Share of older nursing professionals rising sharply

08/12/2011 15:00

There has been a sharp rise in the nursing professionals over 50 working in health care. They will reach retirement age within 10 to 15 years. As the grey pressure increases on health care, there will have to be enough nursing professionals to meet the increasing demands. Optimising the use of the labour potential of registered nurses and a great influx from the training colleges contributes to this.

Three quarters of the nursing professionals works in care

In 2008 there were 232 thousand registered nursing professionals under 65, 20 percent more than in 1999. Over three quarters actually works in care. The remaining quarter either does not work, or works elsewhere. The group of nursing professionals working in care is currently aging considerably. The share of nurses over 50 has increased from 14 percent in 1999 to 30 percent in 2008.

Nursing professionals (aged under 65) working in care, by age

Nursing professionals (aged under 65) working in care, by age

More inflow than outflow of nursing professionals

Every year since registration began, the inflow of nursing professionals in care has exceeded the outflow, but the difference has become smaller in recent years. In 2008 some 10.3 thousand nursing professionals started working in health care, while 8.9 thousand nursing professionals stopped working in the care sector. Some 40 percent went to work elsewhere and 60 percent stopped working altogether.

The main source of the inflow of nursing professionals are the new graduates from nursing colleges. The number of nursing professionals from secondary and higher education (mbo/hbo) has increased from 5.7 thousand in 2005/’06 to 6.6 thousand in 2009/’10.

In and outflow of nursing professionals (aged under 65) working in care

In and outflow of nursing professionals (aged under 65) working in care

Better use of the labour potential

In 2008 fewer nursing professionals took pre-pension than in 1999. In 1999 some 51 percent of the registered nursing professionals aged between 60 and 65 has taken early retirement, compared to 36 percent in 2008. The share of labour disablement also fell by several percentage points, except among the 60 to 65 year-old nursing professionals.

Nursing professionals and labour disablement, by age

Nursing professionals and labour disablement, by age

Alex Hellenthal