Regarding retraining into STEM fields....THOSE fields are ripe with outsourcing! I did IT for 18 yrs. I got laid off every 2 to 3 yrs during that period of time. My retraining into nursing was paid for by the state of Florida (Worksource). You can't send nursing care to a foreign country. Yes, you can bring foreigners IN, but you can't send the job out. This keeps work here. Now with honesty (hah) in talking to the Government, a glut of nurses looking for jobs should eliminate the H1B visas allowing foreign nurses to work here. We would have to hire our own.
Yes, older nurses stayed or returned to rebuild their retirement accts. If they LEFT their $ in stocks (which caused them to lose so much), most of it would have returned at this point. (DJIA et al were 13 - 14K, dropped to 9K and back up to 12 - 13K) Once rebuilt, older nurses should take the advice of changing their portfolios to stable bonds so this never happens again. Since I entered the workforce in the 80s the financial planners always said, "stocks in the early years, stocks + bonds in the middle years, bonds at the end." It may have been hard to take your portfolio out of a system that was earning over 10% per annum in stocks and transition to lower yielding bonds.....but, you risked losing $ if you didn't. They didn't and they lost.
At some point, the body gives out. Those older nurses will retire. We will need to replace them at some point.