Any hiring bias towards new male nurse 50 years old? - page 2

Hello, I am considering a career switch into Nursing. I have a great local Associates Program I could attend while still working part time and be done by about the age of 50. What I am wondering... Read More

  1. by   GM2RN
    I was 49 when I graduated in 2007. Some employers will discriminate based age, but others will appreciate the level of maturity of an "older" nurse. That said, there are some things you can do to tip the scales in your favor.

    1. Make sure you are in the best shape physically that you can be by the time you go on interviews and start now. You may be 50ish by the time you graduate but you don't have to look and act like it. Healthy, active people tend to have a spark in their eyes and bounce their step that conveys a youthfulness that belies their actual age and it won't go unnoticed.

    2. Before you go to your first interview, get a makeover. Include an age appropriate, but fashionable haircut. Consider color but make sure you have it done professionally so you don't look ridiculous. Get a facial and a manicure, and since facial hair is aging, consider removing all of it if you have any. If you really can't part with it forever, grow it back once you get a job. Invest in a new suit if you don't have one at the time. It doesn't have to be expensive and should have a timeless look...not outdated but not too trendy either. (Many will argue that a suit is not necessary for an interview these days. While this may be true, wearing an appropriate suit will never hurt you, but not wearing one might, so my philosophy is to do everything you can to give yourself an edge and make a positive first impression.) And hopefully this doesn't need to be said, but make sure shoes are not worn looking and are clean and polished.

    3. When filling out applications, it is illegal to ask your age, so be careful of giving any dates that will tell them how old you are. For instance, do not fill in the date of graduation from high school if that should be asked (most applications don't ask this anymore, but I have run into it on a rare occasion). When filling in your job history, don't include anything beyond 10 years prior to the current date unless it is necessary to establish something like having experience in leadership, or other skills that would be very relevant to a particular nursing job. The point here is to avoid giving clues to your age.

    4. When filling out other forms prior to a firm job offer, DO NOT give them your SS# or driver's license number. Instead, write in those spaces, or somewhere near it, that you will be happy to provide that information when a job offer has been made and accepted. I did this and had no problem. If asked, your explanation might be that you are protecting your identity and personal information by not giving it until it is necessary and is a perfectly plausible reason these days.

    5. In addition to preparing answers for interview questions, work on presenting yourself as energetic and enthusiastic without going over the top. Obviously you won't be able to hide your "maturity" level in an interview, but if you have done tips 1 and 2 you will likely appear (much) younger than someone who is 50+ and that will be to your advantage. Besides, at that point you will have achieved your goal of getting in front of an employer in order to sell yourself in person. If you get to this point and give a good interview, there's a good chance that your age will cease to be an issue if they ever had one.
  2. by   Chaya
    I'm not in wisconsin so I don't know if it"s different out there; in MA you would have serious bias both as a new grad and as over 50. I'm not a guy but as far as I can tell being male has not negatively impacted hiring for anyone I know.
    One caveat; ALL of the recent hires on our unit worked here as CNA's while in school. The good news is that while nursing positions are tight there are plenty of openings for CNA's so I would say if you do end up going to nursing school plan on trying to work a shift or two a week as a CNA at whichever hospital you would most like to work after graduation (or the most likely to hire new grads). Good luck; you sound like good nurse material!
  3. by   nursebethat
    Come to Alaska and fish hunt while you nurse. Plenty of room for you as a state nurse assessor sure your computer skills are up to par.....if not, cover your grey, bleach your teeth!...bottox those forehead lines!,
  4. by   koko2002
    I'm a guy in my 40's and in the 3rd semester of an ADN program. You certainly won't feel out of place in school... Most 2-year RN programs are full of 30's, 40's and 50's folks. As far as job offers go, it seems like they want RN's with experience for most jobs so age I don't think makes a difference, just expereince in the field or a specialty.
  5. by   Biffbradford
    Quote from evolvingrn
    The one thing that i think could hurt you in a big way is you took a break from nursing(based on reading other post) from but they are going to pay based on years of experience. They may feel they aren't going to get their 'bang for their buck" since it has been awhile. I think what you are going to have to do is network , with nursing managers, hr ect...... you need to actually talk with them and win them over. I am big on networking and it has gotten me both of my nursing jobs.
    That is a solid point, even though that's crazy thinking. After doing a job for that long, a person doesn't forget everything in that short a period. I'm quite sure that anyone with over 10 years experience can jump right in and feel like they never missed a day.

    Well, we'll see since I just put in two more applications for ads reading: "EXPERIENCED" ICU nurse wanted. Will post the results.