Beyond generational differences: a literature review of the impact of relational diversity on nurses' attitudes and work.

Journal of nursing management

PubMedID: 21073568

Wolff AC, Ratner PA, Robinson SL, Oliffe JL, Hall LM. Beyond generational differences: a literature review of the impact of relational diversity on nurses' attitudes and work. J Nurs Manag. 2010;18(8):948-69.
AIM
Based on a review of the empirical literature, we examine the influence of selected diversity attributes on nurses' work-related attitudes and behaviour.

BACKGROUND
The nursing workforce has become increasingly heterogeneous in its age, educational attainment, and ethnicity/race distributions. There is considerable speculation, in the literature, that the work values of recent nursing graduates are discordant with more experienced nurses.

RESULTS
A review of studies published between 1980 and 2009 in nursing, healthcare, psychology, and organizational behaviour led to the inclusion of 19 peer-reviewed research articles, from which our analyses are drawn.

KEY ISSUES
The findings indicate that age diversity leads to negative behaviour toward others in the workgroup (e.g. poor collegial relationships) whereas perceived work-values diversity is negatively associated with individuals' own attitudes and behaviour toward their work as well as toward other members of their workgroup.

CONCLUSIONS
There is inconclusive evidence about the attributes that most significantly influence nurses' attitudes and work; however, preliminary evidence supports the salience of work values.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING MANAGEMENT
Irrespective of the actual diversity within workgroups, how nurses see one another can have a significant impact on members of their workgroups and their functioning. Broader conceptualizations of diversity are necessary.