Millennials tend to be scrutinized pretty harshly by the older generations, often being labeled as lazy and entitled among other criticisms. Unfortunately such stereotypes have created a misplaced fear for employers who worry that hiring a millennial nurse practitioner will negatively affect the company’s culture. While the generation’s style of working is certainly different than that of baby boomers, millennial NPs do bring a unique set of qualities that not only make them a valuable asset to the team but essential to the future of healthcare.
In a 2017 study entitled Generation Nation, over 4,000 Americans whose ages ranged from late teens to early seventies were surveyed on how they felt about everything from work to friendships to brands. In analyzing each generations’ responses, researchers found that as millennials have matured, so has their work ethic and other attributes; concluding that they’re not nearly as bad as the rap they’ve gotten. This comes as good news for employers considering that by 2020 it’s predicted one in three adults will be a millennial and by 2025 they will make up three quarters of the global workforce.
Hiring millennial cohorts will be unavoidable by employers based on statistics, but employers shouldn’t face the future of a millennial workforce with dread. Here are seven exciting reasons millennial nurse practitioners make the best employees.
1. They understand and embrace technology
While earlier generations do bring a unique contribution to healthcare that technology could never replace, technology is rapidly changing and advancing healthcare; from education to the way providers diagnose and treat their patients. Some healthcare employers may find it a struggle to get providers from earlier generations to embrace such advancements. On the other hand, millennial NPs are not only able to easily understand the technology and the benefits behind services like telemedicine and electronic health records, they embrace it as essential to their practice. After all, technology has been ingrained in them from early on. This is a tremendous plus for clinical settings that interact in virtual environments.
2. They are passionate about the difference their profession makes
Nurse practitioners from every generation are passionate about the difference they make in their patients lives. Millennial NPs are no different with the exception that their passion for their careers does not have much at all to do with their annual salary. In fact, 87.5% of millennials disagreed with the statement that “money is the best measure of success” as compared to about 78% of the total population. Additionally, 64% said they’d rather make $40,000 per year than $100,000 a year at a job they think is boring. While they do want to reach financial well-being, it’s more important that they achieve social good in their profession.
Millennial nurse practitioners also care about working for an employer whose vision is aligned with what they want to contribute to society. 63% of millennials want their employer to contribute to social or ethical causes they felt were important (only about half of older Gen Xers and Boomers felt the same).
3. They’re willing to work hard
A common misconception of millennials is that they lack the same drive and determination as prior generations when it comes to working hard. In actuality, it’s not that millennials don’t value hard work, because they do; in fact, over half of the millennials surveyed in Generation Nation study considered themselves to be hard workers and they were the most likely generation to agree with the statement, “If I work hard, I can do anything.”
The misconception that the generation doesn’t value hard work is largely due to the fact that they are more focused than any other generation to have a work-life-balance (arguably because of the generation they grew up under, wherein work was prioritized over home life). As such they tend to blur the lines between life and work; they are more willing than any other generation to catch up on work during their personal time to achieve such balance.
4. They’re highly educated and open to learning
Millennial employees represent the best-educated generation with the most schooling, highest SAT scores and other advanced skills learned in early ages. In fact, they are the most educated generation to date with 34% having at least a bachelor’s degree. Unlike generations before them, millennials have a desire to continue educating themselves and improving their skills and abilities. They’re interested in lifelong learning, whether it’s through continuing education courses or self-development. Employers don’t have to worry about millennial NPs not keeping up with their CE courses, and they may even find that these employees are motivated by benefits packages that include the opportunity to advance their education.
5. They value teamwork and collaboration
Driven by their desire to make deeper impacts on society, millennial nurse practitioners also value teamwork and collaboration; an especially great attribute to have in healthcare. According a 2007 CIRCLE survey conducted on millennials, when asked how much difference they believed people working together as group could make in solving problems, 92% agreed that this will make at least some difference, 62% said it would make a great deal of difference and only 1% said it would make no difference at all.
It should come as no surprise as the generation grew up in environments that foster teamwork in the home lives and in school, resulting in a preference for unity and collaboration over division and competition.
6. They embody diversity
Unlike earlier generations, millennials are ushering into an era when minorities will lead the U.S. population In fact, they’re the most radically diverse generation in U.S. history. It’s not to say that providers from other generations do not embrace diversities or come from different backgrounds; but as providers, especially in underserved communities, millennial NPs have a great understanding of different patient populations.
7. They welcome constructive criticism
They’ve long been accused of being the generation to receive participation trophies and wanting recognition for a job well done; but to their defense, millennials grew up with parents who were very involved in their education as well as with teaches and mentors who have taught them that they can achieve anything. As employees, millennials don’t expect hand holding or sugar coating; rather they desire feedback on how well they’re performance is, regardless of whether it’s positive or negative. Given that they were taught they could do anything they set their mind to, they feed off their employees’ feedback so that they can achieve success and break down stereotypes.
Millennial NPs are excited for the contribution they make to their patients, the nursing profession and to their employers. While it may come off as entitled at times, they’re simply ambitious and passionate about their profession and ready to make a difference in healthcare.