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Recruiting & Retaining Generation Z & Millennial Nurses

Learn how to recruit, retain, and develop the new generations of nurses.  Don’t make the mistake of managing Generation Z and Millennials in the same way!

Join nationally-recognized speaker and author, Dr. Jennifer Mensik, as she discusses the new dynamic Millennial and Generation Z nurses bring to the table.  The new generations have distinct differences in the way they approach their work life, their needs and values as employees, and their response to different management techniques.  As baby boomers continue to churn out of the profession, knowing best-practices for keeping newer nurses motivated and engaged will becoming increasingly important for nurse leaders.  Dr. Mensik will describe the new generations in depth and discuss the best ways to recruit, retain, and develop the new talent.

After attending the webinar, attendees will be able to:

  • Describe and differentiate between Millennial and Generation Z characteristics
  • Compare Generation Z and Millennial work and life values
  • Examine different methods needed to recruit and retain both generations of nurses

Still curious about the generations? Click the links below to see values, influences and takeaways for hiring managers wanting to better understand their workforce.

Values: Independence, work life balance, creativity, direct communication, problem-solving their own way (not micro-managed). Use people skills, phone and digital methods to communicate and collaborate.

Influences: Education and moves toward equality, global crises1. Both parents may have been in the workforce, leaving Gen X kids to become more self-sufficient at an early age. Willingness to take risks and meet challenges. They “know life before and after the tech boom – so this generation had to adapt to make it through the shift from paper to online.”2

Takeaways: Acquiring new skills and coaching is important, but must be offered with flexibility to protect Gen X nurses’ personal and professional time. Hard work can be compensated financially or through career advancement opportunities like conferences and education.

Values: Sharing, diversity, work life balance. Team-oriented and want to make a difference by identifying and solving problems. Need autonomy and advancement.

Influences: Impacted by 9/11, Columbine, and the Great Recession which affected their ability to find jobs after college. May be more loyal to a manager than to an organization. Media and digitally savvy with preference for visual learning. Ok with virtual work and digital interactions (text, IM apps, email).

Ensuring that Gen Y nurses have a voice in the nursing unit, opportunities for project ownership, as well as flexibility with hours, is important.

Values: Security, comfort, familiarity, helping the planet. May be in college, nursing school or the workplace. Need regular feedback from managers – both skill-based and personal check-ins.

Influences: Born after 9/11, but saw impact of security measures and the Great Recession’s strain on families. They are aware of costs, challenges in government and the need for change/solutions. Tech-savvy from birth. Used to taking in information quickly (often via mobile) and having it be free (frugal). Trust professional online reviews (not ads) and like face-to-face interactions as a break from screen time.

Takeaways: Fostering community in the nursing unit, creating processes for Gen Z nurses to follow, and offering tuition reimbursement and training is important. Older “RNs (Baby Boomers, Gen X) with stronger interpersonal skills can guide new nurses in developing strategies for stronger patient-nurse relationships.”3

About the Speaker

Jennifer Mensik
Jennifer S. Mensik, PhD, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN

Dr. Mensik is currently the division director of care management at Oregon Health and Science University.  Dr. Mensik earned a PhD in Nursing from the University of Arizona College of Nursing with a major focus in health systems and a minor in public administration from the Eller College of Management. Dr Mensik is a national presenter and author of numerous books, including The Nurse Manager’s Guide to Innovative Staffing, Second Edition, which was awarded third place in the Nursing Management and Leadership category in the 2017 AJN Book of the Year Awards  and is  a five-star review from Doody’s Review Service™


1 The University of New Mexico, Working With Different Generations in Nursing,

2 U.S. News and World Report, Generation X Characteristics in the Workplace,

3 The University of New Mexico, Working With Different Generations in Nursing,