Retaining an aging nurse workforce: Perceptions of human reource practices

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The expected retirement of the largest cohort of nurses will push the RN workforce below projected need by 2020. The challenges of managing a nursing workforce with the majority of nurses over 45 years of age are now necessitating attention to polices for recruitment and retention of older nurses, particularly in rural areas. This convenience sample study employed a mailed survey to investigate perceptions of nurses in 12 institutions (four hospitals, seven home health agencies, and one nursing home serving a small rural state). The goal was to explore rural RNs' perceptions of intent to stay in their current position, with their organization, and employment as a nurse; organizational and unit-level culture regarding older nurses in the workplace; importance of specific human resource practices/policies to their own intention to stay; and extent to which these human resource practices/policies are currently done. The results indicate that although there are similarities across age cohorts, important differences exist that can be addressed to create career-span sensitive policies and practices. This study provides an indicator of progress or lack of progress in addressing older nurse recruitment and retention, and also offers guidance for differentiating policies and practices for younger and older nurses.

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Nursing Economics





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