Nurse Optimism Faces Generation Gap, Survey Says

Younger nurses are more likely to be optimistic about the future of nursing compared with their older colleagues, even though both groups are happy with their career choice, according to the results of AMN Healthcare's annual survey of registered nurses.

Almost 90 percent of nurses regardless of age are satisfied they became nurses, and 73 percent are happy with their current job, according to the survey.

"While the vast majority of nurses remain satisfied with [their] career choice, the younger generation is more optimistic about the profession and more receptive to the changes the industry is experiencing," Marcia Faller, PhD, RN, chief clinical officer of AMN Healthcare, said in a news release. "These are differences health systems must understand as they work with multiple generations of nurses."

About two-thirds of younger nurses (between ages 19 and 39) attributed the use of electronic medical records to positively influencing their job satisfaction, efficiency and patient care. On the other hand, just 51 percent or less of older nurses (ages 40 to 54 and 55 and older) felt positively about EMRs. Also, 60 percent of younger nurses believed EMRs positively influence productivity and time management, and just 38 percent of older nurses felt the same.

Younger nurses are also more likely to be optimistic about the future supply of nurses. Roughly 45 percent of the group believes the nursing shortage has improved over the last five years, while just 34 percent of nurses 55 years old and older agreed.

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