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Archive March 2018 XIX, No. 3

Staffing:Debunking 5 Myths About Millennial Nurses

Embrace the awesomeness of your young colleagues.

Brittney Wilson

Brittney Wilson, BSN, RN


Looking at Phone
WHO ARE YOU? You probably don't understand what makes millennials tick any better than other Americans.

YYou're not alone if you view millennials as a plague on the nursing profession, as a bunch of self-absorbed, entitled slackers glued to their gadgets and phones who can't be counted on to deliver great nursing care. But here's the real deal — from an 18-to-35 year old millennial nurse herself.

1 They Job-hop and Aren't Loyal

Myth: Millennial nurses will bolt for a better offer. They aren't loyal to their employers, so why should you invest your time, money and attention training them?

Reality: Millennial nurses switch jobs at about the same rate as Gen Xers. Surveys back this up. Pew Research found that millennial workers are just as likely to stick with their employers as their older counterparts in Generation X. You might be surprised to hear that 22% of millennials have 5 years of tenure at their current employer as opposed to 21.8% of Gen Xers, according to a survey.

2 They Don't Have a Strong Work Ethic

Myth: Millennial nurses are too absorbed in smartphones, social media, and living free-range lives to invest themselves in their jobs. They merely work just to get by.

Reality: While it's true that millennial nurses want a work-life balance (but who doesn't?), keep in mind that they often have to relocate to gain entry into the field. If you couple that with their crippling student loan debt, often causing them to delay life milestones like marriage and home ownership, it should become more clear why millennial nurses often escape into their hobbies and interests. It's a coping mechanism. Bosses, unfortunately, just don't get it. Maybe this explains why. It's estimated that nearly half (47%) of managers and leaders have a spouse that doesn't work outside of the home, leaving them better equipped to spend more time at work. Meanwhile, 80% of millennial couples both work full time. So there's a huge empathy gap as younger workers often have more responsibility in managing the home than their leadership.

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