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University of Arkansas (U of A) students and faculty recently presented research at the 27th Annual Nursing Excellence in Research and Practice conference on April 2 where one research team received incentive to continue their project studying generations.

Peggy Lee, U of A clinical assistant professor, is leading the team investigating “The Changing Face in the Workplace: The Arrivals of the Millennials.” The team received $750 to assist with their project which will survey students at four higher-education institutions and compare responses from traditional college-age students in bachelor’s degree programs to responses from older, more experienced students in bachelor’s degree completion programs for registered nurses.

The team has created three surveys that will measure job satisfaction, organizational commitment like values and priorities, and personality traits. The three sections are combined into a 60-item questionnaire that students will complete online. They believe the data will help educators better prepare nurses for a diverse workforce made up of nurses from several generations.

Lee tells News.UArk.edu, “Research has shown that, by 2020, 75 percent of the workforce will be millennials. That’s very different from what we’ve had before in the workforce when the largest generation was baby boomers…The baby boomers, who are older nurses and administrators, have a lot of wisdom, but they have different ways of learning and communicating than the younger generations. Millennials say work-life balance is very important to them.”

The survey is being distributed to find out how the two groups are alike and how they are different, and whether they fit into the stereotypes typically assigned to generations. The information will help nursing schools and educators emphasize strengths from each generation to help generations understand each other and create a healthier work environment.

U of A’s research team will present the survey results at Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing’s meeting in Indianapolis this September. To learn more about U of A Nursing’s study on generations, visit here.

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