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Being a seasoned nurse in active practice

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friedrich l.a., prasun m.a., henderson l. & taft l. (2011) Journal of Nursing Management 19, 897–905

Being a seasoned nurse in active practice

Aim  The purpose of this qualitative study was to discover what rewards and inspires seasoned nurses to continue to practice in acute care after the normal age of nurse retirement, and to identify best practices in retention.

Background  An aging population and an aging nursing workforce are twin issues that bring urgency to this issue. Seasoned nurses have much to contribute to the workforce, but very few studies have examined strategies to retain them.

Methods  A grounded theory approach was used in two phases to explore the meaning of being a seasoned nurse. In phase 1, 13 nurses over the age of 62 years were queried about the meaning of being a seasoned nurse actively engaged in acute care nursing. The second phase included 12 nurses in active practice anticipating retirement (aged 55–62 years). Semi‐structured interviews were conducted, audiotaped, transcribed and analysed.

Results  A concept map with four major themes emerged from the data. The themes were identified as (1) pre‐existing attitudes and experiences, (2) retention factors, (3) important needs, and (4) unique contributions.

Conclusions  Seasoned nurses enjoy, and engage in, nursing and derive benefits from continued practice. Further research is needed to determine the relative importance of the factors identified as important to nurses as they anticipate, and experience, retirement.

Implication for nurse managers  An understanding of these factors can be used to aid nursing leaders to retain seasoned nurses in practice beyond retirement age.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: , Memorial Medical Center, Springfield, IL, USA 2: , School of Nursing, Millikin University, Decatur, IL, USA 3: , 2E Medicine, Memorial Medical Center, Springfield, IL, USA 4: , University of Wisconsin-Eau claire, WI, USA

Publication date: October 1, 2011

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