There are plenty of reasons to love Millennial nurses and the ways in which they are going to dominate and improve the 21st-century workplace.

Based upon a blog post published on September 3rd, 2018, this episode of The Nurse Keith delves into six reasons why I love Millennials and how they’re poised to contribute very positively to the workplace over the coming decades. Here are some excerpts from the original blog post:

1. Minds Wide Open 

Millennials grew up as the 20th century came to a close and the 21st century was getting underway. In my opinion, one of the greatest attributes of Millennials is the fact that they came of age at a time when the tolerance for so-called “alternative lifestyles” peaked.

Homosexuality, bisexuality, same-sex marriage, and new forms of family are now widely accepted in many segments of society and are thus reflected in popular culture. Millennials don’t seem to think twice about two people of the same gender falling in love, getting married, and raising a family — it’s a lifestyle choice worthy of equality and respect.

2. They’re Our New Leaders

While many may automatically picture Millennials as being in their 20s, at the time of this writing the oldest Millennials are actually pushing 40. As mentioned above, a full 35% of the workforce are Millennials, and as the largest segment of that workforce, they are emerging as leaders in every industry.

Regarding healthcare, medicine, and nursing, Millennials are poised to become administrators, Directors of Nursing, executives (CEOs, CNOs, CFOs), and leaders at every level. In nursing, we see Millennials emerging as nurse theorists, thought leaders, entrepreneurs, inventors, innovators, and influencers.

3. Tech Savviness Abounds

“They’re always on their devices” is a common complaint about young people these days (but I see just as many older people glued to their iPads and smart phones). At any rate, the members of the Baby Boom and Generation X are the people who created these technologies, thus we cannot realistically hold Millennials accountable for using the devices they were raised with.

The oldest Millennials were in high school when the Internet came into popular use in the mid- to late-1990s. Cell phones also emerged around this time, followed by smart phones run by Android and iOS. Meanwhile, the youngest Millennials born around 2000 have always known these technologies as normal aspects of everyday 21st-century life.

4. Entrepreneurship is Mainstream

The option of becoming an entrepreneur is not anathema to Millennials; in fact, anecdotal evidence points to the notion that this new generation embraces entrepreneurship as a valid way to make a mark on the world. According to a frequently cited study by Bentley University, 66% of Millennials would like to start a business and 37% want to work “on their own”.

Creative business opportunities, new ways of thinking about work, and general optimism about the power and potential of individual accomplishment all underscore the Millennial belief that self-employment is a very viable workstyle/lifestyle option.

5. Flexibility, Boundaries, and Self-Care

The general understanding is that Millennial workers have come into the workplace demanding increased flexibility in relation to time spent at work. This can be perceived as laziness and a less than stellar work ethic, but many argue that the 21st century calls for flexibility on all levels.

For Millennial nurses, working in the mainstream medical milieu does not allow for much flexibility: rigid work hours, issues around continuity of patient care, and organizational needs rule the day.

6. Mission, Ethics, and Being “Woke”

Another thing I love about the Millennial generation is that social change, ethics, and morality are very important to this enormous cohort. Having witnessed the aforementioned popular acceptance of same sex marriage, gender fluidity, and other new social constructs, many Millennials identify as being “woke”, meaning they’re hyper aware of progressive social issues in line with their way of seeing the world.

Pay attention to this powerful generation of Millennial nurses; they’re coming soon to a workplace near you, and their individual and collective influence will make them many friends and some significant enemies. Millennial nurses are the new backbone of healthcare and the nursing profession, and they will leave a powerful, positive, and indelible mark on healthcare, nursing, medicine, and society at large in the decades to come.


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Keith Carlson, RN, BSN, NC-BCIn case you didn’t already know, Nurse Keith is a holistic career coach for nurses, award-winning nurse blogger, writer, podcaster, keynote and motivational speaker, and popular career columnist. With two decades of nursing experience, Keith deeply understands the issues faced by 21st-century nurses.

From 2012 until its sunset in 2017, Keith co-hosted RNFMRadio, a groundbreaking nursing podcast.

As of May of 2018, Keith is the host of Mastering Nursing, an interview-style podcast showcasing inspiring, forward-thinking nurse thought leaders and innovators.

Keith’s message of savvy career management and professional satisfaction reaches tens of thousands of nurses worldwide. Keith can be found on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram—as well as at NurseKeith.com.

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