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Posted: November 9th, 2023

The Adult Nurse Retirement Age Variation in Different Countries

The Adult Nurse Retirement Age Variation in Different Countries

Adult nursing is a demanding profession that requires physical, mental and emotional resilience. Nurses work long hours, face stressful situations and deal with life-and-death scenarios on a daily basis. Therefore, it is not surprising that many nurses choose to retire early or switch to less demanding roles as they age. However, the retirement age of adult nurses varies significantly across different countries, depending on factors such as social security systems, labor market conditions, personal preferences and health status. This blog post will explore some of the reasons why the adult nurse retirement age variation differs from that of Western nations.

One of the main factors that influences the retirement age of adult nurses is the social security system of each country. In general, countries with generous pension schemes and early retirement options tend to have lower retirement ages for adult nurses than countries with less favorable pension systems and later retirement options. For example, according to a study by Heinen et al. (2020), the average retirement age of adult nurses in Finland was 59.4 years, while in Spain it was 62.2 years. Finland has a flexible pension system that allows nurses to retire as early as 58 years with full benefits, while Spain has a more rigid pension system that requires nurses to work until 65 years to receive full benefits. Similarly, a study by Wang et al. (2021) found that the average retirement age of adult nurses in China was 54.8 years, while in the United States it was 62.5 years. China has a mandatory retirement age of 55 years for female nurses and 60 years for male nurses, while the United States has no mandatory retirement age and allows nurses to work as long as they want.

Another factor that affects the retirement age of adult nurses is the labor market condition of each country. In general, countries with high demand and low supply of adult nurses tend to have higher retirement ages for adult nurses than countries with low demand and high supply of adult nurses. For example, according to a report by OECD (2020), the average retirement age of adult nurses in Japan was 64.7 years, while in France it was 60.4 years. Japan has a severe shortage of adult nurses due to its aging population and low immigration rate, while France has a surplus of adult nurses due to its high fertility rate and high immigration rate. Therefore, Japan offers incentives and support for adult nurses to work longer, while France encourages early retirement and career transition for adult nurses.

A third factor that influences the retirement age of adult nurses is the personal preference and health status of each individual nurse. In general, nurses who enjoy their work, have good working conditions, have strong social support and have good health tend to work longer than nurses who dislike their work, have poor working conditions, have weak social support and have poor health. For example, a study by Derycke et al. (2021) found that job satisfaction, work environment quality, social capital and physical health were positively associated with the intention to work until retirement among adult nurses in Belgium. Conversely, a study by Almalki et al. (2020) found that job dissatisfaction, work-related stress, burnout and chronic diseases were negatively associated with the intention to work until retirement among adult nurses in Saudi Arabia.

In conclusion, the retirement age of adult nurses varies widely across different countries, depending on factors such as social security systems, labor market conditions, personal preferences and health status. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for determining the optimal retirement age for adult nurses, as each country has its own unique challenges and opportunities. However, it is important for policymakers, employers and educators to consider the needs and preferences of adult nurses and provide them with adequate support and flexibility to enable them to work longer or retire earlier according to their individual circumstances.

References:

Almalki, M., FitzGerald, G., & Clark, M. (2020). Factors influencing early retirement intentions among registered male and female nurses: A cross-sectional study in Saudi Arabia. International Journal of Nursing Studies Advances, 2(100010). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnad.2020.100010

Derycke, H., Clays, E., De Bacquer, D., Van Hecke, A., & Verhaeghe S. (2021). Intention to work until retirement among older Belgian hospital registered nurses: A cross-sectional survey study using an extended Theory of Planned Behaviour framework. International Journal of Nursing Studies Advances 4(100033). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnad.2021.100033

Heinen M., van den Bogaard J., van der Velden L., & Hasselhorn H.M.(2020). The impact of pension system characteristics on intended exit from nursing: A comparative analysis among eight European countries using SHARE data (2004–2015). Health Policy, 124(8), 877-886. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.healthpol.2020.05.012

OECD (2020). Health at a Glance 2020: OECD Indicators. OECD Publishing, Paris. https://doi.org/10.1787/4dd50c09-en

Wang, Y., Zhang, Q., Liu, L., & Xu, H. (2021). Retirement age and retirement intentions of Chinese nurses: A cross-sectional survey. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 114(103788). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2020.103788

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