Around One-Third of Nurses Are Expected To Quit in 2022
COVID-19 has taken its toll on the healthcare industry. At its peak, hospitals were filled to capacity and nurses were struggling with low supplies, long hours of grueling work and anxiety regarding infection. Surveys from various agencies confirm where things are trending: all this stress is resulting in burnout and turnover.
As much as 33% (around one-third) of nurses stated that it is “highly likely” that they will quit their jobs around the end of 2022. 45% of these respondents cited burnout and a high-stress environment, while 32% pointed to insufficient pay and benefits.
Abusive workplace interactions was another common sticking point. As much as 64% of correspondents reported dealing with physical or verbal abuse from patients and their families. Within these cases, frustration around COVID guidelines (51%) and perceived insufficient staff or care (48%) were the main instigating factors. On a different note, as much as 31% of nurses detailed cases of workplace discrimination or racism. A majority of this came from patient interactions, but 45% of these RNs mentioned dealing with this kind of abuse from their workplace peers. Though not necessarily “abusive,” as much as 65% of nurses felt underappreciated by their communities for their efforts in controlling COVID-19.
Not all resigning nurses were quitting healthcare completely. A considerable 41% of nurses planned to work in different healthcare facilities, while 31% of nurses were either going to leave nursing or retire outright. Surveys also found that 41% of correspondents had already found new nursing jobs by January 2021. Common motivations behind this move included better pay (57% of these nurses), desire for a new role (34%), better scheduling (32%), location (24%), advancing their careers or training (23%) and improved staffing (25%).
Regardless, it is undeniable that the nursing workforce is bleeding manpower. Facilities have been scrambling to find ways to retain high-end talent, like dramatically increasing sign-on bonuses. There has been a significant 161% increase in job contracts with sign-on bonuses. In Texas, 57% of job offers had such bonuses, compared to 15% from the year prior.
The sign on bonuses themselves have almost doubled from $5,600 to $10,500 in the same amount of time. Nationwide, the highest sign-on bonuses belong to Florida at an average of $13,000. California remains at the top of base salary, at 21% higher than the $80,000 median pay..
The US Bureau Labor of Statistics estimates that over 90,000 people have left the hospital sub sector since March 2020. Various Nurses Associations predict that there will be as much as 100,000 vacant nursing jobs next year.
Last year, they formally declared a national nurse staffing crisis and enacted policies to address the issue. Nurses’ mental health, retaining staff and the limited education of new nursing students were among the biggest issues that needed addressing.
On the bright side, more and more nurses are opting to get their vaccines. 89% of nurses have received their COVID-19 doses, compared to last year’s 73%. Considering how 32% of nurses reportedly had no intentions to receive their shots, this is a considerable improvement. Nursing facilities will now be safer and more prepared for the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak.
There are no easy fixes to this ongoing nursing shortage. Experts believe that this will persist well beyond 2022. However, hospitals can do their best to retain staff by addressing the issues outlined above. Truly competitive wage offers, more opportunities for career advancement and further training, and flexible scheduling are just a few of the ways that healthcare facilities can make their staff feel valued. Making your staff feel valued and being transparent with key concerns will go a long way in making things better for everyone.