Are nurses prepared for retirement?

J Nurs Manag. 2008 Sep;16(6):744-52. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2834.2008.00916.x.


Aim: This study explored various factors and income sources that registered nurses believe are important in retirement planning.

Background: In many countries worldwide, many registered nurses are approaching retirement age. This raises concerns related to the level of preparedness of retiring nurses.

Methods: A mail-out questionnaire was sent to 200 randomly selected nurses aged 45 and older. SPSS descriptors were used to outline the data. Multiple t-tests were conducted to test for significant differences between selected responses by staff nurses and a group of nurse managers, educators and researchers.

Results: Of 124 respondents, 71% planned to retire by age 60. Only 24% had done a large amount of planning. The top four planning strategies identified were related to keeping healthy and active, both physically and mentally; a major financial planning strategy ranked fifth. Work pensions, a government pension and a personal savings plan were ranked as the top three retirement income sources. No significant differences were found between the staff nurse and manager groups on any of the items. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING MANAGERS/CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study suggest that managers' preparation for retirement is no different from that of staff nurses. All nurses may need to focus more on financial preparation, and begin the process early in their careers if they are to have a comfortable and healthy retirement. Nurse managers are in a position to advocate with senior management for early and comprehensive pre-retirement education for all nurses and to promote educational sessions among their staff. Managers may find the content of this paper helpful as they work with nurses to help them better prepare for retirement. This exploratory study adds to the limited amount of research available on the topic.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Age Factors
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Nurse Administrators* / economics
  • Nurse Administrators* / psychology
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Nursing Staff* / economics
  • Nursing Staff* / psychology
  • Pensions
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Planning Techniques
  • Qualitative Research
  • Retirement* / economics
  • Retirement* / psychology
  • Self Care
  • Surveys and Questionnaires