From Hospitals & Health Networks, the flagship publication of the American Hospital Association:

The baby boom generation will deliver a blow to health care once its members start to retire in large numbers, but this provides an opportunity for new employment structures to take hold.

Framing the Issue:

The health care workforce is dominated by baby boomers, and many are reticent to leave.

• Once the boomer exodus begins, shortages may hit all segments of the health care workforce.

• Centering health care within teams may avert a disaster. If care teams work more efficiently, fewer staffers will be needed.

• Similarly, making better use of caregivers’ working with physicians should help.

As much as they might want to, the 2.5 million baby boomers working in health care today aren’t going to stick around forever.

After pushing the field to the threshold of transformation — from one that was local and set in its ways to one that is increasingly national, with higher stakes than ever — many of these veteran professionals will bow out before the revolution is complete.

The generation’s departure from the workforce will be gradual, posing both problems and opportunities for the industry. The intellectual capital they take with them will be sorely missed and difficult to replace. However, their exodus may quicken the pace at which hospitals make much-needed changes to their staffing models to meet the demands of the new and still emerging health care landscape.


RN demand is, in fact, picking up. Jeremy Enck, vice president of sales for staffing firm Fortus Healthcare Resources, says demand has not been this strong since 2006, and could continue for at least 10 years.

Read the article: As Baby Boomers Retire, New Staffing Models Emerge

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