What challenges does the multi-generational workforce create in day-to-day nursing practice?

What challenges does the multi-generational workforce create in day-to-day nursing practice?

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1. What challenges does the multigenerational workforce create in day-to-day nursing practice?

The nursing workforce is experiencing a unique time in its history. It can be characterized as being age diverse as it includes nurses recruited directly from high school, those entering nursing as second careers, and nurses nearing retirement. Collectively then, nurses in this diverse workforce, with differing worldviews, are challenged to work side by side. Different worldviews can lead to issues of conflict, mis-communication, a lack of understanding and a negative work environment. Different work habits and ways of approaching work might also cause tensions between workers. Anthony (2006) points out the irony that it is only recently that the health of the work environment is now recognized as being a major force in recruitment, retention, and outcomes, and has been most notably influenced by the Magnet initiative (McClure & Hinshaw, 2002).

Because of the multigenerational workforce and its challenges, Anthony (2006) summarizes five articles below that address different but equally important issues regarding the importance of creating a healthy work environment and leading and educating nurses across GENERATIONS. Despite the similarity across several of the articles in addressing the worldviews of each generation, the descriptions provide unique insights which, when taken together, portray a holistic view of how each generation has developed its own perspective and what that specifically means to the workplace and educational environment. Challenges include issues such as reports of bullying of student nurses by the other the older generation of nurses, educators faced with the challenge of adapting their teaching styles to accommodate a new generation of learners, the potential for nurse leaders to engage in generational stereotyping, conflict, and others as described below:

1. Weston comprehensively describes the socio, political, and cultural norms that have shaped the worldviews and values for each of the four generational cohorts. She expands this discussion by identifying how three contemporary factors have influenced the norms and nature of the relationships among generational cohorts in the workplace: 1) flattening of bureaucratic organizational structures, 2) transitioning of information acquisition from seeking the wisdoms of older colleagues …

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