Facebook Twitter

The real reason one-third of U.S. nurses are planning to quit is because of burnout, not COVID-19

30% of the nurses are planning to quit their career, which is 7 percentage points over the 2021 percentage

SHARE The real reason one-third of U.S. nurses are planning to quit is because of burnout, not COVID-19

Shereyah Barbera, a registered nurse from New York’s Northwell Health, left, approaches Annice Sterling and Magdalena Litwinczuk, both registered nurses with Northwell Health, after speaking at a press conference at the Intermountain Transformation Center in Murray on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. One-third of U.S. nurses are planning to quit according to a recent survey.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

One-third of U.S. nurses are planning to quit their jobs and a survey says it isn’t just because of COVID-19.

VOA News reported that a survey conducted by AMN Healthcare Services Inc. showed that “30% of the participants are looking to quit their career, up 7 percentage points over 2021, when the pandemic-triggered wave of resignations began.”

Why is this happening? Nurses are experiencing burnout.

Why does this matter? If nurses keep quitting at high rates it could lead to patient care, “errors, higher morbidity and mortality rates,” according to a study on nursing shortages by StatPearls.

The study further explained, “In hospitals with high patient-to-nurse ratios, nurses experience burnout, dissatisfaction, and the patients experienced higher mortality and failure-to-rescue rates than facilities with lower patient-to-nurse ratios.”

Shift Nursing reported that while it has been reported that nurses have felt burnout after the pandemic, nurses have been suffering from this long before COVID-19 ever came to their doorsteps.

Details: The World Health Organization reported in May 2019 that “burnout” was considered an “occupational phenomenon.”

“Nurse burnout” has reportedly been around since the 1970s, after American psychologist Herbert Freudenberger created the term in order to name the stress experienced by those who work in demanding jobs, such as nurses.

In 2001, 43% of nurses working in U.S. hospitals reported experiencing symptoms of emotional exhaustion that leads to burnout.

The journal JAMA Network Open published a study that found evidence to “suggest that burnout is a significant problem among U.S. nurses who leave their job or consider leaving their job.”

The Deseret News reported earlier this year that New York City nurses were striking because of “understaffing leaving caregivers burnt out and at their breaking point.”

Quotes to note: Another study published in the journal SAGE Open Medicine, which looks at why nurses are leaving their profession, found, “To increase the willingness of nurses in the nursing profession, it is better to increase the salary of nurses, giving frequent training for the nurses, initiate the nurses to support one another, and encourage the nurses to have sense of self-calling for nursing profession.”

The study continued, “This is accomplished if there is a harmonious relationship between the governments, nurses and other stakeholders in the healthcare delivery system.”

Cary Grace, CEO of AMN Healthcare, told Reuters, “This really underscores the continued mental health and well-being challenges the nursing workforce experiences post pandemic.”