According to a recent study by market research and consulting company PRC, the 2023 National Nursing Engagement Report, 41% of nurses currently feel “unengaged.” It’s an industry trend that could spell bad news for hospitals.
“Unengaged Nurses may or may not lead to turnover, but they definitely curb the hospital’s ability to achieve excellence,” study authors, Cynthia King, Ph.D. and Leigh Ann Bradley, Ph.D., MSN, MA, BS-CHE, RN, reported. “These are the nurses who look for a shift to end, are focused on the next break, who call off during times of stress, and for whom a patient is a diagnosis or a task. Failing to hire and retain our best nurses jeopardizes morale, patient experiences of care, and quality and safety outcomes, all of which directly impact the bottom line.”
Overall, a total 15.6% of nurses reported feeling burnout. A whopping 82% of nurses, however, said that they plan to remain with their organizations for the next two years. The statistics paint a picture of a rising trend of entrenched health care heroes facing work-related exhaustion.
“Nurses comprise the backbone of the healthcare system,” study authors, Cynthia King, Ph.D. and Leigh Ann Bradley, Ph.D., MSN, MA, BS-CHE, RN, reported. “While physicians lead the diagnosis and treatment of patients, and ancillary roles provide all types of support for those treatments, nurses occupy a distinct position in the healthcare hierarchy—they assess in the moment, provide nursing diagnoses, carry out treatment plans, relay feedback to all other hospital roles, and connect directly with patients and their families.
“It’s hard to maintain self-compassion in this type of high-stress work environment, let alone constantly carry the emotional capacity to express compassion and empathy to others.”
According to the study, nurses experiencing burnout are less likely to care for themselves or their patients.