Effective leadership, teamwork and mentoring – essential elements in promoting generational cohesion in the nursing workforce and retaining nurses
Nelsey, L & Brownie, S 2012, 'Effective leadership, teamwork and mentoring – Essential elements in promoting generational cohesion in the nursing workforce and retaining nurses', Collegian (Royal College of Nursing, Australia), vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 197-202.
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Despite recent increases in nurse recruitment in Australia, the current nursing workforce is still below the predicted numbers for the future demands. The combination of an ageing workforce, high nursing staff turnover and an inability to attract and retain nurses is eroding the capacity of the health care sector to appropriately respond to the care needs of the community. Currently, the nursing workforce may have as many as four generations working together. Differences in employment needs and values, work ethics, attitudes towards authority, and professional aspirations, contribute to some of the cross-generational problems that emerge and the turnover of nursing staff. Strategies to improve the retention rates of nurses need to focus on building a cohesive workforce by utilising the strengths and skill sets that characterise different generations of nurses, and creating the conditions in which nurses across all generations feel supported and valued. The aim of this article is to explain how effective leadership, teamwork and mentoring can assist efforts to promote generational cohesion and address the decline in the number of nurses in the workforce.