April's Magnet Minute invites you to consider the impact of generational differences on our
nursing workforce. For the first time in recent history, the workforce includes 4 generations
of employees--Veterans, Baby Boomers, Generation Xers and Millennials. These generations
share some common values and beliefs but they also exhibit differences born in the
experiences of their eras.
Veterans, born between 1925 and 1945, are children of the Great Depression and World War II.
Their core values include respect for authority, obeying the rules, loyalty, hard work and dedication.
They expect that hard work and sacrifice will be rewarded.
Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1963, currently constitute 2/3 of all US workers! Their lives
were influenced by the civil rights movement, women's liberation, the space program, the Cold War
and the Viet Nam war. Baby Boomers value youth, health, personal gratification and material wealth.
Generation Xers, born between 1964 and 1980, were the first generation to embrace the personal
computer and the Internet. They are assertive, welcome diversity, are motivated by money, believe in
worklife balance, are self-reliant, value free time and having fun.
Millennials (also Generation Y, Generation Next, Nexters), born between 1980 and 2000,
include more than 80 million people. These individuals are just beginning to enter the nursing
workforce and, by size alone, will have a tremendous impact. They are self-reliant, family-oriented,
brand-conscious, consumerist, mobile, fun-seeking and optimistic.
These broad generalizations provide a unique perspective to consider as we seek to enhance the work