The Early Retiree Divests the Health Workforce: A Quantitative Analysis of Early Retirement Among Canadian Registered Nurses and Allied Health Professionals
Human Resources for Health, Forthcoming
Posted: 6 Dec 2019
Date Written: July 5, 2019
Background: Early retirement (before age 65) is the norm among registered nurses (RNs) and allied health professionals (AHPs) employed in Canada’s public system. As a country whose population is rapidly aging, it is in Canada’s best interest to try and extend the work lives of RNs and AHPs.
Objectives: (1) To test the predictive validity of our conceptual model of early retirement among publicly employed, Canadian RNs and AHPs and (2) to compare, across professions, model fit and factor significance
Methods: We conducted multivariable logistic regression in two data sets, one consisting of 483 retired RNs and the other of 177 retired AHPs. The number of AHP respondents limited our ability to comprehensively test the model.
Results: Eighty-five percent of RNs and 77% of AHPs had retired early. (1) Results indicate that 25% of variance in RN early retirement and 19% of variance in AHP early retirement was explained by included variables. (2) Organizational restructuring increased odds of early retirement by more than 100% among RNs and AHPs. Among RNs (but not AHPs), both financial possibility and caregiving responsibilities predicted early retirement at statistically significant levels, while a “desire to stop working” predicted retirement at or after 65 years of age.
Conclusions: Clearly, there is much more to learn about RN and AHP pathways to early retirement. Further research, ideally research exploring the role of workplace characteristics, attitudes, and beliefs towards retirement and work-related factors, could deepen our understanding of the phenomenon of RN/AHP early retirement.
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