Financial Health and the Healthy Nurse
While the graphic shows some difference between the sexes related to financial stressors, nursing is still predominantly a female profession so my assumptions about financial stress would be that nurses are affected disproportionately as a profession.
As an employed senior nurse in in the Baby Boomer category I am also aware of the generational differences in the financial health of my peers. I enjoy learning the ways that they have learned to budget – on the home front as well as on the hospital units. I offer some of the creative strategies gleaned from conversations:
- Millennials are team players. They capitalize on Groupon offerings, Airbnb style travel, Apps instead of textbook purchases, group discounts for on-line BSN education to cut costs or cost share. Lyft and Uber offer shared rides to cut transportation costs.
- All generations of nurses are being enticed into their own financial and retirement plans with company matches – a nod to the decline in pensions offered as a financial perk to employment.
- They are advancing their professional careers with continuing education and are not likely to stay more than 5-7 years in their current position.
- Two nurses as partners, working opposite shifts and alternate days save thousands on childcare expenses (priceless returns for the children)
- Nurses are competitive and when encouraged will join teams to lose weight, increase exercise and lower their health insurance costs.
- Nurses who have added an MBA to their credentials as managers report using the same tools to budget on the home front.
- Many professional associations offer discounts to nurses for home loans, insurance plans, legal plans etc. If a nurse needed just one more reason to join a professional association this might be the one that gets the membership fees in the mail.
- Nursing students in one nursing program ran a small service in eldercare for other nurses who could not access respite care for family members that were being cared for at home. The students charged the amount normally charged by babysitting services for childcare. If duties were more than companionship and safety, nominal costs were added to the rates.
Rebecca Smith, MSN, RN, APN and the Healthy Nurse Healthy New Jersey Team