When the economic recession of 2007-2009 began, people speculated about what would happen to the nursing workforce, and some of these predictions came true. Along with many inactive nurses re-entering the job market, many older, “baby boomer” (born between 1946 and 1965) nurses put their retirement plans on hold, pending economic recovery. Healthcare was needed regardless of the struggling economy or rising unemployment rates, and experienced nurses had little difficulty finding jobs.
They found that nurses were, indeed, retiring later, as they had suspected, but it was not a consequence of the 2007-2009 recession. They demonstrated this by comparing patterns of nurse retirement for the time periods of 1969-1990 and 1991-2012. The years 1991-2012 witnessed a significant increase in the proportion of nurses still working after age 50 years.