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190,000 nurses could leave nursing, survey finds

October 25 2013

Nearly 190,000 nurses could leave nursing or retire now that the economy is recovering, according to survey results released by AMN Healthcare Services Inc. (NYSE: AHS).  

The survey found 23 percent of nurses age 55 and older plan to dramatically change their work life: 13 percent said they will retire, 3 percent said they will take a non-nursing job and 7 percent said they will work part-time.

“The potential departure of a significant number of older nurses from the workforce can be concerning, given the unclear supply and demand for nurses in the coming years, but is to be expected as nurses approach retirement age,” said Marcia Faller, PhD, RN, and chief clinical officer of AMN Healthcare. “Healthcare systems must use innovative approaches to attract and retain their workforce while keeping them effective and satisfied. Innovative workforce solutions could help maintain high standards of patient care and efficiency in the era of dramatic change in the healthcare industry.”

Marked generational differences exist in how nurses view their profession amid the recovering U.S. economy and impending implementation of healthcare reform, according to the survey. Across several factors affecting nurses today, including the supply of nurses and healthcare information technology developments, younger nurses have a more positive point of view than older nurses.

Although younger and mid-career nurses will not retire, 20 percent of nurses age 19 to 54 said they will seek a new nursing job in the near future. That figure is twice as many as among nurses age 55 and older.

The fourth annual 2013 Survey of Registered Nurses was conducted during April 2013 and had 3,413 respondents.

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