More than one-third (34%) of nurses say it's very likely that they will leave their roles by the end of 2022 and 44% cited burnout and a high-stress environment as the reason for their desire to leave. (gorodenkoff/gettyimage)
Burnout and stress from working throughout the COVID-19 pandemic are taking a major toll on nurses and it could lead many of them to quit their jobs.
More than one-third (34%) of nurses say it's very likely that they will leave their roles by the end of 2022 and 44% cited burnout and a high-stress environment as the reason for their desire to leave, according to a new survey by staffing firm Incredible Health. Nurses cited benefits and pay are the second leading reason (27%) for quitting their jobs.
This comes as experts say the pipeline of new doctors and nurses alike is insufficient to meet the growing demands of 2022 and beyond.
The company analyzed data from more than 400,000 Incredible Health nurse profiles and surveyed more than 2,500 registered nurses in the U.S. in February 2022.
Not all nurses who plan to quit their jobs plan to leave the nursing field, the survey found, as 40% plan to pursue a nursing role elsewhere. Nearly a third (32%) of nurses plan to leave the field altogether or retire.
The survey also found that 42% of nurses started a new nursing role since January 2021. The main reason they moved to a new role was higher pay (58% reported this was their motivating factor). Other reasons for the change include a search for a different role (33%), an improved schedule (31%), their preferred location (25%), career advancement or training opportunities (24%) and better staffing overall (24%).
Along with increased stress, nurses also are fighting discrimination and assault on the front lines. Two-thirds of nurses (65%) report they had been verbally or physically assaulted by a patient or a patient’s family member within the last year. Anger around hospital' COVID-19 guidelines (52%) and frustration around staffing/care (47%) were the contributing factors to this aggression.
A third (32%) said they had experienced discrimination and/or racism in the workplace. While most of this discrimination was from patients and their families (46%), co-workers and supervisors were also reported as a source.
To attract and retain nurses, health systems are offering sign-on bonuses rather than higher salaries, the survey found. Proprietary salary data showed small changes to hourly rates nationally, but a 162% increase in total offers with signing bonuses. Florida had the highest average sign-on bonus at $13,095.
California continues to have the highest average salary, according to Incredible Health data, which sits about 20% higher than the national average of $80,010.
In Texas, sign-on bonuses in the state nearly doubled from an average of $5,800 to $10,700 in the past year. In 2021, nearly three out of five (58%) offers in Texas had bonuses compared to less than one in five (16%) the year before.
The healthcare industry is facing a significant labor crunch. Workforce shortages—and their effect on staffing costs—have been front of mind for many in the healthcare industry, Fierce Healthcare's Dave Muoio reports.
The hospital subsector’s workforce has dipped nearly 90,000 people since March of 2020, according to preliminary November data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Among nurses alone, the American Nurses Association expects there will be more than 100,000 registered nursing jobs available annually by next year.