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Front Health Serv Manage. 2012 Fall;29(1):16-28.

Generation Y in healthcare: leading millennials in an era of reform.

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Onslow Memorial Hospital, Jacksonville, North Carolina, USA.


The healthcare workforce has grown with the addition of a new group of physicians, nurses, allied health professionals, administrators, and support staff who belong to America's youngest generation now in the workforce-generation Y, or the millennials. This generation consists of more than 70 million people, the oldest of whom are now in their late 20s and early 30s. With traits and workplace expectations that differ from those observed in other generations, and with a size that threatens to overtake the total number of baby boomers, generation Yers are positioned to influence (if not drastically change) current leadership approaches. The common traits that define or are associated with generation Y workers are often regarded as barriers yet provide healthcare leaders with a clear guide to understanding these employees and drawing out their best qualities and performance. For the organization to fulfill its social contract to provide high-quality, cost-effective, and safe healthcare, it must satisfy the needs and manage the expectations of those who directly deliver these services. This is especially important in today's environment, which is marked by the still-fluid stipulations of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), changed consumer expectations, and public demands for transparency and accountability.

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