According to a survey conducted by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, about 100,000 US registered nurses left their jobs due to the stress of the Covid-19 epidemic.
Another 610 388 registered nurses with more than 10 year's experience and an age average of 57 said that they would leave the workforce in 2027 due to stress, burnout, or retirement. It was the same for 189,000 nurses with fewer than 10 years' experience and an age average of 36.
In 2022, the survey revealed that over 5.2 millions registered nurses would be active in the US. This number will rise to 973.788 if practical or vocational nurses are licensed. Researchers analyzed data collected from 29,472 advanced and registered nurses, and over 24,000 licensed practical and vocational nurses in 45 states. The study found that more than a quarter (25%) of respondents said they planned to retire or leave the nursing industry in the next five-years.
Around 62% of nurses surveyed reported that their workload increased due to the pandemic. And 50.8% stated they felt emotionally exhausted at work.
Nearly half of nurses reported feeling fatigued or burned out: 49.7% versus 45.1%. Most nurses with less experience expressed these concerns.
The exhaustion of the nurses was one of the driving factors behind their strike in New York, which took place in January. Over 7,000 nurses went on strike to draw attention to burnout and staffing shortages.
Danny Fuentes, an official of the union who addressed the crowd at the time of the strike, said: "We are sick and tired of the hospital doing only the minimum." We are repeatedly forced to carry unsafe patient loads. We are human, and we're burnt out. We are also tired. The hospital does not seem to care. Profits are all they care about. We don't like being out here. We'd rather be with our patient. We need to have a fair contract in order to protect our patient's.
The New York State Nurses Association, which represents the nurses at the Mount Sinai Health System as well as Montefiore Health System hospitals, reached tentative agreements with both of them. The union claimed that the agreement would ensure'safe staffing levels' in all Mount Sinai and Montefiore units.
Montefiore accepted financial penalties for failing comply with agreed upon staffing levels.
Researchers on the new study say that their findings are a threat to US workers, particularly among younger and less-experienced nurses. National Council of State Boards of Nursing states that hospitals and policymakers must act quickly to address these issues.