Why Do Nurses Quit? - page 3

Jamie looked at the framed group photo on the wall of Cohort 22, the 24 new grad nurses who started a year ago in 2015. They all look so happy and eager. Where are they all now? Of the 24, 16... Read More

  1. by   SarahLeeRN
    Great article! I think that many of the reasons nurses quit were brought up in the article...something that has stood out to me lately is the thought that part of reality shock/burnout/wanting to quit is simply having to be around sick people all of the time! As much as we want to help...that has got to play a part in it. Every job has its stresses, I get it, but we do have to realize that many times we are seeing people on the worst day(s) of their life/year. I find that pretty draining.
  2. by   Dodgern
    I think new nurses leave because they had the "Rose-colored glasses" view of nursing. No-one has ever really told them what we do....
    This is NOT an insult! Nursing is a high-stress career! We literally save lives. Our assessment and care of our patients dictate their outcomes.
    Being responsible for human lives is HIGH STRESS!! Without our knowledge and care, the least little change would go unnoticed~~~ because of this, they die.
    My aunt tried nursing school "back in the day" and decided it wasn't for her. It did NOT dissuade me!
    I have been an RN for 27+ years! I have gone through the ranks~~new nurse to "seasoned" nurse. I have worked many areas of the hospital from NICU to all the floors to all the adult ICUs~~I worked in the float pool! I wouldn't be the RN I am now without the multitude of experience I gained! I also learned what area I enjoyed most~~~GI!!! The closest to the OR I can get without having to wear a mask for 12hrs/day!! I found out that I get clausterphobic wearing a face mask for too long!
    New nurses need to know that nursing is not wearing a little cap and bringing water and snacks to the patients is NOT reality.
    The average patient in the hospital is a level 1-2 now~~~very sick to intensive care level! Many patients are on telemetry and SPO2. Most of the floors are wired for these! The days of flowers and watching TV , these patients are few and far between!
    I was very fortunate to have very supportive RNs around me when I graduated~~in the 1980s!!! New nurses now a days have to try and keep up with technology, experienced RNs and savvy interns and MDs! You need to be flexible, willing, and wanting to learn because healthcare is evolving EVERY DAY!!!
    The other downfall making new nurses leave~~~patient satisfaction~~~ Frankly, basing my raise on whether my patient got the crackers/cookies/pillow fluff/TV fix/family member meal~~~ETC on time SUCKS!!! This has NOTHING to do with my patients getting better!
    I AM a patient advocate. I AM there for my patient no matter what he/she needs. I am NOT there to make sure their visitor gets a meal, shampoo, a toothbrush, a meal ticket~~~~MY PATIENTS MATTER!!
    The patient satisfaction should include the simple things~~~did you get your pain meds on time? Did you get your bedbath? Did you get better and go home because we took such good care of you?
    I KNOW that their comfort matters... I know that they need to be informed but the other things should NOT be on that questionnaire!!!
    Our jobs are stressful yet rewarding!! Otherwise, I would NOT still be here doing my job!!!
  3. by   PedRN2B
    I am a new nurse done my first year, on a very busy medsurg type floor. What's making me feel burnt out is staffing ratios and lack of assistance from patient care techs and clerk. If I have 8 patients (which happens waaaay too often) and a PCT who disappears or takes vital signs for 2.5 hrs so that she can't do anything else during that time, many times no clerk or a clerk that is sleeping when the call bell goes of... So I'm the clerk, PCt and Rn and have 8 patients. Since I care about my patients and need to have them happy and safe I'm the one that suffers. I don't take a break (because that would mean giving the other Rn 16 pat - and she's already not sitting down and drowning in work and I can't give her my patient who's Brady to the 30s or my pat with chest pain needing a work up) pManagement is sparse/non existent on nights. Now this isn't all the time - sometimes we have an amazing clerk and PCT who are phenomenal and then have a terrific night! Even with 8 patients. I thank them to no end and they know we appreciate them as they make a world of a difference. But I can not do 3 people's jobs and be understaffed Rn wise. I'm not lazy and I love my patients and my job but there's a certain point where it's just too much. Another thing is lack of resources - broken beds/lack of IV pumps or non working ones/phneumatic sleeves not working/ the anount of time it takes to get a commode when u order one.... Takes up too much of my time when I have too much to do.


    and those that are saying we have "rose colored glasses on" as new grads are Wrong. What we put up with shouldn't be going on and that has nothing to do with me being there for 1 year or 29 years. If I didn't care about my trying to keep my patients safe, pain free and happy (as much as possible lol) . work would not be so stressful but im there for the patient and I truly care about them so instead it will take a toll on me.
    Last edit by PedRN2B on Dec 15, '16 : Reason: Edited to add last paragraph
  4. by   Not_A_Hat_Person
    Passing meds on two patients with an instructor available does not prepare a new grad for passing meds on six patients with doctor and family interruptions, Lab calling with critical values, and ED calling report on a new patient.

    That's if the new grad is lucky enough to land a hospital job. If they work in a SNF, they may be passing meds to 16, 26, or more residents, with the same lab calls and interruptions.
  5. by   beekee
    I'm a new grad working in a hospital, just 4 months. I had, effectively, 4 shifts of orientation. Then, I was set loose with a full load. I work nights. I've had nights where the aide is covering for 3-4 sitter breaks, plus his own break, meaning no aide for 4 hours. I have usually have 2-4 admissions per shift. My floor routinely runs out of basic supplies - briefs, sheets, blankets, bedpans, juice, etc - so I am constantly running around to find supplies. Heck, we even have to fight for a vitals machine as there are 2 for 30 patients so the aides hide them, which is awesome when you think your patient might be tanking. And yes, I am responsible for lab not coming, supplies being out, the bed not being made, anything not getting on the scheduled, etc. it's exhausting.

    What keeps me going? Most more seasoned nurses are also exhausted from the pace, but every once in awhile I meet a nurse who seems to be able to handle it all with ease and grace. I'm gunning to be that nurse some day. But I'm not sure I'll make it.
  6. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from Wuzzie
    Sure you can. You can take the drama out of it. We have no idea if she was "loudly" humiliated. I know when I'm called out it sure seems loud to me when in actuality it isn't. When I screw up (which fortunately isn't very often) I feel humiliated but whose fault is that? Her hyperbole makes me question how authentic her report of the interaction was. And when people don't own their mistakes, as she didn't, it makes me suspicious.

    And I stand by my position that we need to stop perpetuating this NETY concept and instead focus on how to better prepare new nurses for the rigors of actually being a nurse!
    Quote from Wuzzie
    Like any of us have forgotten. I remember every painful detail even though it was 30 years ago. Look, I don't disagree with you but this NETY thing is getting out of hand and setting new grads up to fear starting out. They are told they ARE going to be eaten so they start looking for it. Add to that the new generation of nurses we are seeing that cannot handle criticism of any kind, in any format no matter how kindly it is meted out. People are spewing "NETY" if someone doesn't say good morning to them for crying out loud. Do a search here and you will see what I mean. None of us are disagreeing that we should be nice to each other but sadly there are mean people in this world and some of them become nurses. My stance is instead of scaring the crap out of new nurses how about better preparing them to handle the stressors, and yes that includes mean people and being corrected when they screw up (which they will), before they start their first job. I would be happier with the phrase HETO (Humans Eat Their Own) which is much more accurate.
    Quote from Wuzzie
    No, my ultimate point is that we need to stop telling new nurses that they are going to get eaten (they are now being told this in school) and figure out how to better prepare them for the rigors of nursing which includes but certainly isn't limited to dealing with mean people and receiving criticism which is never easy and often painful. I have stated this over and over but all I'm getting back is myopic responses focusing on my wish for a better example of an "unfriendly environment" than what was provided in the article. I never said that loudly humiliating a person is acceptable nor do I participate in such behavior. I simply offered another point of view of the situation which has now descended into assumptions being made about me. As such I will bow out and let everyone go on with their day.
    Wuzzie - I wanted to tell you that your points stood out to me as well when I read the original post. As someone who has been around AN for awhile, I think you have a very valid point.

    There is a nurse who goes around the country lecturing on NETY or bullying in nursing. She goes to nursing schools and she focuses on how rampant bullying is in nursing and that's what I take exception to.

    The example in the OP's post is not bullying in my opinion. It was rude and wrong to say it so loud and have patients and their families hear it.

    Learning to stand up for yourself is a good thing. Perpetuating the myth that new nurses all get bullied and treated badly is not a good idea. Or even true.

    So thanks for your comments Wuzzie.

    As to why nurses leave, personally as an older nurse, I have come to truly dislike the bureaucracy that overshadows caring for my patients. Taking that computer into the room with me to chart as I give care drives me crazy. The IT guys are constantly having to fix some glitch in the system. A few months ago our entire system went down for a few weeks and we had to paper-chart. Hallelujah! I was so happy.

    As another poster mentioned, those patient surveys also get in the way of good patient care and the scripted responses we nurses have to give are especially irritating.

    As for new nurses, I think the posts about how nursing school used to be and how much orientation went into being a new nurse are very good points.
    Last edit by Spidey's mom on Dec 15, '16
  7. by   Spidey's mom
    This just popped up in "new posts" by our friend Ruby, who made this excellent point!

    If you're the type of person who looks for unfairness or bullying everywhere you go, you'll find it in nursing . . . whether or not it actually exists. Better to go into it looking for smart, helpful team workers who will save your butt when it needs saving and teach you something while they're doing it. You'll find more of those if you're looking for them. And if you cannot handle criticism, get over it. Lives are a stake here, and if I see you doing something stupid, I'll tell you about it BEFORE you can harm your patient. In private if possible, but if not, not. One thing nursing schools don't teach -- and should -- is the ability to handle negative feedback constructively. It's a valuable skill in any career, but it's vital in nursing.
    For Those Considering A Career In Nursing
  8. by   marcos9999
    I think nurses leave for a variety of reasons. Some do because they simply didn't realize what they were getting into; some are just shocked by how brutal and hostile nursing environment can be at times, and I mean the co workers and managers they end up having to deal with.

    The missing link here is nursing preparation. Nursing school is simply not enough. Rather we need schools that are able to train and teach nurses at the bedside. Something unlikely to happen until we stop having the attitude we can sue everyone and everything.

    The other huge problem is that now health care is profit based and nurses are treated like factory workers. Some nurses realize very quickly that patient care is only a fraction of what they will be doing. An as a the article point out very well; nurses end up doing a bunch of chores that has little to do with what they've been for.

    I sometimes wonder "why I still doing this" as I walk to work. I wish I could do more patient care. I feel sometimes that I'm doing the patients a disservice but not being able to help them.
  9. by   thida
    I graduated as a new RN with BSN degree when I was 22. I was very excited about my nursing career and was ready to change the world. I started my first nursing job at a big hospital on medical/surgical unit on night shift. I did not like night shifts because it made my brain/mind very loopy and cloudy. 1.5 years later, I switched to day shift on cardiac/telemetry unit. This was a little better. However, it was very stressful because patients' acuity was high and things can change any second. My work phone constantly went on. It was hard to take lunch break and bathroom break. I was in nursing field for 8 years. One day, I decided that enough is enough. I took charge of my career and changed my life. Now I am an Internet entrepreneur and living the dot com lifestyle. No more boss, no more patients, no more running around like a chicken without head.
    Last edit by sirI on Jan 31, '17 : Reason: TOS
  10. by   marcos9999
    I know...I work in a SNF, I pass meds to an average of 20 patients. Very complex med pass with lots of pills, narcotics, injections, treatments, while I pass meds I'm interrupted every 5 minutes, phone calls, order changes, lab requests, medication delivery, family asking about appointments...pain med....pain med....pain med. But then there are admissions. The whole thing get taken to a new level of complexity: assessments, entering meds, consents. Nurses are responsible for everything...and then some. No wonder they end up leaving. The next nursing shortage will be a disaster
    Last edit by marcos9999 on Dec 15, '16
  11. by   marcos9999
    Nurses have a serious problem saying NO. And that is a problem too.
  12. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from Daisy4RN
    What are the reasons nurses quit?? All of those stated in the article and then some. Bottom line is that job satisfaction (at least in the hospital setting) has steadily declined as workloads and stress has steadily increased. Bedside nurses are held accountable for EVERYTHING. It used to be that the nurse was responsible for the nursing care. Now everything is the nurses responsibility/problem (ie lab didn't come/blood draw, meds not delivered by pharmacy, PT/OT didn't come, Doctor didn't come, lunch/the right lunch didn't come, no supplies on hand, no working equipment, no CNA, family wants to speak to you again, pain meds every 2 hours, routine meds 5 times on your shift etc etc etc). And don't forget the endless charting. The hospitals cut back while at the same time the patients are requiring more time, either because of (medical) acuity, or because the pt/family is demanding (even though medical issues don't require that much time, but you know, customer service..). Bottom line is that nurses are running around attempting to get everything done but it is always a loosing battle and someone is always complaining because its never enough! Do we really need to ask why nurses are quitting??
    I have been a nurse for nearly 40 years, and nurses have ALWAYS been held accountable for the lab not coming, meds not being delivered by pharmacy, PT or OT didn't come, the physician didn't round, the meal wasn't what was ordered, the physician made the patient NPO without explaining it to the patient, the blood isn't ready, the interventional lab is backed up, surgery was delayed, the TV doesn't have the channel I want to watch, my family isn't here . . . The difference is that people used to be more polite and understanding about it. Now they're not. If you think that there was some particular "golden age" of nursing when nurses weren't accountable for everyone else's job, please be advised that there wasn't.
  13. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from Nurse Beth
    I don't believe articles perpetuate the behavior. I think some nurse's treatment of new nurses perpetuates the behavior.
    I think you're way off base there. I think all of the articles about nurses eating their young, horizontal violence, lateral violence and bullying convince students and new nurses that this is what they're going to find in the workplace. Then, SURPRISE! They go out and find such things in the workplace. Even if they're not there. It's easier to blame your problems getting along with your new coworkers on bullies and NETY than it is to admit, even if only to yourself, that you may be partially (or even mostly) to blame for your difficulty getting along with others.

    The fact that people believe they're being picked on, bullied, eaten or subjected to lateral or horizontal violence does not mean that they have been. And there would not be so many people believing in such things if there weren't so many articles out there about it.

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