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Old 05-29-2008, 12:49 AM
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Default How old is too old to be a nurse.

I work with a nurse who is turning 68 years old on her next birthday. Really! She's great, and I really enjoy working with her. However, some of the younger nurses on the unit are starting to wonder if she is too old to be a nurse. I think that's bunk. She runs circles around all of us, and she’s sharp as a tack. Frankly, I think that she’s going to outlive us all. But all this grumbling gave me pause. What do you think? When is someone too old to be a nurse?

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Old 05-29-2008, 03:03 AM
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I personally think that there is no set age that a nurse should stop nursing. People of 68 can be and increasingly are active and fit, and what is more if she is up todate with practice and is enjoying her work who are we to tell her otherwise. With an aging nursing work force we need people to work longer not shorter. Perhaps those younger nurses feel in some way threatened by her?
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Old 05-29-2008, 04:59 AM
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As long as she is happy and still able to do the job; why not. I have seen nurses who are well into their 60s still working on the wards, but I have also seen them change career paths to a 9 to 5 position in blood banks or moving out of full time to just work bank and agency. I'm sure they are all keeping up with current protocol as it is part of their yearly licensing. I might have to draw the line a 105 years though (oldest man still working (I think))
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Old 05-29-2008, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Julie View Post
I personally think that there is no set age that a nurse should stop nursing. People of 68 can be and increasingly are active and fit, and what is more if she is up todate with practice and is enjoying her work who are we to tell her otherwise. With an aging nursing work force we need people to work longer not shorter. Perhaps those younger nurses feel in some way threatened by her?
Yes, Julie, you are right. They feel intimidated by her wealth of knowledge, but I think it goes beyond their own insecurity. I also think that they have a hard time understanding her nursing philosophy. This nurse is into “new age” stuff, like healing touch, and biofeed back, and she uses these techniques to the unit. I’m totally onboard with these modalities, but the kids just don’t get it. Maybe they will change their minds after they’ve been in nursing for 40 years.

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Old 05-29-2008, 11:23 PM
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You're too old to be a nurse when you just can't do it anymore. Sounds like your colleague is doing just fine!
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Old 05-30-2008, 06:27 PM
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I too work with a 68 year old staff nurse in theatre.
She used to be sister until she hit 60 then we exchanged roles. I still find myself calling her sister - and have the greatest respect for her knowledge and experience.
Admittedly she only works very part time now - but she is still a valuable member of the team - and has a lot to offer the rest of the staff ( all ages !) as well as having a calming influence if things get a bit tense ( as they often do in theatre)

I agree with the majority here - as long as she practices safe working , and keeps herself up to date for her PREPP, what does it matter ??

Age is just a number !!
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Old 07-03-2008, 08:24 PM
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She can work as long as she wants to and has the ability.
I had one job (non-nursing) and there was a man working there
who was about 75 (sharpest in the office with the highest rate of success of all the employees).
I can imagine him working until he's 95.
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Old 07-30-2008, 02:53 AM
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Default wow...that was a scary question!!!!

I hope all that everyone has said is, in fact, true. I just graduated from nursing school this past June, and I am 55. I certainly hope to be working for a very long time and want to be an example to other middle-agers that it really is never too late. Besides, it keeps you young. I certainly didn't age over my 4 years in nursing school...I didn't have time to!!!
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:05 AM
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I hope all that everyone has said is, in fact, true. I just graduated from nursing school this past June, and I am 55. I certainly hope to be working for a very long time and want to be an example to other middle-agers that it really is never too late. Besides, it keeps you young. I certainly didn't age over my 4 years in nursing school...I didn't have time to!!!
Nursing school: The fountain of youth!
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