Wisdom Works: A white paper to describe best practice retention strategies for older, experienced nurses

The demographic composition of the nursing workforce is one of the major factors that exacerbate the nursing shortage. According to studies completed by Peter Buerhaus, the average age of the registered nurse (RN) workforce has been steadily increasing since the 1980s, and the employment of RNs over the age of 50 is growing 5 to 6 times faster than that of RNs ages 35-49 since 1994. A survey of over 3,000 respondents conducted by the Center for American Nurses in 2003 found that 83 percent of the respondents expected to retire by 2020 and had an average age of 51.9 years. This particular group of nurses has years of experience and wisdom, and the nurses are considered valuable employees. Other industries have recognized the need to address the issue of an aging workforce. As the nursing shortage increases, health care leaders continually seek new strategies for nurse retention. The retention of these experienced nurses who may retire or leave the profession even sooner because of an unsupportive work environment is essential to mitigating the shortage. This grant supports a white paper on best practices in retaining mature, experienced nurses in the workforce. The authors of this paper will be selected based on a Call for Proposals specifically to the current and alum RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows (ENF). This project will provide another linkage to the ENF group while creating a quality resource to inform both the Foundation's Nursing Team's strategy and health care leaders on best practices in retaining experienced nurses.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $27,000.00

Awarded on: 7/28/2005

Time frame: 8/1/2005 - 2/28/2006

Grant Number: 53298


American Public Health Association Inc. (APHA)

800 I Street, N.W.
Washington, 20001-3710


Barbara J. Hatcher
Project Director