Survey: 85% Of Nurses Plan To Leave Hospital Roles 1 Year From Now


By Ashleigh Hollowel

A nursing workforce that has been shrinking dramatically may be headed toward even greater challenges. Only 15 percent of nurses working in hospital settings say they plan to stay in their current positions one year from now, according to a survey of more than 18,000 nurses, by one of the largest healthcare staffing company in the country.

The 85 percent who said they are making other career plans reported they are seeking travel nursing opportunities, considering going back to school, looking into part-time or per diem work or departing the profession completely.

Additionally, 55 percent of nurses across the profession reported feeling like they want to quit often.

Overall, the survey's results paint a picture that "reveals a sudden decline in nurses' personal and professional views toward nursing," even just since the last survey took place in 2021.

Nurses in the profession are still reeling from burnout and stress compounded by the pandemic. Thirty percent of those surveyed said they are planning to leave the profession as a direct result of the pandemic, even three years after it began — and that number was up seven percentage points from responses in 2021, according to the report.

On top of that, job satisfaction is down and dismay is up, with 80 percent saying they believe the nursing shortage will get worse before it gets better. Additionally, fewer nurses are encouraging others to join the profession.

Early-career nurses, a group that already has a higher turnover rate, reported significantly lower job satisfaction than older career nurses. Younger nurses also reported higher stress and lower well-being than those who had been in the profession longer, according to the survey.

Across the profession, mental health issues for nurses of all career stages and degree levels has become significantly worse since the last survey in 2021, painting a grim picture for the outlook of the profession. Nurses who reported feeling emotionally drained went up 15 percentage points to 77 percent, and those who are concerned their job is affecting their personal health negatively went up by 19 percentage points to a total of 70 percent.

"From our current workforce crisis, we need to develop a unified, collaborative effort, led by nurses ourselves and supported by our allies in multiple sectors of society, to reduce stress and moral injury for nurses through systemic, professional and personal changes," Cole Edmonson, DNP, RN, said in the report. "Uplifting nurses needs to become a national call to action."

Nurses also pointed to five things that would help reduce negative effects of stress:

-90 percent said increasing support staff would be a key solution to implement.

-89 percent said decreasing the total number of patients per nurse would make workloads more manageable.

-87 percent said increasing salaries should be prioritized.

-86 percent said ensuring work environments are safer is key.

-86 percent also said having more nurse input at decision-making tables would be helpful for the profession.

"Also needed is a systemic transformation in how we view and deploy the healthcare workforce," Dr. Edmonson said. "Rather than compartmentalizing nurses and other healthcare professionals by employment status or source, healthcare organizations need the flexibility to determine the most effective and efficient way to cover the work that needs to be done at the unit and enterprise levels."


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