Nurses Share Pain Points

 In Nurses Weekly

A recent survey of nurses and nursing students shows that the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced long-lasting negative perceptions of their future careers. The survey identifies root causes of the current stressors among health care professionals and provides actionable areas to help improve nursing satisfaction, career outlook and mental well-being.

Pain Points

The survey reports that:

  • Nearly 37% of nurses identify as being burned out, stressed, and/or overworked.
  • 32% of nurses are very/completely satisfied with their occupation, compared to 52% prior to the pandemic.
  • 29% of nurses say their desire to leave the profession is dramatically higher now versus pre-pandemic, noting the nursing shortage and inadequate staffing levels as top contributors to the low satisfaction.
  • 66% of nurses expressed some level of consideration to leave the profession, signaling long-term impacts on our health system post-pandemic.

The survey also pinpointed areas of change that nurses believe would positively affect the profession. These include incorporating new staffing approaches and increasing wages. For instance:

  • 97% of polled participants agree, and 81% completely agree, that increases to pay rates and other incentives would attract and retain nurses.
  • More than half (58%) agree that telehealth should be a cornerstone of care delivery
  • 85% believe that we must improve cross training to adapt to crisis events.

Additionally, the majority of nurses (85%) strongly believe national licensure, a multistate license that would allow nurses to practice across state lines, would have greatly benefited the country during the pandemic. At present, 38 states have enacted NLC multistate licensing or have legislation pending. Holdouts include New York, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, and several northwestern states.

The survey, conducted in partnership between Cross Country Healthcare and Florida Atlantic University’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, collected 570 responses between May and June of 2021. The results showcase a robust and comprehensive audit of the new post-pandemic landscape of nursing from the perspective of current nurses and nursing students.

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