Gen-X Nurses: Could This be Middle Child Syndrome?

Everyone knows that the Boomers chose to hang around in the workplace longer than expected after The Great Recession of 2008. And, Lord, we all know that the Millennials have come into nursing in a large wave of tech-savvy, Full-House loving professionals. But, what happened to Gen-X? We are still here ya, know!

Could this be middle child syndrome? Quite Possibly!

Who Are We?

We are the generation born in the 1960’s and 1970’s. We are sandwiched between the hard workers of the Baby Boomers and the tech-loving millennials. There are forty-six million of us strong in the U.S.

We remember Dessert Storm. We wore Jordache jeans and “pegged” our pant legs, which is totally different from the Hipster cuff of today! (Just sayin’!) We played Pac-Man and Atari. We still chuckle when we hear the phrase, “Where’s the Beef?” And, we may have said, “Gag me with a spoon” one too many times as a young teen.

And, finally, Julianna Margulies, better known as Nurse Carol Hathaway on ER may be the reason we fell in love with the idea of being a nurse!

Nurse Carol

Who are We Now?

Now, we are in our late 30’s to early 50’s. (Ugh, that was hard to type!)

We are in the child-rearing years, but quickly our cute little babies of the 2000’s are becoming young adults. We are in one of the most dissatisfying phases of life per science. Depressing, right?

We want to be happy! We need others to understand and respect who we are:

  • We are an independent, hard-working group of nurses! In fact, Boomers and Millennials alike love us. Even though, they have tried hard not to.
  • We need (not just want) work-life balance. And, if we don’t have it, we won’t hang around.
  • We were raised by working mothers. In fact, we are the first generation of latchkey kids. What does this mean? We adapt to change like it is our job! We are independent and never shy away from hard-times.
  • We have become tech-savvy to survive. It does not always come second nature like it does for the millennials. And, we may have our kids fix our mistakes on our phones in the privacy of our homes! But, we will never admit it!
  • We are migratory. We don’t stay with one employer our entire career and we want the Traditionalists and the Boomers to get over it! We watched our parents lose jobs once they got older and we don’t want to be them. It’s simple.
  • We compete with each other! We don’t mean to, but there are just too many of us with the strong desire to be leaders. We need clear delineation of authority in order to work alongside each other.
  • We are middle children! We are waiting on the Boomers to retire and trying to hold off the millennials for career advancement.

We want to be respected for who we are and what we bring to the table. Which is a lot! We are ready to lead nursing units, hospitals and the healthcare industry as a whole. We can do it! We were taught that we can be whatever we want to be when we grew up. And, we believe it!

We are Generation X Nurses!


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