Wednesday, 20 December 2017

What keeps older nurses working?

Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief

Keeping older nurses at work is important. Older nurses have experience that should not be lost and in these days of nursing shortages, health services need to keep as many nurses as possible. So, how do older nurses make decisions about retirement? This was the subject of an article from the USA by Wargo-Sugleris et al. (2017) titled: 'Job satisfaction, work environment, and successful aging: determinants of delaying retirement among acute care nurses' and published in JAN. The study aimed to: 'determine the relationships between job satisfaction, work environment and successful ageing and how these factors relate to Registered Nurses’ intent to retire.'

Using an online survey, nearly 3000 nurses responded. The results showed that: '(a)ge accounted for most of the variance in years to retirement.' In nurses who were primary financial providers this was associated with more years to retirement and successful ageing was associated with more anticipated years to retirement. Contrary to expectations: 'neither work environment nor job satisfaction was significantly associated with years to retirement.'

In conclusion the authors said: 'As the average age of nurses continues to increase and a need for well-educated, experienced nurses is observed, it is vital to understand and explain factors influencing retention and delaying retirement' and '(d)elaying retirement in older nurses is important because as the average age of Registered Nurses continues to increase, the need to engage and retain them by delaying retirement is vital to caring for the influx of Baby Boomers predicted to require medical care. Combined with the reduction of new workforce entrants predicted and the strain that a large influx of retirees would have on government entitlements creates a need for continued research in delaying retirement in Registered Nurses'.

You can listen to this as a podcast

Reference

Wargo-Sugleris, M., Robbins, W., Lane, C. J. and Phillips, Linda. R. (2017), Job satisfaction, work environment, and successful aging: determinants of delaying retirement among acute care nurses. J Adv Nurs. doi:10.1111/jan.13504

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