By Carol Davis
More than one-third (34%) of nurses surveyed said they likely will quit their job by the end of 2022, primarily because of burnout and a high-stress working environment, a new study says.
Not all are leaving nursing; 40% plan to pursue a nursing role elsewhere. But nearly 32% of nurses plan to either retire or the field altogether, according to Nursing in the Time of COVID-19, an annual report by staffing agency Incredible Health, which surveyed 2,500 nurses.
Among the study’s findings:
- 44% cite burnout and a high-stress environment as the reason for their desire to leave.
- 65% said they’ve been verbally or physically assaulted by a patient or patient’s family within the last year. Anger regarding hospital/COVID guidelines (52%) and frustration around staffing/care (47%) were the contributing factors leading to this aggression, the survey said.
- 32% said they’ve experienced racism at work.
Compensation is a crucial issue for nurses, but it is just one contributing factor leading to high turnover.
Nearly half (42%) of survey respondents have started a new nursing role since January 2021. The main reason nurses moved to new roles was higher pay, as 58% reported pay as their motivating factor to find a new job, while 44% plan to change jobs because of burnout and a high-stress environment.
Other primary reasons nurses changed jobs included:
- Searching for a different role (33%)
- An improved schedule (31%)
- Their preferred location (25%)
- Career advancement or training opportunities (24%)
- Better staffing overall (24%)
An ongoing frustration for the nursing industry remains travel nurses. More than 75% of nurses surveyed reported seeing an increase in travel nurses in their unit during the past year and one-third of those polled indicated that increase made them dissatisfied or extremely dissatisfied.
Pay is at the heart of the issue, with 86% of nurses reporting that compensation differences were the main cause of their dissatisfaction with travel nurses, who are often highly paid by temporary staffing agencies to solve critical gaps.
Additionally, 47% of nurses believe the quality of patient care is compromised from such temporary staffing, and 33% note that unit culture changes with the addition of travel nurses.
Carol Davis is the Nursing Editor at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.