The National Health Service is not doing enough to retain and recruit some of the most experienced nurses - despite facing acute staff shortages.
A report by social charity the Joseph Rowntree Foundation said the NHS should introduce more flexible working practices and better pension provisions to encourage nurses over the age of 50 to continue working.
It also advised the NHS to look at the way it treats older nurses or risk discrimination cases under new age discrimination laws.
The report shows there are 75,000 nurses over 55 (with another 71,000 aged between 50 and 54), but around 10,000 retire each year.
The number of nurses taking early retirement is also growing and only one in 10 is under 30, down from one in four a decade ago.