Would you hire a new nursing grad who is 68 years old?

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    Profile photo of Thomasray

    What is the reality of an older graduate(68) who is a brand new nursing graduate being hired for a position? If there really is a nursing shortage, are agencies and hospitals hiring new nurses who are in their sixties and seventies? I just read about a nursing student who is 73 years old. My wife has major concerns that I will spend lots of time, money, and effort, only to be jobless. I really want to do this, but I completely understand her point.

    Please help as I will soon start to register for prerequisite classes. Also, I know well the nursing profession as I spent 25 years as firefighter/EMT working out of a small clinic whose only provider was a PA or nurse practitioner in remote bush Alaska. ( This small clinic handled every kind of emergency possible). Thank you in advance for your responses.

    Will I be able to get a nursing job?


    I think it is realistic to assume that you can find a nursing job in this market. Here are some positive and negative points I can think of.

    -I can see where your wife is coming from and understand her concern. Ageism is alive and well, and the nurse career field is not immune to this bias. I have been in interviews where other members had concerns over the physical abilities of the interviewee, and I can see this happening with you.

    -Your wife has a point about the money. Schools are capitalizing on the nursing shortage and charging high prices for degrees. For-profit schools have been in the news recently for predatory techniques and false representations of the job market. Nurses make good money, but repaying a $60,000 student loan with interest will eat away at a lot of your earnings. Depending on what you want to do with your nursing license, you might find the same kind of jobs with your previous EMT experiences and no additional costs.

    -Many jobs application processes offer a physical, where the applicant goes to a sports-medicine clinic and performs physical tasks that may be required in their job, examples: carry 10 pounds up stairs, lift 40 pounds from ground to bed using good body mechanics. If an applicant can complete these tasks, then they should qualify for the job, no matter their weight or age.

    -You worked in the Alaskan bush for 25 years as a fire fighter/EMT? Does you guys jump out of helicopter in the middle of winter? I challenge a 25 year old nurse to do that any day. That is amazing experience that speaks to you physical ability.

    -There are many different types of nursing jobs, and they are not all at the bed side or the bush of Alaska. Nurses can work in clinics, schools, and private businesses where the physical demands are less and the hours are “normal”. Keep in mind, depending on where you work, these jobs are often hard to find and highly sought after, and usually filled by experienced nurses.

    I still believe that anyone who is a good candidate should be able to find a nursing job, especially in this market. No one has to know exactly how you are, and I’m pretty sure it is illegal to ask in a job interview. If you already know where you want to work, talk to the hiring manager there and see what they need in an ideal applicant. Don’t wait to start networking, sometimes getting the perfect job is more about who you know versus what you do.

    No matter what, thank you for your service to the the Alaskan community and good luck in your future.


    Typo: In the 7th paragraph, I meant to say “no one has to know exactly how ‘old’ you are…”


    Huh, I responded to this topic too but the post is not appearing..

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