Integrating Generational Perspectives in Nursing

Marla J. Weston, PhD, RN



Although nurses from four different generations work closely together, tension may occur as the different generational perspectives result in misinterpretation and misunderstanding. Learning to create integrated and collegial relationships with people from different generations is a critical skill for nurses who work in multigenerational teams. This article will begin with a review of the historical perspective of the four generational cohorts currently in the workplace. This review will set a foundation for understanding each generation's unique set of work and personal values. Then the article will discuss various sources of multigenerational misunderstandings and conclude with a discussion of approaches to strengthen intergenerational work teams. The article will emphasize that learning to appreciate the diverse points of view, leverage the strengths, and value the differences in colleagues from various generations can enable individuals to form creative, adaptable, and cohesive work groups.

Purpose/Goal: To provide information on generational perspective in nursing.


1. Identify the unique values that multiple generations of nurses bring to the workplace.
2. Describe ways to integrate the multigenerational viewpoints of nurses to create an effective work environment for the future.
3. Be able to promote a positive work environment within multi-generational nursing teams.
4. Identify strengths and challenges associated with generationally diverse work teams.
5. Describe the characteristics of the four generational cohorts.


Marla J. Weston, PhD, RN, is an experienced nurse, administrator, and health care consultant with over 20 years of experience. Her background includes developing professional nursing practice, mentoring nurses from different generations, developing leadership skills, and successfully implementing new programs. As a national expert on recruiting and retaining employees, she has studied and taught classes on the multigenerational workforce. Dr. Weston holds a Masters of Science in Nursing from Arizona State University and a doctoral degree in nursing from the University of Arizona. Dr. Weston is currently the Chief Executive Officer at the ANA.

The planners and author of this CNE activity have disclosed no financial relationships with any commercial companies pertaining to this activity.

Contact Hours: 1.99

Expiration Date: 6/1/2012


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