Survey shows 90% of nurses considering leaving job next year

A survey from Hospital IQ highlights patient care challenges due to staffing shortages

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A new survey has highlighted details about the nursing crisis and shortage facing the country. Among the main findings are that the vast majority of nurses are considering leaving their professions in the next year.

Hospital IQ, a provider of predictive hospital operations and communications software, surveyed more than 200 U.S.-based hospital registered nurses. Results show the potential for increased losses of nurses as soon as the end of the year.

“What hospital leaders must take away from this data is that much of your nursing staff has an eye on the door,” Shawn Sefton, chief nursing officer and vice president of client operations at Hospital IQ said in a statement. “So, we have to ask ourselves, what changes must we make to retain our people and then make those changes now. Because if not, the frightening reality is that come 2022, hospitals will reach a novel level of short-staffed, and it will have horrendous repercussions on our health system and the patients reliant on it.

“Nurses are looking to leadership for better solutions to manage operations across departments, keep the nurse-to-patient ratios manageable, keep beds available and help them do what they do best, which is caring for patients at the highest level of quality.”

Of those surveyed, 90% of respondents said they’re considering leaving the nursing profession in the next year. Within that, 71% of RNs with more than 15 years of experience were considering leaving as soon as possible or in the next few months.

Respondents also cited increasing workloads and staffing shortages with 72% saying they had burnout before the pandemic. The survey showed 43% said technician shortages led them to do more tasks such as cleaning units, procuring supplies and clerical duties with their existing duties. More serious mental health concerns were experienced by 39% of respondents.

Additionally, 51% of respondents said they felt a “lack of empathy” from their patients’ family members; 47% said family members had acted “more entitled and demanding.”

Staffing shortages were cited for 38% of respondents saying they’d seen an increase in patients returning for post-discharge secondary care. Another 38% said they noticed more medication errors or delays and 36% have seen patients with acute conditions walk out of an ER because of a long wait for a bed.

“Overwhelming workloads and mass burnout have plagued frontline nurses for years, and, it appears many have finally reached the breaking point,” Teri Ridge, RN, director of clinical solutions at Hospital IQ said. “The survey shatters the notion that current nursing challenges are temporary, anomalous and contingent upon the pandemic. These systemic issues have been mounting, and Covid brought them to a head. If hospital leaders don’t listen to these nurses and respond with sustainable solutions now, they will very soon see significantly more of their already short-staffed nurse workforce leaving.”