Today’s Retiring Nurses Affect Tomorrow’s New Hire Nurses [Interview][Transcript]

Dr_Marcia_Faller_2015_Survey_Registered_Nurses_RetirementGuest: Dr. Marcia Faller
Presenter: Neal Howard
Guest Bio: Marcia Faller, PhD, RN, is the Chief Clinical Officer for AMN Healthcare. Throughout her tenure with AMN, Dr. Faller has championed the development of consistent quality standards for credentialing and competency evaluation of healthcare professionals, setting AMN apart in the industry and giving it a name synonymous with quality healthcare professionals.

Segment overview: In this segment, Marcia Faller, PhD, RN and Chief Clinical Officer & Senior Vice President, Operations for AMN Healthcare, talks about the effect of a nursing retirement surge on the healthcare industry, and the subsequent effect on nursing education.


Health Professional Radio – Registered Nurses Retirement

Neal Howard: Hello and welcome to Health Professional Radio. I’m your host Neal Howard, glad that you could join us today. PR in Newswire in a press release claims that nearly two-thirds of baby boomer nurses are considering retirement even as RN demand rises rapidly, basically a large scale exodus of our nurses. And our nurses being basically the frontline when it comes to taking care of patients, administering medications. Really many nurses are more knowledgeable than some of the doctors that they assist. Our guest in studio today is Marcia Faller PhD and RN, also Chief Clinical Officer for AMN Healthcare. And throughout her tenure with AMN, she’s championed the development of consistent quality standards for credentialing and competency evaluation of healthcare professionals, setting her company AMN a part of the industry and giving it a name synonymous with quality healthcare professionals. How are you doing today Marcia?

Dr. Marcia Faller: I’m great Neal, thank you.

N: Could you tell us a little bit about the survey and why it’s so important?

F: Sure Neal. The survey is, a survey that AMN Healthcare put out every other year and have, before survey that we’ve done. The report based on the survey is titled the 2015 Survey of Registered Nurses: Viewpoints on Retirement, Education and Emerging Roles. And it provides nurses’ views on retirement, education, quality of care and concerns about the nursing profession. The survey analyzed responses from nearly 9,000 RNs across the country and project some major changes in the near future including a time table and dimensions for a wave of retirement by baby boomer nurses. The retirement surge, well having been long predicted coming out of the great recession, the survey is now showing that it’s really about to hit. And preparing hopefully is a signal to prepare us to make some changes so that we’re ready for it.

N: Now the Affordable Care Act put a huge strain on the legislature and also on patients most importantly. When it comes to nurses dealing with the Affordable Care Act, I mean having healthcare is the law more people are going to have healthcare, more people are going to be going to their healthcare providers. Are any of these nurses considering foregoing retirement even though they are in the baby boomer age? And is it age alone that is a factor when it comes to considering retirement?

F: So I do believe that what we’re looking at and what the survey found is that predominantly age is the reason that these nurses are retiring. There are other reasons that nurses are telling us about in terms of dissatisfaction that is making them want to make a move in their career, either retiring or a moving to part time and that applies to the younger nurses as well. So some of those reasons are most of them honestly are workplace related.

N: Uh huh.

F: And we see that in other research report as well. So the ones that were cited in the survey were inadequate pay. The nurses believing that just they’re not receiving compensation that’s adequate enough to cover for the works that they do with the increasing as you mentioned the legislation and other things coming along nurses more and a more, they’re are the frontline people taking care of patients and really have a huge impact on patient satisfaction. As you know patient satisfaction scores are key, becoming more and more important over the years to reimbursements. So supplying adequate pay and compensation for the level that nurses believe they are being adequately compensated is very important. Another area they talk about is the workload that’s just being too high, that the staffing ratios are too high and they don’t have the time to care adequately for their patients. Additionally staffing shortages, a little bit tied to the workload being too high which is not having enough nurses, staff in a particularly unit, is what’s putting the workload into that range that’s unmanageable.

N: Uh huh.

F: They also cited just working too many hours and scheduling, just being difficult as you know the hospital run on a 24/7, 365 days basis.

N: Absolutely.

F: Working nights and weekends and holidays is part of that job over the length of a career. And then finally they mentioned just tackles the management in the administration due to the nursing shortage, many of the nurses put in leadership positions don’t have a lot of experience either in leadership and so that can be a challenge in terms of workplace satisfaction of nurses. And really we’re finding it’s one of the reasons why nurses are potentially wanting to leave the career.

N: Are you finding that older nurses are giving the younger new nurses advice and help knowing that they themselves are ready to leave? Is that something that you’re seeing? How much are the baby boomer nurses participating in or even willing in educating the younger nurses in order to take over their important role?

F: Yeah, that is a really great question Neal. Nursing has been known for being really tough on the newbies.

N: Uh huh.

F: So I don’t think that’s that profession is actually and the survey really didn’t, I don’t have any results to quote you from the survey. But it’s something that I think nursing administrators across the country are working on, is getting those older nurses, those baby boomer nurses into the position where they can be mentors during the end of their career to be able to get those younger nurses be up to speed and deliver and just transfer that knowledge – that’s so important that those older nurses to pass. Nursing has not the known for that in the past but it’s recognized that we really have to shift that mentality in the future.

N: Uh huh. I’d like to ask you about AMN specifically and how AMN is helping to stem or at least address this coming lack of nurses. You’re involved in continuing education of those that you represent. Are you giving your clients information or advice on how to become more attractive to this new workforce as the old workforce leaves for various reasons?

F: Yes, absolutely in a couple of ways. First of all you may know that we have our Workforce Summit going on this weekend in Nashville. And this is the area were we actually are delivering one of the speakers that we have delivering a talk at this conference who’s talking about you know the generations in the workplace and healthcare and how to address their particular needs. So absolutely we want to give our clients more information to be able to help them manage in that area. The other area that we help our clients out is through our center for the advancement of healthcare professionals which we call the “Center” that we deliver customized training program to help healthcare providers train and sustain the workforce that they’ll need to adequately care for patients in the future. The Center actually works with healthcare clients to identify a shortage in a specific specialty or segment and then put together a curriculum and programs to successfully to train nurses in large numbers. Innovative programs like the Center fulfill a need in terms of creating new supply that you just may not be able to find elsewhere and we certainly hope to help our clients be able to do that. And this is where the survey itself tell us that younger group of nurses is really interested in this sort of training program.

N: Yeah now it’s all about the Interweb Machine. And give us a website that our listeners can visit to find out more information about AMN. And possibly view the survey that gives us information for themselves.

F: Sure Neal, that website is And the survey itself can be downloaded at that website.

N: You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio, I’m your host Neal Howard. We’ve been in studio speaking with Marcia Faller RN, PhD, Chief Clinical officer for AMN Healthcare, and a Bachelor of Science and nursing from the University of Arizona. As well as a Master of Science in Nursing and Doctorate Nursing from the University of San Diego. Also on the Board of Directors of the Alliance Ethical International Recruitment Practices. And on the Joint Commission Advisory Board for the Healthcare Staffing Services Certification Program. And she’s been here with us today talking about not only the fact that the nearly two-thirds of baby boomer age nurses are considering retirement, but also talking about how her company is poised to provide staffing solutions to stem the tide of this exodus. It’s been great talking with you today Dr. Faller.

F: Thank you so much Neal.

N: Thank you. Transcript and audio of this program are available at and also at and you can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes.

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