What’s the average age of a Registered Nurse?
It is estimated that by 2012, nurses in their 50’s will account for almost one quarter of the RN population.
“The Aging Workforce: Retaining the Older Nurse and Promoting Healthy Lifestyles” was one of the breakout sessions during the Nurses Strategic Retreat (see Knowledge, caring, and hula hooping – the Nursing Strategic Retreat). This session focused on the aging workforce and the challenges associated with retaining older nurses, particularly at the bedside, the nursing shortage and the growing needs of baby boomers.
Research regarding older nurses focuses on health problems, safety, scheduling, job satisfaction, intention to leave or retire, and preferred work setting. Strategies that were discussed for retaining older nurses included flexible shifts, focus on ergonomics (such as lifts, better lighting), technology (EMR’s, alert prompts), developing positions that utilize nurse expertise (mentor, preceptor, educator), and phased retirement.
Discussion groups were initiated to gather ideas to implement new policies concerning these issues. Would you like to contribute your ideas? Please contact Lil Banchero at email@example.com
-K. Diane Baumgartner, MSN, RN