Why do you think nurses leave the profession?

  1. I've been a nurse for awhile and have always contemplated what makes nurses leave the profession (or bedside for that manner). As a matter of fact, I have thought about it from time to time in the 13 years I've been a nurse. From my experience I have found that aspects such as short-staffing, too many tasks, lack of upward mobility, poor management and underpayment contribute to a nurses' unhappiness in their career.

    I just wanted to ask the general nursing population regardless of how long you've been a nurse what your thoughts were. Do you think leaving the profession comes from one of the aspects listed above? Or is it something else entirely?

    To be clear this is not a school assignment...
    •  
  2. Poll: Reasons nurses leave the profession

    • Short-staffing

      35.53% 566
    • Too many tasks

      19.71% 314
    • Lack of upward mobility

      2.89% 46
    • Poor management

      19.52% 311
    • Underpayment

      13.31% 212
    • Other- please explain below

      9.04% 144
    1593 Votes
  3. 142 Comments

  4. by   TheCommuter
    Nurses leave the profession for a myriad of reasons, including:

    1. Overworked
    2. Underpaid
    3. Treated badly by patients
    4. Treated badly by families
    5. Treated badly by managers
    6. Treated badly by other nurses
    7. Treated badly by other members of the interdisciplinary team (physicians, PT, OT, ST, social workers, case managers, dieticians)
    8. Too much responsibility
    9. Not enough authority
    10. Administration treats us like we are as replaceable as the roll of toilet paper in the restroom
    11. Mentality that the patient is always right
    12. Increased focus on patient satisfaction scores
    13. Decreased focus on proper patient care
    14. Dangerous nurse/patient ratios
    15. Feeling trapped in a lose/lose situation
  5. by   Designer NP
    Hahaha Commuter. I've always enjoyed reading your responses because you keep it so real. I've felt all 15 of your responses at some time or another. So are these responses in order of importance to you?

    Thanks!
  6. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from Designer NP
    I've felt all 15 of your responses at some time or another. So are these responses in order of importance to you?
    I place somewhat equal importance on all of the negative aspects that I had listed in my previous response. However, the lack of general regard for nurses personally bothers me the most.
  7. by   ICURN3020
    Oooops.....
  8. by   firstinfamily
    I feel the lack of upward mobility has a huge part in nurses leaving the profession. I keep returning to the clinical aspect because I cannot find anything as rewarding in a higher position. All of us get tired of the long hours, the hoops we have to jump through to provide care to patients and get things done. We are documenting more and the info generated by computers is over-loading information but is anyone really following up on it?? It seems that an awful lot of information is being generated, but who has the time to read all of it?? Nurses leave for multiple reasons, but usually it is because they are tired of all the games by management that are played upon them.
  9. by   Emergent
    * All of the above
  10. by   Designer NP
    Quote from firstinfamily
    I feel the lack of upward mobility has a huge part in nurses leaving the profession.
    FirstInFamily: I don't see this quoted as a major reason nurses leave, but I put it on my list because it was a big deal for me. Assuming by your title you are a FNP by chance? Did you pursue advanced education because you felt the lack of upward mobility?

    I sometimes miss the rewarding feelings I felt when I was in a more clinical role as well. Thanks for your input.
  11. by   ThePrincessBride
    What TheCommuter said.

    I don't plan on working at the bedside for eons. I see nurses in their fifties and sixties working on the floor, many pulling night shifts, and they complain about how hard it is on their bodies. How they wished they'd pursue a higher degree. How they can remember the times when healthcare wasn't always about business and the bottom line and when charting didn't keep them from providing patient care.

    I admire those who have been able to stay at the bedside for years and years. Kudos!
  12. by   Guttercat
    Quote from TheCommuter
    Nurses leave the profession for a myriad of reasons, including:

    1. Overworked
    2. Underpaid
    3. Treated badly by patients
    4. Treated badly by families
    5. Treated badly by managers
    6. Treated badly by other nurses
    7. Treated badly by other members of the interdisciplinary team (physicians, PT, OT, ST, social workers, case managers, dieticians)
    8. Too much responsibility
    9. Not enough authority
    10. Administration treats us like we are as replaceable as the roll of toilet paper in the restroom
    11. Mentality that the patient is always right
    12. Increased focus on patient satisfaction scores
    13. Decreased focus on proper patient care
    14. Dangerous nurse/patient ratios
    15. Feeling trapped in a lose/lose situation


    ^^^This, this, and this ^^^^

    Especially #10.
  13. by   RNperdiem
    Add to the list: exhaustion from long term shift work.
  14. by   tnmarie
    My mom left (retired early) because of the physical toll; after 25 years of LTC nursing she literally physically couldn't do it any more.

    My sis left because she was summarily fired by a local LTC after putting in her two weeks notice. She has since been blackballed and been unable to find other work (She has almost a decade of LTC experience). She is currently working at a fast food place.

    I'm looking at leaving nursing myself and getting into HIM or something.
  15. by   SmilingBluEyes
    What the commuter said----all the above and MORE. That poll does not begin to cover it, allowing us to select only ONE item.

close