The Challenges of the Multi-Generational Nursing Workforce

Subject: Nursing
Pages: 3
Words: 622
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: College


Generational breach is an element of current world. It leads to disagreement among individuals in a given generation. Currently, the field of nursing experiences tremendous challenges; nurse leaders have the role of responding to diverse beliefs, attitudes, and habits of other team nurses for success of their career. The existence of four generations in the field of nursing is due to high demand of nurses. Despite the four nurses’ generations contributing positively towards success in nursing, they also lead to leadership problems. To solve challenges experienced in the field of nursing, nurse leaders opt to carry research on issues pertaining generation mixing, age gap, and generational views. It is also appropriate for the nurses to observe fellow employees’ demands and respond to generation differences amicably.

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Instructing and encouraging

Existence of different generations in the field of nursing requires application of different ways of instructing and encouraging members. Individuals making up diverse generations have different experiences, thus they require different acknowledgement while undergoing training and motivational talks. Veteran nurses value seniority in their coaching and motivation. They adore direct interactions with senior individuals through use of notes and pictures as mode of communication (Roussel, 2011). On the other hand, infant-custodian nurses associate freely with their peers. They tend to respond positively when trained and coached by them. Infant-custodian nurses enjoy the benefit of the experience they gain in their routine; this helps them nurture their career (Cowen and Moorhead, 2010).

Generation X is a different class of caretakers who value direct participation in the learning process. Unlike baby boomers, generation X prefer a certain level of autonomy in which they can apply their own skills. Generation X work towards fulfilling their own set goals, this is unlike baby boomers who like encouragement from their seniors based on their performance.

Millennial nurses anticipate for more instructions and encouragement as compared to other generations. They are hardworking and hopeful though they require a broad familiarization of the subject. Some formal clinical teachings and internships are required for the success of this generation. These nurses require bendable working schedule.


A good knowledge of communication policies, which are applied to different generations, poses great challenge to many nurse seniors. When a leader is sensitive to the requirements of different generations, he or she can easily provide answers to queries that emerge with different generations (Vallano, 2008). It is of great importance for communication skills to be employed appropriately to avoid mistakes that occur due to misunderstandings.

Infant custodians require a less official and direct communication. This helps them get into the nursing career slowly and without tension considering their shallow experience in the field. Generation X members are among the first people to acquire technological appliances. They like information passed in a faster technological way as compared to long and tedious meetings held before coming to consensus. Millennial nurses highly depend on fast and instant information mostly through mobile phones and emails. They love it most when they work as a team since they do not need to read a lot.

Conflict resolution

There are different cultures in different generations. Diverse generation of nurses may lead to conflicts as they lack similar interests. In present world, ethical issues and use of technology are the two major issues that contribute to generation misunderstandings. Millennial and generation X nurses appreciate the contribution of their baby boomer counterpart leaders. Generation X and Millennial nurses are subject to humiliation and frustration from baby boomer and veteran leaders. This happens when they fail to adopt the use of technology in communication in their working environment. Conflicts that go unsolved can result to a decrease in productivity; low workers turnover and even kill the morale of nurses of the lower generations.

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Cowen, P & Moorhead, S. (2010). Current Issues in Nursing. New York: Mosby Elsevier.

Roussel, L. (2011). Management and Leadership for Nurse Administrators. New York: J ones & Bartlett Publishers.

Vallano, A. (2008). Your Career in Nursing: Manage Your Future in the Changing World of Health. New York: Kaplan Publishing.