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Most nurses consider switching jobs; many cite staffing over pay as top concern

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A survey by IntelyCare echoes other reports detailing the frustration of nurses.

Most nurses continue to see frustration with their jobs, and many are looking to work elsewhere, according to a new survey released by IntelyCare.

Image credit: ©dusan petkovic1 - stock.adobe.com

A majority of nurses say they're burned out and thinking about switching jobs this year, according to a new survey by IntelyCare. (Image credit: ©dusan petkovic1 - stock.adobe.com)

In a survey of nearly 3,000 nurses, more than three-quarters said they are considering changing jobs this year (77%) and feeling burned out (76%).

A sizable number (39%) said they do not feel supported in their jobs, while more than a quarter (28%) said they don’t feel safe, according to the survey from IntelyCare, a Massachusetts company that operates a healthcare staffing platform. The survey was released Wednesday.

When asked about their top priority, the leading answers from the nurses surveyed said it was adding staffing, surpassing even pay raises. The survey found 40% of nurses listed hiring more staff as their top priority, while 38% said higher compensation was at the top of their wish list.

Many nurses have said they are burned out because there isn’t enough staff in their organizations and they are covering too many patients.

The vast majority of those surveyed (84%) said they are often asked by their employers to cover multiple shifts. A slight majority (50.9%) said they are requested to pick up more shifts multiple times a week, while nearly 1 in 5 (19%) said they were asked to cover extra shifts every day.

Some nurses who participated in the survey outlined their frustrations. The report cited one nurse who said, ““I wish I had more time to meet my patients’ wants and needs related to their care. Due to the nurse-to-patient ratio, I am always behind and struggling to catch up.”

Another nurse said, “Bring back humanity. Rushed care is equivalent to no care.”

Lynn Barry, IntelyCare’s vice president of clinical operations, said better staffing will help nurses and patients.

“These are nurses and aides who entered the profession to impact patient care but now find themselves enduring longer work hours and heavier workloads,” Barry said in a statement. “The guilt that comes with not giving patients the time and attention they deserve takes a real emotional toll on nurses.”

The survey did show some glimmers of optimism. Nearly 3 out of 4 (74%) said they were hopeful that they would be able to spend more time with patients in 2024, although the survey also indicates nurses see need for more staffing to make that a reality.

Other surveys of nurses have indicated widespread dissatisfaction.

The American Nurses Foundation surveyed more than 7,400 nurses in May, and found a solid majority (56%) said they were feeling burned out. That survey also found one in five nurses (20%) had changed positions in the previous six months, and 39% said they were likely to leave in the next six months.

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