One-fourth of nurses seek new jobs after dissatisfaction

Twenty-five percent of registered nurses (RNs) will seek a new place of employment in 2011 because of job dissatisfaction, up 15 percent from last year, according to a survey released yesterday by staffing firm AMN Healthcare.

AMN gathered data from more than 1,000 respondents, most of whom were permanent nurses at a hospital, asking them how RNs' career plans will change, if any, as the economy recovers.

"Our survey clearly indicates a significant job satisfaction decline from 2010 to 2011 and that seems to be driving nurse's desire for change," AMN Healthcare Nursing and Allied Division President Ralph Henderson said in statement.

Even though nurses generally were satisfied with their careers (74 percent), 58 percent cited that they were not as satisfied with their role at present, down from 66 percent the previous year.

When asked if they would recommend nursing as a career to young people, 43 percent of respondents said they wouldn't or were not sure, up from 36 percent in 2010. What's more, when asked if they had to do it all over again, 44 percent said they would not or were not sure if they would choose nursing as a career.

Also highlighting the importance of job satisfaction, a study last month published in The Gerontologist indicated that job satisfaction was especially important in nurse retention at long-term care facilities, even more so than compensation.

As pressure is placed on care coordination and physician shortages continues, hospitals continue to rely on nurses.

"Nurses are at the core of quality care in our nation's delivery system.  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," Henderson said.

For more:
- read the full survey report (.pdf)
- read the press release