Changing Roles and Careers for the Aging Nurse


For any young nurse, aging is not something you think about.

Now that I have plenty of experience and a few years under my belt, I realize that even nurses age.

As Chili Davis says, “Growing old is mandatory.”

As nurses grow older, they can determine to be happy and satisfied if they plan well and are prepared.

With age, the physical demands of bedside nursing can be taxing to the body. Long shifts tend to be tiring and new illnesses can set in.

With the increase in work load and the challenging work environments, there is an increased risk of stress, poor health, chronic pain and excessive tiredness.

Creating new career paths that cater to your needs when you age, is something you ought to think about.

This month, International Nurse Support has the honor of hosting The Nurse’s Blog Carnival, where you will read from some amazing nurse bloggers about the changing roles and careers for the aging nurse.


  • From Erica MacDonald over at the Self Employed Nurse, she reminds us that even though there are a limited number of non-clinical nursing jobs available in the traditional work setting, there are many options for the aging nurse.

She talks about entrepreneurship as an option for the aging nurse, giving suggestions of different nurse businesses that one can do.

Read more from her blog here.


  • Jamie Davis over at The Nursing Show, talks about five career change options for the aging nurse.

Jamie reminds us that the statistics state the average age for nurses in the workforce is 50.

This means many nurses will soon be approaching retirement.

Read more here.


  • Kathy Quan over at The Nursing Site Blog shares her own experience about leaving hospital nursing and what she does now.

She shares some great insights about management roles.

Kathy challenges us to leave our comfort zone, do some research and be willing to take on some studies.

Read more here.


  • Jennifer Olin over at Rnevolution wonders if retirement will be the best time of her career.

She considers being a travel nurse, an educator, a school nurse and lots more career choices.

She shares with us her perfect idea and suggests you find something that sparks your interest and is fun.

Read more here.


Nurse Blog Carnival - The Nerdy Nurse - 300x300






This post is a collective effort of nurse bloggers.

If you want to participate in the Nursing Blog Carnival, find more details and sign up here.




  1. Ron says:

    staying active without putting our bodies at harm is a great way to keep us young. Nursing is a career in which it must come from the heart.

    • Joyce says:

      Ron, I agree with you. You must want to truly be a nurse to be content and happy with the career. Otherwise small things will frustrate you and you job will become meaningless.

  2. It has been very encouraging to hear that there are many of us out there looking at changing our careers while still remaining in nursing. I have been an Allied Health Instructor for 13 years after 20 years experience in unit nursing, home care, office nursing, etc. I have my BSN and now have a MEd. I just discharged my elderly mother from the hospital and spent 12 days at her bedside assisting the nurses with as much bedside care as I could: toileting, changing occupied beds, feeding, and helping with delirium issues. It became painfully evident to me that with my multiple back and neck issues, and varicose veins, I am no longer able to remotely consider bedside nursing. I have been considering clinical trials in pharmaceutical companies, case management, EHR, and other areas which won’t require me to be on my feet all day, twisting, turning, lifting, etc. Any recommendations would be fantastic. Thank you and I have appreciated the many topics of conversation.

    • Joyce says:

      Angela. Thanks for sharing your situation. One thing you have going for you is your education. The more highly educated nurses are, more doors away from bedside nursing will open. You already have education/instructor experience. There are colleges constantly looking for lecturers and health facilities looking for clinical instructors. The sky is the limit for you because you have several options. If you like administration, you have many choices as well.

  3. Joyce,

    Thanks for putting this all together for us! I love this topic. Some of the careers covered in everyone’s posts really do not require that you be an aging nurse….just experienced! The beauty of nursing is that there are so many options.

    • Joyce says:

      Erica. You say it well!
      Nursing is indeed a beautiful career.
      You only have to be open to change, and if you want to do less physical work
      -there are plenty of options out there.

  4. Rebecca Waasula says:

    It is very true as Nurses age the physical demand is very taxing and leads to exhaustion both physically and mentally. Changing roles and career need proper planning so that you go into another conducive environment with your mind set on having no stress at work place and you can adjust your working time to suit your capability. Challenges are inevitable but change is rewarding.

    • Joyce says:

      So true Rebecca.
      Change is always rewarding.
      Particularly changing to an area that is less physically demanding.
      Some areas to consider are case management, home health, teaching, administration, entrepreneurship, to name a few.

  5. Joyce, thanks for picking up this topic. Being an aging nurse myself this is a topic I find myself thinking about more and more often. We all need to have a plan for the future, our minds may still be interested in working in nursing but to stay vital we have to look for ways to stay current and feed our imaginations and protect our bodies from the rigors of bedside nursing.

    • Joyce says:

      Jennifer. I agree with you completely. To stay vital we have to look for ways that can keep us actively working without adding strain to our bodies.