Millennials anchor the nurse workforce

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Millennial nurses recently overtook baby boomers as the primary age group in nursing, and a new study reveals that millennials are becoming nurses at nearly double the rate of baby boomers.

The study published in Health Affairs investigated nurse workforce trends of 429,500 RNs using the Census data from 1979-2000, and the American Community Survey for 2001-2015. The research found that the those born in 1955 (Baby Boomer) were 65 percent less likely to become a nurse than those born in the late 1980s (Millennials), and the average millennial was 186 percent more likely to become a nurse compared to an average boomer.

Researchers also found that the amount of young nurses (21 – 34) went from 440,000 in 2000 to 834,000 in 2015, almost doubling over a 15-year period.

After analyzing the findings, the authors conclude that the nursing workforce has stabilized, with the accelerated influx of young nurses counterbalancing the increase in baby boomer retirement. The study projects a growth rate of 36% from 2015-2030; while not as drastic of an increase as the preceding 15-year period, it is on par with previous periods of nursing growth.

For tips on engaging new nurses, check out the Leadership section of the Strategies for Nurse Managers Reading Room!

Source: Becker’s Hospital Review