Job burnout and dissatisfaction are primary factors causing nurses to leave the profession.
(Read about Nursing Trends on this page).
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, slightly more than two-thirds of registered nurses (69.5 percent) reported being even “moderately satisfied” with their jobs.
Survey after survey reports that nurses would like to continue working as nurses if job conditions were improved. Many nurses leave the profession because they just can’t handle being overworked and understaffed.
The American Organization of Nurse Executives, for instance, reported that four of 10 working RNs (43 percent) say that they plan to leave their current positions within the next three years. However, the authors go on to observe that many RNs who plan to leave their present jobs in the next few years say they would consider staying – and many others who have left nursing altogether say they would consider returning – if certain conditions were met. Among these conditions are better compensation, an improved work environment, better hours and more respect from management. Nurses with no plans to leave, echo many of these same sentiments.
According to a study released in the Journal of the American Medical Association in October 2002, nurses reported greater job dissatisfaction and emotional exhaustion when they were responsible for more patients than they can safely car for. Lead researcher Dr. Linda Aiken concluded that “failure to retain nurses contributes to avoidable patient deaths.” Adequate nurse staffing and support for nurses are keys to decreasing nurse job dissatisfaction and burnout.
According to a study published by Dr. Linda Aiken and colleagues in the May/June 2001 issue of Health Affairs, more than 40% of nurses working in hospitals reported being dissatisfied with their jobs. The study indicates that 1 out of every 3 hospital nurses under the age of 30 are planning to leave their current job in the next year.
According to a study commissioned by the Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals in April 2001, The Nurse Shortage: Perspectives from Current Direct Care Nurses and Former Direct Care Nurses, currently 1 out of every 5 nurses currently working is considering leaving the patient care field for reasons other than retirement within the next five years.
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