Study: 27% of baby boomer nurses plan to retire within a year

Nurse Leader Insider, November 9, 2017

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This accounts for about 9% of the RN workforce, possibly heralding the long-predicted nursing shortage.

AMN Healthcare surveyed 3,347 registered nurses on topics such as leadership and retirement. 27% of the nurses who said they were planning to retire intend to do so in the next year, a stark increase from 2015 where only 16% said they planned to retire in the next year. Overall, the survey found that 9% of all nurses plan to retire in one year, more than twice the number from the 2015 AMN survey. Additionally, 73% of the baby boomer nurses who were planning to retire said they planned to do so in the next three years.

This fits the with the projects published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which estimates that job openings will increase by 15% between 2016 and 2026, a much higher rate than the average occupation. While this is a potential cause for concern, other studies suggest that millennial nurses are entering the workforce at a much higher rate as well, which may offset the wave of boomer retirements.

The study also found that a majority of nurses (82%) said that healthcare needs more nurse leaders, but 61% didn’t have any interest becoming a nurse leader, and only 16% said they hoped to pursue a BSN.

For more information about retaining and recruiting nurses, check out these articles from the Strategies for Nurse Managers Reading Room:

The Nursing Shortage? It's Complicated
The changing face of recruitment and retention
Branding matters when it comes to nurse recruitment

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