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Assignment: Creating a Welcoming Workplace for the Older WorkerThe nursing workforce is aging rapidly. In fact, Baby Boomers constitute the largest group of nurses currently practicing. This aging wor

Assignment: Creating a Welcoming Workplace for the Older Worker

The nursing workforce is aging rapidly. In fact, Baby Boomers constitute the largest group of nurses currently practicing. This aging workforce poses two significant ramifications for nurse managers. First, due to the volatility and uncertainty in the world and national economy, many Baby Boomers have shifted their retirement plans and are staying in the workforce. This is requiring creative responses on the part of employers. Conversely, as these highly experienced and knowledgeable nurses do begin to exit the active workforce, experts anticipate a “brain drain” that will affect all levels of health care environments.

In this week’s Assignment, you critically assess your current organization or one with which you are familiar to determine why older workers may stay in or leave their positions. In addition, you suggest strategies that could help to retain and further engage this specific population of nurses.

To prepare

  • Review the article, “From Veterans to Nexters: Managing the Multi-Generational Nursing Workforce.” Reflect upon the key ideas: the challenges and implications of managing a multi-generational workforce, common generational differences, interventions for increasing generational motivation, and strategies for retaining the older nurse.
  • Reflect on your current organization or one with which you are familiar and determine the demographic breakdown of employees based on age. Then, consider how this specific work environment might present difficulties for older workers and think about factors that might cause these employees to leave your setting.
  • Use this week’s Learning Resources, as well as your own scholarly research, to identify strategies that could engage and retain this population of nurses.

Submit a 3- to 5-page paper in which you do the following:

  • Identify the demographic breakdown of employees in the organization. If you are unable to access exact demographical data, provide your best estimate for each of the following age ranges: 20–30, 30–40, 40–50, 50–60, and 60–70, and 70+.
  • Describe at least two ways the work environment is conducive to older workers and at least two difficulties it might present. Support your response by citing authentic examples from the workplace and this week’s Learning Resources as applicable.
  • Propose at least four specific strategies you could implement to engage and retain older workers.

optional resources

Manion, J. (2009). Managing the multi-generational nursing workforce: Managerial and policy implications (White Paper). Retrieved from International Centre for Human Resources in Nursing website: http://www.hrhresourcecenter.org/node/2377

Hatcher, B. J. (Ed.). (2006). Wisdom at work: The importance of the older and experienced nurse in the workplace (White Paper). Retrieved from National Academy on an Aging Society website: http://www.agingsociety.org/agingsociety/links/wisdomatwork.pdf

Chambers, P. D. (2010). Tap the unique strengths of the millennial generation. Nursing, 40(2), 48–51. Retrieved from http://journals.lww.com/nursing/Citation/2010/02000/Tap_the_unique_strengths_of_the_millennial.18

Beheri, W. H. (2009). Diversity within nursing: Effects on nurse-nurse interaction, job satisfaction, and turnover. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 33(3), 216–226. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Collins-McNeil, J., Sharpe, D., & Benbow, D. (2012). Performance potential. Aging workforce: Retaining valuable nurses. Nursing Management, 43(3), 50–51. 

Harton, B. B., Marshburn, D., Kuykendall, J., Poston, C., & Mears, D. A. (2012). Self-scheduling: Help or hindrance? Nursing Management, 43(1), 10–12.

Outten, M. K. (2012). From veterans to nexters: Managing a multigenerational nursing workforce. Nursing Management, 43(4), 42–47.

Wisotzkey, S. (2011). Will they stay or will they go? Insight into nursing turnover. Nursing Management, 42(2), 15–17.

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