A new Kronos Incorporated survey found that a whopping 90% of nurses said they have thought about leaving their hospital for another job because of wanting a better work/life balance. And 83% said hospitals are losing good nurses because other employers offer a better work/life balance.
The survey “Employee Engagement in Nursing” found that 44% of nurses said that managers didn’t know how tired they are and 43% hide their tiredness from their managers.
Though 98% of nurses said that their work is “physically and mentally demanding," 93% of registered nurses are satisfied with their career choice.
The national survey asked 257 RNs who work in a hospital setting about their jobs. Nurses said they have been fatigued because of excessive workloads (60%), not being able to take a lunch or dinner break (42%), not being able to take any breaks (41%), and not being able to get enough sleep between shifts (25%).
Another piece that will be of interest to hospital leaders — 24% of nurses said that 12-hour shifts (as opposed to eight-hour shifts) are a key for causing fatigue.
Overworked and burned out nurses are a problem that can lead to errors, and 44% of the nurses surveyed acknowledged that they are worried that patient care will suffer because they are tired. Also, 11% admitted that they have made a mistake because they were tired.
Nurse fatigue is having nurses rethinking their careers, too. A total of 41% said they considered changing hospitals in the past year because of burnout. If there is a silver lining in the survey, it’s that nurses still love their work. Ninety-three percent of nurses said that they are satisfied with being a nurse.
These numbers are startling, but shouldn’t surprise anyone in healthcare. Nurses have spoken out about workloads and feeling burnt out. Add this survey to a growing list of documents alerting hospital and health systems that nurses are getting burnt out. Hospitals and health systems need to listen to their nurses and create a work environment and support system that can help them reduce stress. That's not only good for nurses but patients and health systems too.