Some retired nurses work at MidMichigan in the summer and then winter in Florida or somewhere balmy to escape brutal Michigan winters. Others pick up occasional shifts or work as on-call or float nurses. Another option helps MidMichigan bring in an experienced nurse for project work, such as when transitioning to a new electronic medical record or development new policies or procedures.
"[Retirees] have a lot of experience and knowledge that we gain from bringing them back in because they worked here for 30 years," says VanWieren.
Flexible models such as this allow nurses to retire or alleviate the physical demands of nursing while contributing to their employers in a way that benefits both sides. It's one solution to a looming problem.