More Nurses Are Sick of Their Jobs

Nurses Now that the recovery is in full, albeit anemic, swing, workers are no longer so inclined to stay put in the jobs they don't like. Among registered nurses, for example, about one-quarter of those surveyed say that they've had it with their current employers, and will seek a new position as the economy recovers. That's up sharply from the 15 percent who said the same thing last year.

That's according to the "2011 Survey of Registered Nurses: Job Satisfaction and Career Plans," conducted by AMN Healthcare. The survey was meant to find out how RNs may alter their career plans due to the recovery, and found that a large number of nurses are not happy with their profession, or their specific jobs.

"Our survey clearly indicates a significant job satisfaction decline from 2010 to 2011, and that seems to be driving nurses' desire for change," said Ralph Henderson, AMN Healthcare's Nursing and Allied Division president. "If nurses change jobs in large numbers -- as they say they will in our survey -- that may increase nurse vacancy, thus putting stress on staffing resources. That, in turn, would impact patient care outcomes."

When asked if they were happy with their choice to pursue a career in nursing, 74 percent indicated that they were. But only 58 percent said that they were happy in their current job. This figure is down from 66 percent in the 2010.

The survey also showed that 32 percent of nurses plan to take steps in the next one to three years that would take them out of nursing altogether (by retiring or seeking non-nursing jobs) or by reducing the volume of clinical work that they do (by switching to part-time or less-demanding roles). This is up from the 26 percent who said in the 2010 survey that they would take those steps.

What's more, close to half (43 percent) said that they were not eager to recommend nursing as a career to young people. That is up significantly from the 36 percent who said that in 2010. Then there are the 44 percent who said that they would probably not select nursing as a career if they had it to do it over.

While more than half of all RNs say that they're fine with their current job, the amount of discontent in the profession is surprising. Many thought that health care professionals, especially nurses, were recession-proof, and were therefore much happier in their jobs than so many others. The survey is yet another indication that the recession has taken its toll on everyone.

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