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Will minor physical limtations prevent one from being hired?

seezfar seezfar (New) New

I am a returning student at age 54. I have been taking pre requisits for a nursing program at community college for the last year. I am starting to work with DVR for finacial aid and am told by the counselor that because of a back problem that I have, no one will hire me. Is this true? I do not really expect HR or possibly some managers to answer truthfully because of possible legal questions. I want to know the truth. I have put in a lot of time and plan to put in a lot more time reaching a nursing goal. I want there to be a positive result from efforts put forth. My problem is primarily pain, so a lot of lifting would not be good. The DVR person claims that I would not perform well in an emergency situation. I have talked with enough school counselors and RN's to think that my problem should not be an issue. What is the truth? Your response is very much appreciated.

You certaintly would not want to put yourself in a situation that would further aggravate your pain. There are plenty of areas you can work I am sure. Don't let anything stop you from pursuing your goal.

Also, make sure your pain is controlled so you don't have to work with it.

Good luck

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

If you have lifting restrictions, then you will not be able to work many jobs -- that require you to lift and support patients (and/or equipment). If you try to claim to your employer that you can not perform job duties that include lifting, the employer will probably require an evaluation from a physician to document the need to excuse you. If you are applying for a job that includes things you can not do, you will probably not be hired. That is not illegal.

Yes, there are jobs within the field of nursing that do not require heavy lifting. However, few of those jobs are available for new graduates. It will be very difficult (perhaps impossible) for you as a new grad to get one of those jobs.

So ... how bad is your back? Are you going to have to claim a disability on your application for your first job as a new graduate? Will you be able to do the types of jobs that will be available to you as a new grad without lifting restrictions? That's the question. Also, do you live in an area of the country in which you will be able to find "non-lifting jobs" as a new grad? ... or do most new grads in your neck of the woods have to start their careers as staff nurses on an inpatient unit?

I'm sorry if this is not what you wanted to hear ... but you are being smart to explore these issues BEFORE you invest a lot of time and effort in a nursing education. You should be looking at your local job market and clarifying your capabilities with your physician so that you don't set yourself for disappointment in the future.

Good luck,


I second everything llg said (as usual :)), plus: Are you even going to be able to get through nursing school with your back? Are you just expecting to be excused from all the heavy patient care that your classmates will be doing in clinical?

Hi, Don't ever let anyone try to stop you. I have some limitations from having MS. I picked it up in nursing school (of all places to find a disease). I was told to quit nursing school because I could hardly walk at the time. I kept going. I work in a neonatal icu now. It is a perfect fit for me. No heavy lifting. No exhaustion from moving patients. If you can lift a can of soda or two it might be a great job for you too! There are so many jobs in nursing don't ever let anyone limit your choice by their opinion. I have a lot of options. My employer works around my illness (thank goodness!). Good luck remember this anyway... many nurses have desk jobs! A lot of employers are hiring new grads all over the country. Don't be afraid! During nursing school you can always get the help of an aide or another classmate. Don't let anyone tell you not too!!!

Take care!

I have nerve and tendon damage in my hand from my previous occupation. I had to get a medical certificate from my doctor. He had to tell my employer that I could physically perform the job I had applied for. The only work restriction he put on me was that I could not work for more than 8 hrs.

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