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WORKFORCE TRENDS: Baby boomer RNs not retiring

The predictions that there would be a big nursing shortage due to the aging population in need of care compounded by the retirement of all those older Baby boomer nurses may have been premature.  The nursing shortage may have been pushed off a bit by the fact that older nurses are delaying their retirement, according to the findings of this study of large-scale federal employment survey data.  The authors found:

“In 2012 an employed fifty-year-old RN would be likely to work an average of 14.0 more years, whereas a comparable RN before 1990 would have been likely to work another 11.5 years.” (page 1479)

The authors note that there is a tendency for older RNs to leave hospital employment and go to work in the ambulatory care setting.  With the changes brought about by the Affordable Care Act, experienced nurses who could take on a care coordination role would be a good fit.

Source: Auerback, D.I., Buerhaus, P.I., and Staiger, D.O. (2014, August). Registered nurses are delaying retirement, a shift that has contributed to recent growth in the nurse workforce.  Health Affairs.  33(8), 1474-1480.  Click here for access to publisher’s website: http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/33/8/1474.short   Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org



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