Why Older Nurses Are Needed

MacMillan's oldest nurse Sally Jorden

There is always going to be a place for nurses in this world. If recent events have taught us anything, it’s that nurses and other frontline medical staff are absolutely crucial, and we just don’t have enough of them. So, of course, the more people who choose to become nurses, the better; there will always be a place for them to work and make a difference.

This idea isn’t just something that should appeal to those leaving high school or college and who are looking for a wonderful career they can enjoy for life should they want to. Becoming a nurse is something that older people, those who have already chosen their path in life but who are perhaps not so happy with where that path is going now, can do too. In fact, older nurses are needed just as much as younger ones, and there are some very specific reasons why this is. Read on to find out more.


The older someone is, the more experience they have. Although this might not be a specific nursing experience, and it probably won’t be if an older person is looking at switching careers and researching courses, life experience is just as important, and this can actually make a nurse a much better one. Understanding how people are feeling, perhaps because they have gone through it themselves or witnessed it in the past, will help immensely, and be just as crucial a part of the patient’s treatment as the medication and stitches would be.

This kind of life experience can make a huge difference to the hospital and the patients, and make the older nurse someone who is highly regarded. They can learn how to nurse, but life experience is something that can only be gained through living it; younger people simply won’t have it just yet.

Different Working Options

Older nurses, those who are just coming to the profession late in life, are always going to be welcome, and they are often going to be extremely beneficial to the place in which they are working. In many cases, they can be more flexible than younger nurses since – depending on their age – will already be settled into their lives and know exactly what they want to do. If they have childcare to think about, it won’t usually be for very young children, meaning it’s not such an issue (the children might be grown, or at least in their teens, and can therefore look after themselves much more), for example.

It might even be that someone chooses to study for BSN accelerated programs rather than retire. In this case, they are going to be extremely flexible, and this makes them invaluable to the hospital.

In other words, an older nurse will have done everything they need to do in life, and now they are able to choose to do something they truly want to do at last; they will be keen to do their jobs well and discuss the various different working options open to them.


There is a lot of training required in order to obtain a nursing qualification and work in a hospital. For younger people, this can be problematic; it might be hard to focus on training when there are so many other demands on their time. As an older person, particularly someone who has already raised a family and had a career, taking on this training is not such a hardship. It could even be something that keeps them from being bored, and as such, it is something they are going to take very seriously.

An older person is going to have a lot more time to study and learn, and that means they will ultimately be exceptional nurses once they qualify. The fact that a lot of the training can be done online is even better; there is no need to travel to a specific place at a specific time, so all the training can be done in a comfortable environment. This is especially important to those who may have been concerned about being the oldest person in their class; this is not something that will even be noticed when studying online, so you can relax and just concentrate on what you are learning.

Stay In The Job

When you think of nursing, you may think of it as a career you have for life, starting young and working on until retirement. Although this is true in many cases, it’s not something that has to happen. Some nurses qualify, work for a short while, and then decide that nursing isn’t quite right for them either because there is a career they know will suit them better or because they want to start a family or because they want to go back to school and study for something else.

An older nurse who is either coming back to nursing after some time away or coming into nursing for the first time is actually more likely to stay in the job until they retire. They have worked in other jobs and realized that nursing is what they want to do, and they will have taken the initiative to go back to school and get the qualifications they need. It is not guaranteed, but it is sure that they will remain in their new career for as long as possible, and that helps everyone who needs their assistance, from patients to doctors to other nurses.

Good For The Nurse

Looking at the benefits of having an older nurse on staff is a relatively easy thing to do, but what about the nurse themselves? Studying to become a nurse and then working as one when you are older is extremely good for you; it will keep your brain active (and your body too since nursing is a physical profession), and this is essential to do as we get older.

Plus, there are actual benefits to be had, including a 401(K), health insurance, life insurance, and more. As we get older, these are things we might start to think about more, and having a career you can love that provides them for you is an ideal situation to be in.


The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Lahore Times.

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