Graduating nurses face a new reality

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Susan A. Letvak, Professor, Department Chair, & Undergraduate Programs Director (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: The "reality shock" phase may be getting longer for new graduate nurses who need manageable workloads and adequate help to feel satisfied. Nursing job satisfaction has become exceedingly important in organizations in light of the continual struggle to keep nursing positions filled. The nursing shortage, which drives the struggle, is recognized as a critical problem by the American Nurses Association, the American Hospital Association, The Joint Commission, and the Nursing Executive Center.1-4 Buerhaus found that nurses are aging out of the profession and are not being replaced by younger generations at the same rate.5 Preliminary data from the 2004 National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses documents the average age of an RN is now 46.8 years.6 Buerhaus projects that by 2020, with the retirement of the largest cohort of nurses and the medical needs of the baby boomers, the RN workforce will be 20% below the projected requirement.5 This aging is creating a vast number of open, unfilled nursing positions. These open positions are most keenly felt in the acute care settings. As the RNs leave the workforce, there must be a steady influx of new nurses to take positions left by those retiring. Each year most hospitals hire many new graduate nurses to fill vacancies that have sat empty for months. The challenge for organizations is to keep these new nurses at the bedside once they're there. The vacancies left by retiring nurses are compounded by the resignations and transfers of new nurses shortly after they're hired. Organizations must work to retain these new RN employees and respond to issues that interfere with their job satisfaction.

Additional Information

Men in Nursing, 3(2), 22-26
Language: English
Date: 2008
Graduating nurses, Job satisfaction, Nursing shortage, Retention

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