According to a new study by the RAND Corporation, the “current number of working registered nurses has surpassed expectations in part due to the number of baby-boomer RNs delaying retirement.” The RN workforce reached 2.7 million in 2012 and has continued growing. Nurses delaying retirement accounted for an extra 136,000 RNs in 2012. RAND researchers note that shifts in retirement benefits, as well as “economic uncertainty in general,” may have contributed to the decision to extend their careers.The surge in RNs could have significant implications on patient care; many RNs in their 60s often choose to leave hospital-based positions for primary care posts. ACOs, which are formed to better manage patient care, could benefit from the rise in RNs who seek non-hospital jobs. Specifically, the experience RNs have managing and coordinating care can help with what an ACO is trying to do.
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