More than 51 percent of the current workforce is age 40 or older — a 33 percent increase since 1980 — and 40 percent of the U.S. nurse workforce is age 50. As nurses age, retire or find employment outside of health care the number of employable nurses will decline. Improved health and technological advances make it possible to extend work life beyond age 65. Older workers are needed for their skills and experience and to fill many essential positions. Employers must be prepared to invest in the productivity of these workers.
Today's health care environment is complex and creates demands requiring the professional nurse to be an astute critical thinker, confident and competent when caring for patients and families in multiple health care settings. However, since organizations are faced with increasing demands on resource utilization and simultaneous cost reductions, adequate attention to ensuring successful transition for the newly licensed nurse may be not be appropriately designed, managed, supported or evaluated.
Nurse leaders provide the vital link between the administrative strategic plan and the point of care. They are responsible for creating safe, healthy environments that support the work of the health care team and contribute to patient engagement. Nurse lea ders’ proactive behavior can mean the difference between medical mishaps and the development of innovative care delivery models.