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Nurses' Accelerating Pace Toward Retirement 'Striking'

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, for HealthLeaders Media, November 5, 2013

An annual survey of registered nurses designed to measure career paths and satisfaction levels finds the intent-to-retire rate among RNs has jumped to 13%. It had been running at 6% in previous years.

At 71 years old, Charlie Duckett, RN, has been caring for patients for nearly 25 years, but his enthusiasm for the profession hasn't waned.

"I'm very dedicated. I love what I do," he says. "You go to the hospital, and you take care of people, and you help save lives. And at the end of the day, you feel like you've really helped people. I never wake up in the morning and say, 'I don't want to go to work.'"

In his two decades as a travel nurse and previously, as a military diver and medic in the army's Special Forces, Duckett has been to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro and to the bottom of the sea. He's treated patients all over the country, from Hawaii to Alaska, California to Connecticut.

A note of excitement rises in Duckett voice when he talks about patient care. It's this kind of enthusiasm that he'll take with him when he finally retires from nursing.

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2 comments on "Nurses' Accelerating Pace Toward Retirement 'Striking'"


Janice Freel (11/9/2013 at 2:41 PM)
I have dedicated more than four years to clinical nursing in various nursing specialties. At approaching 62 years old, I'm considering retirement by the end of 2014. Twelve-hour shifts, insufficient salary that commensurate with experience, Frequent changes in EMR documentation, laxity in patient care by young generation nurses are among my priority list which motivates me to retire. Currently, I'm pursuing entrepreneurship in the legal system whereby I may use many of my transferable nursing skills. Moreover, the fiery passion I once had for clinical nursing is rapidly fading.

VE (11/8/2013 at 3:44 PM)
As a older graduate just starting in the field at the age of 48 and unable to get a job due to lack of experience... I hope I find a job before im too old to work!