Job satisfaction in nursing related to generational age differences
Attrition among nurses has been a worrying topic to not only the society but the government and the related agencies in specific. This is due to the evident lack of interest in the nursing related field in the recent years, as more students opt for courses that are IT related rather than the nursing related courses. With the generation Y increasingly ignoring the nursing related courses and the baby boomers retiring each day, there is bound to be a gap in the nurses' numbers within the health care facilities, a trend that medics foresee just getting worse each passing year. Apparently, there is a generational influence or trend noticed in the perception of the nursing profession as will be further portrayed in the research data herein. This trend has led to a dire need for more practitioners within the nursing fraternity and a reducing ratio of nurses to patients each passing year. This is the great challenge that the nursing in America is facing now and needs to be addressed in light of the generational gap that may be causing the shift away from the hitherto considered noble profession.
Participants in the study
The participants, in the concept of this paper will be those people from whom data and information will be obtained. They will also be referred to as respondents in other instances since they will be responding to a set of questions as will be requested from them. For the purpose of this study, there will be 50 participants ore respondents that will be used, 25 of them will be from the baby boomers generation and the other 25 will be from the Y generation. This will ensure an accurate capture of views and sentiments from both generations concerning nursing as a profession. Further, the 50 participants will be selected on the basis of being registered nurses who are between the ages of 30 to 65 years and these respondents will be those who have practiced general nursing. The participants will be sourced from two selected hospitals that must be at least two counties apart in order to get a diverse data collection. The hospital authorities will be contacted in order to get their permission to engage their staff in the research and the individuals will also be taken through the process and recruited upon their consent.
The Californian AB 394 bill indicates that the ideal nurses to patient ratio needs to be at an all time of one registered nurse for every four patients (Spetz J., et.al, 2002), this is the recommended ration within an ideal health care system. This ratio and law that was put forth by this bill has been used and recommended in several other states and considered the ideal measure, at least on paper. However, in the real sense, the implementation of this law or recommendation of the bill has been a great challenge to most health facilities.
The seriousness of this low nurses to patient ratio can be clearly exemplified in the statistics that have been recorded in the previous times in the nursing fraternity. In 2002, there was a shortage of 125,000 nurses across the country, translating to a 65% of the required full time nursing practitioners required. The American Health Care Association also indicated that in 2007 there were 116,000 open vacancies to be filled in the nursing field, further in 2008 there were 19,000 chances available an indication that the healthcare fraternity is ever in dire xneed of nurses each year. In the same trend, it is estimated that well over 900,000 nurses have reached the age of 50 years and over hence are scheduled for retirement soon, hence a looming gap upon the retirement of thus massive number of aged nurses (KaiserEDU.org., 2012).
Causes of the attrition in nursing
There are various reasons behind the attrition experienced within the nursing fraternity especially taking into account the generational differences. There is an apparent low job satisfaction and low job motivation within the nursing fraternity, this could be due to the lower remuneration of the nurses within the government healthcare facilities in comparison to the earning in other fields like the IT and technology related fields. The other reason behind the attrition is the overwhelming number of people in need of the nursing care and the subsequent increase in this number, as opposed to the stagnated and indeed reducing number of nurses being registered to fill in the demand need, this apparent imbalance in the demand-supply ratio results in increased burden on the few nurses who choose to remain in the profession hence demoralizing them.
An aging workforce is also another reason, just like other careers the nursing profession is affected by the aging population meaning that nurses continue to retire and with no fresh graduates to take up the positions of these retired nurses translates to an inevitable shortage, a pile up of responsibilities on the few remaining nurses hence low job satisfaction due to the pressure.
Further, the pressure on the nursing profession comes from the other professions that are budding to be the more profitable professions in the contemporary times over and above nursing. Apparently, despite the fact that most of the employees in these other professions like the IT and the computer technology related professions may have the same level of education, they are still seen to be earning more money than their counterparts in nursing and there are numerous tied benefits to them and most importantly there are constant efforts to train and keep them motivated over the years that they work for these organizations as compared to the nursing profession.
Orton Sophie (2011) points out at the discrepancy between the expectations of the graduating students and the experience on the ground as one of the reasons behind the increased levels of nurses opting out of the nursing practice. The stress and what the students are taught in nursing school is a very high contributor to demoralization of the nurses once they get to the real practice hence end up changing profession soon after they start it.
Bearing the seriousness of the issue taking into account the fact that the most affected by the low nurses to patient ratio are the patients, it is of great significance to solve the issue in a manner that will give a long-term solution within this profession. First suggestion would be to increase the levels and means of motivation among the nurses, these do not only include the monetary compensation but there is need to learn from other professions and see how they handle their employees and bring out the intrinsic motivation among them. There is also need for having reward system that takes care of the highly performing nurses just as it is in the other professions. The curriculum that is used in teaching the nursing students also needs to be revised and made to reflect the contemporary situation on the ground within this profession, this will reduce the discrepancy between the taught and the experienced issues on the ground hence lessen the discomfort once one gets into the practice.
The research question in this case will be, what are the significant differences in how the generation Y and the baby boomers perceive job satisfaction within the nursing profession and what effects does it have?
Data collection process
The data collection process is the most significant in this entire process and the survey monkey will be the preferred mode of data collection in this study. The participants will be contacted for their consent and the confidentiality of the data on survey monkey will be assured since it will be kept encrypted throughout and eventually I…