Baby Boomer Nurses Plan A Career Change
Over one-third of baby boomer nurses plan to retire in the next one to three years, find a non-nursing job, work part-time, or work as travel nurses, a new survey indicates.
Conducted by AMN Healthcare, the largest health care staffing firm in the country, the survey of 1,830 nurses age 45-60 suggests that many baby boomer nurses may be facing career burn-out. About 46 percent of those surveyed said that working as a nurse has become less satisfying in the last five years, about twice the number who said nursing has become more satisfying. Less than half of those surveyed (43 percent) said they would choose nursing as a career if they were starting out today, and only about 48 percent said they would recommend nursing as a career to their children or to other young people.
Number one on the list of job frustrations for those surveyed was nurse staffing shortages. Over 80 percent of nurses identified nurse staffing shortages as one of their top professional frustrations.
Over 1,250,000 nurses in the United States are between the ages of 45 and 60, notes Marcia Faller, RN, executive vice president of AMN Healthcare. Should even ten percent of these nurses retire or find non-nursing jobs in the next one to three years, over 120,000 nurses would be removed from the workforce.
"It is critical that we find ways to keep baby boomer nurses engaged in patient care," Faller observes. "Without them, we will be hard pressed to meet the needs of baby boomer patients."
On a positive note, 58 percent of baby boomer nurses surveyed said that physicians being trained today are more respectful of nurses than are physicians who trained ten or twenty years ago. Twenty-four percent said that newly trained physicians and older doctors are equally respectful of nurses, while 18 percent said newly trained physicians are less respectful of nurses than are older physicians.
"Positive working relations between nurses and physicians are key to promoting nurse retention," Faller says. "Improving these relations helps keep nurses in the clinical workforce."