As a millennial nurse, you have a unique challenge. You must align your efficient work style with that of fellow professionals. With insightful understanding, you can skirt potential conflict, and find your career niche. Here’s what you need to know.
Three Workplace Generations
If you’re aware of what distinguishes current generations, you’ll work better with the medical team. The three age groups you’ll encounter on your nursing job are:
- Baby Boomers – age 51 to 70
- Older Millennials & Generation Xers – age 31 to 50
- Younger Millennials – age 20 to 30
Here’s how to sync yourself with coworkers and current healthcare goals.
1. Mimic different communication styles.
Employees ages 51 to 70 favor face-to-face collaboration. So, when possible, avoid sending them emails, texts, and phone messages. Baby boomers also prefer structure, maintained by regular meetings. Although you tend to be antsy during such functions, try to stay focused.
Your millennial mind is inquisitive. However, don’t pepper Gen Xers with questions since they like to work independently. They will appreciate your concise communication style.
2. Respect various work ethics.
As baby boomers, the seniors at your workplace seek job security. Their drive to work is fueled by promotions, raises, and employment benefits. A job ranks high on their list of priorities. Consequently, they typically work long hours, expecting the rest of the medical team to follow suit.
Show baby boomers you’re likewise dedicated to your job, even though not a workaholic. Since this age group gravitates toward leadership positions, you may have a baby boomer for a nursing supervisor. This is beneficial regarding upward mobility. They’ll likely understand your thirst for achievement and promotion.
Older Millennials and Gen Xers, on the other hand, take a more moderate approach to work. At age 31 through 50, they’re aiming for work-life balance and not inclined toward overtime.
3. Obtain mentoring from senior staffers.
Coworkers age 31 through 50 may not initiate contact or provide feedback. Don’t be disappointed if a supervisor in this age group isn’t very sociable. As children, Gen Xers were typically left home alone after school, while their parents worked. The term “latchkey kids” evolved from this situation. By necessity, at a young age, they developed independence and self-reliance.
Senior staffers, on the other hand, are team players like yourself. Look for a friendly coach among them.
4. Focus on what you have in common with coworkers.
One way to foster cooperation among staff members is to stay mindful of mutual goals and values. Each person on the medical team seeks to deliver quality care and ensure good patient outcomes. You all share this earnest intent.
Also, realize that everyone wants to succeed and be appreciated. Find opportunities to praise the great qualities of others. Among your fellow nurses, there are many! Be generous with compliments and upbeat comments. Even reserved staff members will be moved by your goodwill.
5. Strive always to be professional.
You can embody this attribute in these ways:
- As a millennial, you’re prompt with making assessments, solving problems, and implementing decisions. However, you need to be patient with others less quick. This applies both to those in your care and other staff members.
- While you’re a whiz at technology, a baby boomer may be slower to learn. Be understanding, and offer humble help, if they’re open to it.
- Multitasking is your passion and forte. It may not be for other members of the medical team. Try not to be judgmental.
A professional nurse is flexible. One way to develop this quality is aiming to be effective, rather than right. Acknowledge that there are several ways to handle situations. The best one yields a positive and safe result.
One sign you’re professional is gaining the trust of others. This is the fruit of treating patients and colleagues with kindness and respect. Staying current with best practices shows you’re responsible. Working with circumstances rather than fighting against them takes wisdom and maturity.
Advanced Career Path for the Millennial Nurse
Education and training groom you for professionalism. One way to obtain these qualifications is earning a master of nursing online. An MSN is the next career step if you have a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN). If you hold an associate’s degree, an RN-to-MSN program enables you to earn a master’s directly, without a BSN first.
Either way, all MSN programs cover basic nursing topics and specialization courses. Clinical experience is part of the curriculum. With an online program, you can customize your class schedule around work, and learn at your own pace. All you need is an Internet connection, and you can study at home or the library.
As a nurse, you’ll be treating various patient populations. One that may be new to you is indigenous people, living before the establishment of colonies and settlements. As an example, Native Americans are indigenous to the US.
Health issues are often linked to ethnicity, related to heredity, cultural factors, and environmental influences. In remote regions, people have limited access to healthcare. Illness and disease are prevalent among the poor.
Your Capable Hands
As a millennial nurse, you have many strengths in your favor! You’re poised to implement current healthcare delivery goals – maintaining safety, effectiveness, and timeliness. Your personable nature is well-suited to more patient-centered environments.
Make the most of your tech expertise, quick mind, and decisiveness. Your multitasking skill is especially valuable, with the increase in people receiving healthcare. Two factors are responsible. One is that more Americans have insurance, mandated by the Affordable Care Act. Secondly, people are living longer, with disease and illness more manageable.
To excel as a team member, conform to coworker communication styles, and respect different work ethics. Look to senior staff members for mentoring.
Focus on goals and values you share with the medical team. Always maintain professionalism, with ongoing education as your ally. The future of nursing is in your capable hands.