The country – and the world in general – is always going to require more nurses. They make up the backbone of the medical profession, and it is nurses who can help patients on a much more personal level than anyone else can which in turn helps with the healing process both physically and mentally.
Nursing isn’t just for those who are leaving school and want to find a job they can enjoy forever. Nursing is an ideal career for older people to go into at a later stage in their lives when they can realize long-held dreams, or they understand what it is that will make them happy. It is often said that older nurses are extremely beneficial to the medical profession; here are some of the reasons why this is.
More Free Time
When there are nurses over 50 working in a hospital, they will often have more free time than younger ones. This is because they have already settled into their lives and they know what they can and can’t do, and what they want to do. They won’t necessarily have childcare to deal with, and they will be more focused on what they are working towards because they are at a time in their lives when they have reached many of their ambitions.
Not only this, but they will have more free time to study. If they have children, then the children tend to be older and therefore more able to help themselves, leaving their parent to study and work as they need to. There will still be a good mix of the work-life balance, but it won’t be quite so hard to juggle everything, and the older nurse can, therefore dedicate more time to the profession. Older nurses are extremely reliable.
Knowledge is crucial when you are a nurse, no matter what age you are or how long you have been working. However, something that is just as important as experience, and an older nurse is going to have a lot of this, especially when compared to someone younger who, despite having plenty of knowing and graduating with a good grade, won’t have been able to gain as much experience.
Having an older nurse on the staff and allowing them to use their hard-won experience to make the department a better one is priceless and something that should seriously be considered. This is why older nurses should never be afraid to look for different work or apply for new jobs; their age is not going to go against them and may even work in their favor.
Of course, some older nurses won’t have nursing experience if they have switched careers later in life, but what they lack in nursing experience they will have in life experience. Being older means you have seen a lot more and done a lot more, and even if you never thought what you were seeing and doing would have anything to do with a nursing career, it is very possible that it absolutely will.
Different Working Options
Older nurses are going to be beneficial to the hospital or clinic they are employed in. Therefore, flexible working options should be considered to ensure that these older nurses are keen to work. After all, retirement might be an alternative route for them, so how can a place of work be made more tempting?
Working can rival retirement when it is offered on the worker’s terms. For older nurses who want to remain part of the profession but who have worked for a long time and are now ready for at least some form of retirement, part-time working is a good option. Flexible working will help too, and by thinking of these things when hiring, you are more likely to attract older nurses who have the experience you need. An experienced, more senior nurse, even if they are working in a part-time capacity or if they can only work days or don’t want to work weekends will be a very valuable member of your staff.
Older nurses are beneficial for a great number of reasons, but a more senior person doesn’t have to have been a nurse before to become one later in life. Not only that but if they have taken many years out, perhaps to raise a family or because they thought another profession would suit them better, they can come back to nursing after a long time away.
There is still the experience factor to consider, as mentioned above, and the fact that training can be done online for the most part (barring the practical element, of course) means that anyone who wants to be a nurse, no matter what their age happens to be, can be one.
Opening up this way of training means that many more people than ever would have been able to train in the usual way at a physical college are now able to become nurses. The field has opened up widely, and for the older person who has the time and the experience, as well as the fact that they are more settled in life, taking on the challenge on becoming a nurse is something they may well feel ready to do.
Why is this a good thing? It’s good because it means that, even without the experience (as detailed above) there are hundreds more nurses training than there would have been otherwise, and since nurses are always in demand, the more nurses there are, the better.
Stay in The Job
Even though nursing is the kind of profession you can very well have for life, that doesn’t mean everyone stays in it for life. After gaining all that training and working for a while, it might be that some nurses feel they would rather be doing something else. Either that or a personal situation might arise that means they have to stop working for a while (and perhaps never return to the profession).
If an older nurse either returns to their nursing career or switches track entirely and retrains as a nurse in their 50s or 60s, for example, they are much more likely to remain nursing until they eventually retire. This is because they will have tried other jobs already, and they will have dealt with any family issues that required them, allowing them much more freedom and time to discover what it is they truly want to do. Being older, most people will be more cautious about making big, life-changing decisions. Therefore once they have settled on nursing, they are much more likely to stick with their choice (especially as there will have been training involved, whether they were brand new to the profession or coming back to it after a few years or even decades away).
Working in A Team
Teamwork is extremely important in the nursing profession. Although nurses will need to work alone as well, in the most life-threatening times for a patient (either in the OR or during a crash situation, for example), it is teamwork that is going to be most beneficial for the patient overall.
Older nurses will have more knowledge of how to work well in a team, and younger nurses might even look up to them as a kind of leader, working better with them in a team than they would with younger colleagues. Although in the end it won’t matter to the patient who is doing what as long as they are doing something, to the nurses it could matter a great deal, and an older nurse with that added air of authority may well be the reason the team is working so smoothly.
Good for The Nurse
So far we have focused on the benefits of older nurses for hospitals and other medical institutes, and that is important, especially if you are an older person looking to become a nurse or retrain as one after a long time away; you can be sure that you will be welcomed and that there will be a place for you after you complete your studies.
However, it shouldn’t be forgotten that there are several benefits for the nurse. Firstly, going back to work or continuing to work when you are older is good for your brain’s health. The more you can keep your mind active, the more you can stay healthy overall. Your brain must keep working, and if you are not in a job yourself, you would need to find ways to keep your brain active to stay as healthy as possible. When you are a nurse, there is no need to do this; your job will do it for you, and this is a definite benefit.
As well as this, there are plenty of benefits given to nurses, including a 401(K), healthcare, life insurance, and more that they might not be able to achieve working elsewhere. Although these benefits shouldn’t be the only reason for taking up a career in nursing, they are a useful addition to remember.