While the vast majority of (95%) of nurses who responded to a Medscape poll said they were glad they had become a nurse, about 1 in 5 would not make the same career choice again.
Nurses with more than 21 years in the profession were more likely to be disillusioned than those with less than one year of practice, the findings show.
Despite earning more on average, male nurses are less satisfied than female nurses (27% vs 19%).
As the country continues to face a clinician shortage, the findings can be perceived as troubling as hospitals could be at risk of losing unsatisfied nurses. Those who would choose a different career path said they would have rather gone to medical or dental school or start their own business.
Most nurses cited too much documentation as the main source of their job dissatisfaction, followed by the amount of money they're paid, and lack of respect from physicians, managers, and peers.
The increasing burden of administrative tasks was the main cause of physician burnout cited in a lifestyle report released by Medscape last year. The number of doctors reporting burnout rose from 45.5% in 2011 to 54.4% in 2014, according to the report.
However, nursing has also been portrayed positively in other reports on the profession. Nurse practitioner ranked 15th in the Glassdoor list of the 50 best jobs. The ranking system considers three factors: job satisfaction, job openings, and salary. Glassdoor also reported several months ago that salaries for registered nurses were on the rise, increasing 3.4% over the past year.
These reports shed positive light on the profession, but few employers are doing much to address the problem. Additionally, despite the prevalence of job openings, many nursing positions are left unfilled because job applicants don’t have the skills that employers are looking for.