- Nearly half of 600 surveyed nurses (49.8%) in the U.S. are thinking about leaving nursing and most of them (27%) cite feeling overworked as the reason for leaving, travel nursing company RNnetwork reported on Wednesday.
- More than 40% of the respondents now feel more overworked (46%), have been verbally harassed or bullied by other nurses (45%) and started working more jobs to supplement their income (45%).
- Most nurses (62%) reported "the national nursing shortage has strongly impacted their workload."
The shortage of physicians in the country has been in the spotlight for the last few years but as the RNnetwork report notes, the lack of nurses given the current demand for healthcare services has also become a nationwide issue.
Nurses are the backbone of the healthcare system. But the new survey results suggest remaining nurses are taking on more responsibilities in the workplace because so many have left. If the nurses that are already considering leaving their profession decide to do so, the problem will be exacerbated, which will in turn severely impact Americans' access to care.
The average salary for a registered nurse increased by 3.4%, totaling $61,306, according to a 2016 Glassdoor report. However, a number of factors are expected to contribute to an alarming shortfall of nurses over the next decade, including the country's aging population and the number of those who are nearing retirement.
The states that are expected to have the largest nursing shortage by 2020 are Arizona (28,000), North Carolina (12,900), Colorado (12,900) and Maryland (12,100), according to Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies. However, multiple states are also projected to have a surplus of nurses, including Ohio (75,400), Pennsylvania (25,800), New York (23,400) and Iowa (21,300). Awareness has prompted lawmakers across the U.S. to allow nursing practitioners to practice independently.
A RNnetwork blog post from January highlights a set of recommendations on how to make a hospital workplace seem attractive to potential nursing employees. These include offering paid time off and competitive wages.