Generational Differences Among Newly Licensed Registered Nurses

Nurses of different generations view their work-related experiences and attitudes to work differently. The current workforce has members of four generations: the Silent Generation (people born between 1925 and 1945; 8.7% of RNs), Baby Boomers (born 1946 to 1964; 61.4% of RNs), Generation X (1965 to 1979; 26.3% of RNs) and Generation Y (born after 1980; 2.5% of RNs). This generational mix in the workplace can be a source of conflict, contributing to decreased job satisfaction and leading to less retention of nurses.

Researchers surveyed 2,364 newly licensed RNs of three generational cohorts—Baby Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y— asking them about their work attitudes using 22 measures. Among the differences found:

  • More Baby Boomers were working in jobs other than as staff nurses.
  • Generation Xers rated work-to-family conflicts higher, with more than a quarter having children under age 6 at home.
  • Generation Y RNs were more likely than others to have graduated from a baccalaureate nursing program, to be working in an ICU, and to be working 12-hour and night shifts.

Nursing leaders need to anticipate generational differences in newly licensed RNs and provide a supportive, positive practice environment for all new nurses to develop and demonstrate their abilities.

The RN Work Project

  1. 1. Newly Licensed RNs' Characteristics, Work Attitudes, and Intentions to Work
  2. 2. Addressing the Complexities of Survey Research
  3. 3. A Comparison of Second-Degree Baccalaureate and Traditional-Baccalaureate New Graduate RNs
  4. 4. Understanding New Registered Nurses' Intent to Stay at Their Jobs
  5. 5. The Nursing Career Process from Application Through the First 2 Years of Employment
  6. 6. What Newly Licensed Registered Nurses Have to Say about Their First Experiences
  7. 7. Moving on, Up, or Out
  8. 8. Generational Differences Among Newly Licensed Registered Nurses
  9. 9. New Nurses Views of Quality Improvement Education
  10. 10. Newly Licensed RNs Describe What They Like Best about Being a Nurse
  11. 11. Early Career RNs' Perceptions of Quality Care in the Hospital Setting
  12. 12. Commuting to Work
  13. 13. State Mandatory Overtime Regulations and Newly Licensed Nurses' Mandatory and Voluntary Overtime and Total Work Hours
  14. 14. Work Environment Factors Other Than Staffing Associated with Nurses' Ratings of Patient Care Quality
  15. 15. The Relative Geographic Immobility of New Registered Nurses Calls for New Strategies to Augment that Workforce
  16. 16. Predictors of Actual Turnover in a National Sample of Newly Licensed Registered Nurses Employed in Hospitals
  17. 17. Charting the Course for Nurses' Achievement of Higher Education Levels
  18. 18. Verbal Abuse From Nurse Colleagues and Work Environment of Early Career Registered Nurses
  19. 19. Early-Career Registered Nurses' Participation in Hospital Quality Improvement Activities
  20. 20. Positive Work Environments of Early-Career Registered Nurses and the Correlation with Physician Verbal Abuse