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.