Survey: Majority Still Love Being A Nurse Despite Concerns
Nurses nationwide are feeling slightly better about their jobs these days, with a new nurse.org survey showing that 60% still love being a nurse. But 62% are still concerned about the future of nursing.
The numbers are an improvement from 2021, but nurses are still reporting high levels of burnout, mental health issues and lack of support, among other hardships. About 39% of them said they were dissatisfied with their current job, though this answer varied based on education level and specialty.
Staffing issues and an ongoing nursing shortage continue to cause challenges for the nation’s nursing workforce. A full 91% of respondents believe the nursing shortage is getting worse and that burnout, poor working conditions and inadequate pay are the primary causes.
Meanwhile, 79% said their units are inadequately staffed, while 71% said improving staffing ratios would have the greatest impact on the nursing shortage. And of course, nurses want better pay. Fifty-five percent saw a pay increase during the last year, but 75% still feel underpaid and 52% believe their hospital does not pay nurses with similar experience equally.
WHAT’S THE IMPACT?
Eighty-one percent of nurses said they’ve felt burnt out in the past year, slightly less than in 2021, and 81% also say their mental health has suffered, which again is down from the 83% logged in the previous year.
Another trend inching in the right direction is that, while 61% of nurses feel unsupported at work, this is down fairly significantly from the 77% who felt that way in 2021. Yet feelings of appreciation are taking a hit: Twenty percent felt appreciated during the last year, compared to 38% the year prior.
Nurses are mixed on how they feel about choosing the nursing profession, the numbers showed. Thirty-six percent are happy they chose it, 40% are not, and 24% felt neither.
When it came to job satisfaction, nurses with higher levels of education fared better. Those with postgraduate diplomas saw job satisfaction hovering near 60%, while those with just a nursing certificate or diploma hovered at just over 20%.
Non-bedside nurses were the most satisfied of any specialty; those in obstetrics were the least.
When asked about their career plans, 16% of nurses reported being happy where they are, versus 12% in 2021. But more nurses want to leave the bedside, 35% in 2022 versus 29% in 2021.
When asked to choose the factors that would make the biggest impact on the nursing shortage, the top responses were improved staffing ratios (71%), better pay (64%) and better working conditions (41%). The factors that got the least amount of responses were efforts to reduce workplace violence (11%), mental health support (10%) and efforts to increase the number of nurse educators and faculty (7%).
THE LARGER TREND
In the 2022 Nurse Salary Research Report, 29% of nurses said they were considering leaving the profession, a steep rise from the 11% who were considering such a move in the 2020 survey.
Among the respondents, 4% said they work as travel nurses, and 62% of those became travel nurses in 2020 or 2021. Higher pay far surpassed all other reasons for becoming a travel nurse, followed by dissatisfaction with management.
In October, the Department of Health and Human Services awarded $13 million to bolster nursing education and training to grow the nursing workforce and improve access to nursing education.
The awards, administered through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), are part of a series of investments across HHS and the Department of Labor to support pathways into good, quality nursing jobs. Investing in the nursing workforce pipeline has been a key component of President Biden’s goal to improve the safety and quality of care in nursing homes.
(This story originally appeared in Healthcare Finance News.)