1. Kennedy, Maureen Shawn MA, RN, news director

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By 2010 about 40% of U.S. nurses will be over age 50. In June the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released a report describing changes that hospitals should consider for keeping older, experienced RNs in the workforce. The report, Wisdom at Work: The Importance of the Older and Experienced Nurse in the Workplace, emphasizes the value older nurses bring to the workforce and suggests that "the loss of older nurse experts might well have a negative impact on quality of care, patient satisfaction and safety, productivity, and organizational performance."


The authors searched the literature for studies on older health care workers and nurses, surveyed more than 375 nurses, and interviewed 13 "sages" (experts in health system design, management, patient-centered care, patient safety, and labor relations).


Key strategies identified include increasing flexibility in scheduling, promoting nurses' participation in decision making, creating new roles for nurses and smoothing the transition to management, investing in continuing education and skills training to support transitions to new roles, attending to ergonomics issues, and improving how technology is introduced and used. The complete report is available at


Maureen Shawn Kennedy, MA, RN, news director