Get your assignment early! Search jobs now!
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By April 14, 2011 0 Comments

Ask a Travel Nurse: How do travel nurse companies feel about hiring older nurses?


older travel nurseAsk a Travel Nurse Question:

Hi. I have 11 years of tele experience. I recently left my job and am currently looking for a new challenge. I’m 58 years old and soon to be 59. I’m in great health. My question is how do travel agencies feel about hiring somebody my age? please advise. Thank you.

Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:

I’m glad to see you are still up for a little adventure. I really don’t foresee too much of an issue with your age as far as the travel companies are concerned. Fact of the matter is, they only make their money when they have working travelers, so they don’t tend to turn down able bodied professionals.

However, I am not so naive to think that ageism does not exist. But I think the point where you would find it, if at all, would be at the hospital level (the time when you make contact with the facility for an assignment interview). Tele can be a challenge at times and should you be interviewing for a busy unit, I could see a manager that might call into question your age. However, most people also equate greater age with greater experience. If you have worked in a hard unit, and held your own for over a decade, that is something I would hit upon during any interview process.

Highlight your strengths and any time someone mentions things like strength, stamina, or keeping up with the pace (all those words and phrases that essentially mean “Aren’t you too old?”), then come back with all your accomplishments and skill sets. If you’ve taken a 12-lead course, mention that. ACLS certified, mention that. Experience with acute MI’s or thrombolytics, mention that. If you are ever faced with someone who you think might be judging you on your age, hit them hard with your experience and why you would make a great addition to their unit.

I have met quite a few travelers that are past the half century mark and never heard anyone mention difficulty getting an assignment solely based on age. I don’t think you will have a problem, but I would love to hear back from you on your experiences going forward.

I also work with a few great recruiters at various travel companies who have helped me get several new travelers their start. If you need any help with company selection, please feel free to email me.

I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention my book since it was written for you. Well, no, not you personally 🙂 But it was written for nurses who are wanting to start a travel career and have questions about what that process entails. You can find out more info at and can also email me there if you wish to explore travel company options.

I hope this helps and hope to see you out on the road someday.

About the Author:

Hello everyone. I’m a travel nurse originally from Ohio who graduated in 1993 from Mount Carmel School of Nursing in Columbus. I completed a critical care fellowship at Riverside Methodist Hospital in 1994 and started traveling in that specialty a year later. My first travel assignment was in Maui and since that time I have completed close to 40 different contracts in various states with multiple travel companies. I am the author of Travel Nurse’s Bible (A Guide to Everything on Travel Nursing), in addition to my writings here and in the pages of Travel Nursing publications such as Healthcare Traveler Magazine and American Nurse Today. I am presently on assignment in Phoenix, AZ and travel anywhere from six to eleven months of the year.

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