Work attitudes of older RNs

Christine T. Kovner, Carol S. Brewer, Cheng Ying Cheng, Maja Djukic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using data collected from 1,906 RNs from Metropolitan Statistical Areas in 29 states, the purpose of this study was to examine the characteristics and work attitudes of older RNs compared to RNs less than age 50 at two time periods, and compare among the older RNs those who are working in nursing, working outside nursing, and not working. Older RNs reported more distributive justice (fairness of rewards), work group cohesion, and supervisory support and less organizational constraint, and quantitative workload than younger RNs. Overall, older RNs were more satisfied, had greater organizational commitment, and had less desire to quit than younger RNs. There were no significant differences between older and younger RNs for autonomy, mentor support, or variety. Strategic efforts by employers and government could be used to retain older workers, attract RNs working in nonnursing settings back into nursing, and recruit retired RNs into the nursing workforce.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-119
Number of pages13
JournalPolicy, Politics, and Nursing Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2007


  • Nursing shortage
  • Older RNs
  • Supply of RNs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects


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