was on a Skilled Unit at a hospital. Next position was Behavioral Health. I've found that those two areas plus Drug Addiction/ Detox and MedRehab are fairly easy to get into. It at least gets a foot in the door of a hospital and most Skilled Units are sub-acute so valuable experience is gained. Don't give up. Good luck!

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This hasn't been mentioned, but could it also be the area or state you live in?  For example, California is always tough because of the amount of new grads, competition, etc - the market is flooded. 

I don't know where you live, but is moving out of the area or out of state an option for you?  There are probably less populous states (Montana, Wyoming, the Dakotas) where perhaps they really need nurses and don't care what age you are.  Just a thought...

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Hoosier_RN has 20 years experience as a MSN and specializes in LTC, home health, hospice, ICU, ER, dialysis.

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Just keep plugging.  Despite what the media says there really isn't that big of a nursing shortage.  In some areas, yes, in other regions, no so much.  Even some of the younger nurses are having trouble finding jobs.  Don't be afraid to cast a wide net to get your start.  Crossing my fingers for you!

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

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Also, get a multi state RN license (if you live in a state that facilitates one) and start applying on Indeed with "easy apply" to multiple states (with opportunities).  I'm moving to Seattle (ironically Washington is not part of the compact, but they had great opportunities), away from my family in Orlando not because I want to, but because they will pay me at least double what I would earn as a PMHNP in Florida.  Even if 90% of employers were to be turds and discriminate based upon age all you need is ONE decent job as a new grad to build upon. Then, with your NEXT job you will have some experience (albeit perhaps still facing the unfair discrimination). As your experience and resume builds the "age discrimination" becomes a significantly lower part of the "overall" process.  

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Corrections is always hiring. I've learned sooooo much. Some point I will try to return to acute care (my year in med surg tele is solid gold useful) but one can make an excellent career in Corrections. I would not want to work solo in home health as a new grad.

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On 1/18/2020 at 10:53 AM, laflaca said:

It's a fine line between trying to offer practical advice to someone in a marginalized group, acknowledging the reality of an unfair world, vs seeming to uncritically accept the unfairness or even blame the individual. I know what the OP is talking about.... you couldn't prove it in court, but sometimes you can clearly tell from the look on someone's face the second you walk in: no matter how great your interview answers may be, today is not your day. Though of course you still try your best. 

So be a little  careful. I agree that we should all try to have top notch interviewing and computer skills. But you wouldn't tell someone "well, you knew there are very few African-Americans/Muslims/gay people new to this field, right? It had to cross your mind. And employers want employees who will fit in and stay a long time, making the training investment worthwhile. So maybe try to seem less black/religious/gay."  I can dye my hair; I still look like a middle aged woman.  

OP you're going to have to search harder than some new grads, but I think you'll find something. I agree about leaving the legal career off your resume; lots of nurses (including me) are career changers, and in my experience hospitals don't really care much about your Life Before. Maybe work up some brief little anecdote or interview answer to sum up how you got from there to here, but only if they ask.

You see lots of older nurses in schools and in public health, and those are great jobs, but I started in my 40's in a big ED. It's probably about getting the right hiring manager at the right moment.  Just keep trying, and don't let it get in your head.

So, are you saying age discrimination doesn’t exist, or the OP should pretend it doesn’t exist?  The fact of the matter is, it does exist.  We all know it does.  The OP wants a job.  She specifically asked if it could possibly be her age.  Should we all bury our heads in the sand and give her advice without addressing the elephant in the room?

I’m a middle aged woman.  I have gray hair.  I know what I am talking about.

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Guest957596 has 3 years experience and specializes in BSN, RN-BC, NREMT, EMT-P, TCRN.

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On 1/16/2020 at 2:23 PM, RNat55 said:

I am in my final semester for my BSN. I qualified as an RN in September 2019 and I have been job searching. Due to my recent job interview experiences, I am beginning to wonder if I can secure a graduate nurse position at the age of 55. 

My very last interview with an HCA hospital took about two months and included over 140 character assessment questions, on-demand video interviews, face to face interviews with the nurse manager, then the nursing director and finally, the management. I got a phone offer from the recruiter who stated she would email the formal offer. Three days after, she called and informed me they made a mistake as they thought they had more openings. I should feel free to reapply or apply for a different position and could contact her for help. I was shocked and dumbfounded!

I keep feeling my age is the issue. Please, does anyone have any suggestions as to where I could consider applying for a graduate nurse position at this age? My ultimate aim is to become a nurse educator. For now, I have an interest in also becoming a nurse writer.

Thank you for your assistance.

Your age is NOT an issue. I graduated at 58yo and was hired right away at an HCA hospital through the StaRN program. Your problem is you're apparently a new nurse without experience. Apply for a New Grad Program.

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