The average age of the nursing workforce in 2005 was 44, spurring widespread predictions of a nursing shortage as baby boomers retired. Now millennials are entering the profession in record numbers.
Experts attribute their embrace of nursing to several factors. The profession offers stable lifetime earnings, low unemployment, and opportunities for advancement and relocation in many and varied areas of healthcare.
Considering the acceleration in retirement of the baby boomers and the stabilization of the entering numbers of millennials, it is expected that the nurse workforce will grow 36%, to just over four million RNs, between 2015 and 2030. Whether that growth rate is enough to meet demand as baby boomer nurses retire is hard to gauge.
While nursing may be enjoying a surge in popularity, retention is a growing problem. In a recent Medscape poll, about one in five nurses said they would not make the same career choice again. Nurses with more than 21 years in the profession were more likely to be dissatisfied than those who were new to the practice.
To retain nurses, hospitals need to increase resiliency and reduce burnout. To learn how to recruit and retain better, visit SelfCare for HealthCare™.