Survey: 1 in 5 nurses would not pursue career again

Though a majority of nurses said they were glad they entered the field, according to a new survey, about 1 in 5 added they probably would choose a different career if given a chance to do it again.

Medscape Medical News surveyed (reg. req.) more than 10,000 nurses to gauge job satisfaction among nurses for its Nurse Career Satisfaction Report 2016. About 95% of respondents said they were glad they became nurses, according to the survey, but only 73% of certified registered nurse anesthetists said they’d do it all over it again, while 85% percent of clinical nurse specialists did. On average, about 81% said they would become nurses again if given a second chance.

Nurses that would start over in a new career offered a variety of responses as to what they’d rather do instead, according to the survey: “Go to medical school,” “Go to dental school,” “Start my own business.”

RELATED: Nurse entrepreneurs: An untapped resource for innovation

Male nurses were the least satisfied with their jobs, according to the survey. Though about 19% overall said they would not become nurses again if they were choosing careers, the percentage was notably higher among male nurses: 27%. This is despite the fact that male nurses on average earn more than their female counterparts.

RELATED: Male nurses face prejudice, stereotypes on the job

One area that continued to hinder nurse job satisfaction is the amount of paperwork and emergency health record documentation required in a day, according to the survey. All types of nurses listed it as the least satisfying part of their jobs by a wide margin, except for CRNAs, who pointed to lack of respect from bosses as peers as a major issue on the job.

Many nurses said that the time spent with EHRs decreases the amount of time spent with patients, and often categorized them as “continually flawed,” according to a previous Black Book survey. Nurses who are satisfied in their jobs improve hospital outcomes and mortality rates, so many facilities are launching efforts to keep them happy and reduce turnover.