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:
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.