SAN DIEGO, AMN Healthcare (NYSE: AHS), healthcare’s innovator in workforce solutions and staffing services, announced today the results from its annual survey of registered nurses, showing marked generational differences in how nurses view their profession amid the recovering U.S. economy and impending implementation of healthcare reform. Across several important factors affecting nurses today, including the supply of nurses and healthcare information technology developments, younger nurses have a more positive point of view than older nurses.
“In a time of unprecedented change in the healthcare industry, it becomes even more important to study how the nursing workforce is responding to the myriad new systems, requirements and quality measurements that accompany healthcare reform,” said Marcia Faller, PhD, RN, and Chief Clinical Officer of AMN Healthcare. “While the vast majority of nurses remain satisfied with career choice, the younger generation is more optimistic about the profession and more receptive to the changes the industry is experiencing. These are differences that health systems must understand as they work with multiple generations of nurses,” Dr. Faller added.
Younger nurses (ages 19-39) are more confident about the supply of nurses and their ability to meet the demands of healthcare reform, despite today’s shortages. Approximately 45% of younger nurses believe that the shortage has improved during the last five years, while older nurses were less optimistic. The generational differences were even more apparent when asked whether healthcare reform will ensure an adequate supply of quality nurses, with 38% of younger nurses citing confidence compared to 29% and 27% of older nurses ages 40-54 and 55+, respectively.
Questions regarding the use of electronic medical records (EMRs), a requirement of the Affordable Care Act, also demonstrated generational differences as younger nurses attributed them to positively influencing job satisfaction, efficiency and patient care. While nearly two-thirds of younger nurses noted EMRs’ influence on job satisfaction, that number fell to 51% or lower when older nurses were asked. Further, 60% of younger nurses agreed that EMRs positively influence productivity and time management, compared to just 38% of older nurses.
Other Key Findings
“The potential departure of a significant number of older nurses from the workforce can be concerning, given the unclear supply and demand for nurses in the coming years, but is to be expected as nurses approach retirement age,” added Dr. Faller.
“Healthcare systems must use innovative approaches to attract and retain their workforce while keeping them effective and satisfied. Innovative workforce solutions could help maintain high standards of patient care and efficiency in the era of dramatic change in the healthcare industry.”
About the AMN 2013 Survey of Registered Nurses
AMN Healthcare’s fourth annual Survey of Registered Nurses explores career paths, satisfaction levels and other professional aspects of nursing through the candid expression of feelings and plans of wide strata of registered nurses. It provides demographic information on the supply of nurses, career plans, quality of patient care and electronic medical records.
During April 2013, survey questionnaires were e-mailed to 101,431 registered nurses opted-in to AMN Healthcare’s portal websites, NurseZone.com and RN.com, to which there were 3,413 responses for a response rate of 3.36%. Statistical analyses were run with a 95% confidence threshold.