Generation Y nurses (those born 1980-94) see themselves as mobile professionals and are more willing to change employers in search of better opportunities, according to new research.
Professor Yvonne Brunetto from Southern Cross University’s Business School, said their study found Gen Y had different expectations and weren’t as committed to their organisation.
“If they are not happy in the workplace they will leave and even change career paths, whereas baby boomers [1946-64] are much more likely to stay. Generation X [1965-79] are somewhere in the middle,” she said.
The researchers set out to test if the values and workplace experience for Gen Y nurses differed significantly to that of baby boomer nurses. “Generation Y has come into nursing with the belief that they are professionals and therefore their tasks should be clinical in nature,” said Brunetto.
The study found Gen Y nurses were more likely to pursue training and development opportunities, and were more prepared to move from one organisation to take advantage of those opportunities.
Brunetto said Gen Y were achievement and career-orientated and disliked hierarchy and therefore were more likely to have difficulty relating to supervisors and accepting the leadership of a supervisor they didn’t agree with.
“By contrast, the reason baby boomers are inclined to stay put is because they have better workplace relations with their supervisor, who tends to be of the same age with similar life experiences,” she said
Whether nurses stay or go is largely a product of how good their supervisor is, she said. “Nurses will chase dollars but they won’t stay for dollars. They’ll stay because of relationships. Relationships are the anchor for nurses.”
Brunetto said the autocratic method of management was not suitable anymore, despite a lot of the healthcare systems being set up as hierarchies.
The results were published recently in the Nursing Outlook journal.Do you have an idea for a story?
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