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Top Reason Nurses are Leaving The Profession In 2022

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Nurses play crucial roles in improving global health outcomes, resulting in economic growth and global health security across nations worldwide. They form an integral part of the healthcare workforce in achieving sustainable health for all citizens of the world, however, the recent events in which a huge number of Nurses leaving the profession are highly disconcerting.

Nurses Leaving The Profession 2022

The World Health Organization released a report in March 2022 that emphasized the wide gap in the profession, the report stated that there is a shortage of health workers, especially nurses and midwives globally; and that for the countries of the world to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 3 on health and well-being it is “estimated that the world will need an additional 9 million nurses and midwives by the year 2030.”

Subsequently, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) projected that about 13 million nurses will be needed to be able to fill up these gaps globally while the recent annual data released by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), UK revealed that more than 27,000 nurses and midwives will be quitting the profession between April 2021 and March 2022.

READ ALSO: IS NURSING A GOOD CAREER FOR THE FUTURE?

Regretfully, these projections might progress over the coming years if there are no rapid interventions to address the matter.

You might ask, what is the reason for this huge turnover of Nurses from the profession?

TOP REASONS NURSES LEAVING THE PROFESSION 2022

Below are some of the causes of high turnover in the nursing profession;

  • Increased Health Care Demand
  • Mental Health Concerns.
  • Poor Remuneration
  • Negative Workplace Culture

INCREASED HEALTH CARE DEMAND.

Nurses are faced with a great deal of pressure at work, as a consequence of factors like understaffing, and retirement which is aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic effect, leading to a high patient-to-nurse ratio. The increased job demand created by a shortage of Nurses highly contributes to the movement of Nurses from clinical roles to new roles that are not demanding and with good pay. Although more nurses are recruited to bridge this lacunae, it will take time before they become fully integrated into the workforce, and they might not be well prepared for the high demand they will be facing.

Additionally, this is a repetitive cycle, because as more nurses leave, the others get drained due to lots of workloads which in turn makes them quit, hence, the circle continues.

READ THIS: CHALLENGE FACING NURSING EDUCATION IN NIGERIA AND THE WAY FORWARD

Therefore, it is essential to note that “access to healthcare is central to safe, secure, economically successful and equitable societies, but it cannot be achieved unless there are enough nurses to provide the care needed.”

MENTAL HEALTH CONCERNS

According to the survey conducted by Incredible Health in the USA, about 34% of nurses say that they will quit their roles by the end of 2022 while around 44% mentioned that burnout coupled with a high-stress environment is the reason they desired to leave.

Dealing with various traumatic events such as the sudden death of a patient, drug overdoses, workplace violence, discrimination, and so on affect the mental health of Nurses and the COVID-19 pandemic was the tipping point in causing increased emotional strain for nurses. This psychological trauma, contributes to the increased rate of mental health disorders amongst Nurses, a large number of them reported having depression, lack of concentration, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), fatigue, detachment, insomnia, and so on leading to decreased work productivity and the quality of care given to the patients, so when nurses couldn’t bear it any longer, they quit.

POOR REMUNERATION

The pay nurses receive is highly discouraging even though there is a huge demand placed on them. At one point, some nurses reported having to deal with pay cuts by their institution in their attempt to meet up with other demands within the hospital.

Furthermore, great dissatisfaction arose because for years nurses have been lamenting for salary increments but were only given meagre bonuses, thereby contributing to their leaving the profession or changing to other roles like travel nurses where they can earn more.

NEGATIVE WORKPLACE CULTURE

Maltreatment of nurses at their workplace is another reason they are quitting, “nurses were overworked, underpaid, and burdened by a deteriorating health system that ignored their physical and emotional needs.”

Workplace violence, assault, aggressive patients, and sexual harassment are some of the devastating experiences nurses have to face with no proper interventions kept in place by the management to protect them.

The increased rise in the cases of infected patients due to the COVID-19 pandemic with inadequate protective measures for nurses to practice also put them at more risk because they have to deal with having insufficient resources to provide quality patient care, hence they consider leaving as a way to protect themselves from the hazards associated with the unsafe work environment.

READ ALSO: HIGHEST PAYING JOB FOR NURSES

THE WAY FORWARD

Recommendations on how to combat the pressing issues of Nurses leaving the profession;

  • Mental Health Support For Nurses
  • Policy Advocacy
  • Better Remuneration For Retention
  • Investment In Nursing Education

Below is an overview of the recommendations:

MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT FOR NURSES

The ICN 2022 nurses week celebration sub-themes “investing in and prioritizing the safety of health care workers and caring for the health and wellbeing of nurses”, is a call to the relevant stakeholders to commit to improving the working conditions for Nurses to thrive and not be negatively affected by the service they render. And that a safe work environment should be created for Nurses.

The administrators should also acknowledge that nurses are truly affected and therefore, should be given the needed coping and social support. Hospital management should invest in supportive modalities and likewise provide behavioral interventions, emotional and psychological counseling for Nurses. Also, a means should be devised where they can share their concerns and get the necessary support either from their colleagues, superiors, or experts.

POLICY ADVOCACY

Policymakers and key stakeholders should advocate for better “legislation, policies, and rulemaking involving the nursing workforce, work environment, shortage, and practice authority.” They should consider investing in the Nursing profession to combat the global healthcare challenges to achieve a sustainable solution and “preserve the future of nursing”.

Additionally, more nurses should be involved and take on leadership roles for better policy advocacy and decision-making, as they can understand the plight of their colleagues better than other healthcare professionals.

Read Also: How To Achieve Your Workplace Goal

Above all, there is a need for proper implementation of these policies so that more can be achieved with action rather than talking alone.

BETTER REMUNERATION FOR RETENTION

Nurses should be well paid in line with the services and quality of care they render, nevertheless, adequate expenses will be needed to pay nurses good salaries, provide the needed resources and also improve the number of staff in hospitals.

Hence, there should be proper allocation and budgeting of resources by the government to support the nursing workforce so that their salaries can be increased, that way they won’t feel like leaving the profession for better opportunities.

INVESTMENT IN NURSING EDUCATION

A survey conducted by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) in 2019 showed that nursing schools in the U.S. turned away over 80,000 qualified applicants from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs 2019 due to an “insufficient number of nurse educators, faculty members, clinical sites, classroom space, clinical preceptors and budget constraints” which greatly impact the supply of qualified nurses to the workforce.

Therefore, there is a need for the relevant stakeholders to step in and address these issues because when adequate investment is made into nursing education, there will be a sufficient supply of nurses, which in turn aids better health outcomes globally.

READ: 5 STEPS TO FINDING A NURSE MENTOR WHO WILL LEAD YOU TO SUCCESS

CONCLUSION

The alarming movement of Nurses from the profession might lead to an inevitable global healthcare workforce crisis if rapid interventions are not taken but this situation should not get to this standpoint before the needed solution is implemented.

It is imperative to note that to achieve more, more is required and this will not just be a walk in the park, hence, a positive attitude to act will be profitable for better outcomes in retaining Nurses within the profession.

Read Also: How To Became a REGISTERED NURSE In Nigeria

Thank you for reading so far, I hope this article you take the first step on the right path, please don’t forget to join us on TELEGRAM to get most of what I have to offer. Also don’t forget to share the article to your friends. I’m looking forward to reading your comments below

Read AlsoList Of Nurses Courses In Nigeria

Written By: Mayowa Racheal Popoola
RN, Content Writer.

SOURCE

World Health Organization (2022). Nursing and Midwifery

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