Nurses in the US are struggling with burnout and many are considering quitting the profession, according to a survey that reveals startlingly similarities to the situation in the UK.
According to the survey of more than 900 nursing working in the US, which has also been hit by widespread nursing shortages, nearly half – 49% – have considered leaving nursing in the past two years.
The 2018 survey by nationwide nursing agency RNnetwork found the vast majority – 80% – felt their
The Royal College of Nursing’s employment survey for 2017 found around eight out of 10 nurses – 79% – felt that there were not enough staff at their place of work to meet patients’ needs.
In addition, 63% felt under too much pressure at work with just 41% saying they would recommend a career in nursing and more than a third – 37% – reporting they were seeking a new job.
Not only did burnout affect patient care
When asked how they coped with burnout, 19% of US nurses said they spent time with friends and family, while 17% said they took “strategic time off” work. Meanwhile, 13% turned to exercise, 13% relied on caffeine to get them through and 12% said they ate more.
According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics in the United States, the country is facing a shortage of 1.2millon nurses by 2022. The US survey, which covers nurse working in most fields of nursing and specialties, shows staffing shortages are having an impact on nurses’ workloads with 88% reporting that was the case in 2018 – up from 62% in 2016. Nearly half – 46% – said they felt more overworked than they did two years ago, while more than half – 54% – reported their workload was having a negative impact on their mental health. Of those who said they had considered leaving nursing, nearly a quarter – 24% – said feeling overworked was the main reason.
In the US, nearly 40% of nurses reported being verbally bullied or harassed in the workplace with 30% of incidents caused by fellow nurses. More than one in five – 21% – said they had experienced sexual harassment at work, with 43% of incidents involving patients, 29% doctors
Lynne Goss, vice president at RNnetwork, said the US survey findings painted a worrying picture and urged health providers to take note. “The fact that the majority of nurses are burned out and half are considering leaving their profession should be a wake-up call for the healthcare industry,” she said.
She noted that there were steps employers could take to improve working conditions and address some of some of the issues highlighted by nurses.
“These survey findings reveal areas where providers can work with nurses to improve working hours, reduce instances of workplace bullying and harassment, and address mental health,” she added.
- Source: Nursing Times