Study shows millennials entering nursing profession at record rates

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Younger generation may fill gap created by retirement of Baby Boomers

With retirement age looming for many of the baby boomer generation, the prospect of a nursing shortage has been a concern for the healthcare industry in recent years.

But a study published in Health Affairs (paywall) indicates the millennial generation may be able to save the day in due time.

Research shows that millennials—most commonly defined as those born between the years 1982 and 2000—are twice as likely to choose nursing as a profession than the baby boomer generation. Moreover, milennials are almost 60 percent more likely to become nurses than the Generation X professionals born between 1965 and 1981.

Contributing factors are the profession’s accessibility to the job options many millennials crave, such as a flexible schedule and the ability to make a difference through their work. The decreasing stigmatization of male nurses can’t be ignored either.

According to information from the Kaiser Family Foundation, in 2017 women still comprised 83 percent of the RN and LPN workforce. Obviously, these numbers could decrease significantly over the next couple decades.

As far as a potential nursing shortage, the profession isn’t out of the woods just yet. Health Affairs’ report states that between the years of 2015–2030, the nursing workforce will decline at a rate of 1.3 percent annually due to the impending retirements of the baby boomer generation.

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