In the coming years, the health care industry will see a staggering number of baby boomer RNs exiting the work force, according to Health Affairs Blog.
Many baby boomers became RNs beginning in the early 1970s. The number peaked at 1.26 billion in 2008, but has been on a rapid decline since. In fact, it is predicted that in 2020 that number will have fallen to 660,000. This mass retirement means that not only will the industry lose veteran nurses, but those gaps will also have to be filled.
The article’s authors posit four actions that hospitals should take to mitigate the negative effects of mass RN retirement:
- Gather information to predict the number of nurses retiring and their area of affect
- Work with soon-to-be-retirees to see what could be done to delay their retirement
- Improve mentoring between experienced and young RNs to ensure accumulated knowledge can still benefit patients
- Engage in detailed, structured planning to ensure that RNs being brought in to replace retirees are prepared to manage operations on patient care units