Jump to content

Are nurses really leaving nursing in droves?

Updated | Posted

You are reading page 3 of Are nurses really leaving nursing in droves?. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

by Mqshell Mqshell (New) New Nurse

Specializes in Med surg long term care.

vintagegal, BSN, RN

Specializes in Geriatrics. Has 2 years experience.

Let them leave, tons more people entering the field.

Ioreth, ADN, RN

Specializes in Ortho-Neuro. Has 2 years experience.

6 hours ago, MountainGoatRN said:

I’m in the ED as well.  60 bed ED & 6 trauma rooms.  Always 110 pts & because the hospital is full, we hold pts for admissions, which creates a bottle neck of angry pts waiting all day to be seen.  I rarely get out on time as a mid shifter cause regular shifts are understaffed.

A noc ED nurse at my hospital told me that she regularly has 30 patients to herself after the midshifters leave. This ED can accommodate 90 patients, but there has often been only 3 nurses on nights. When they have 2 RNs, they have gone into the 40s.


Specializes in Med surg long term care.

Thanks for all the replies, I’m debating switching careers my self, I’ve  been in nursing for 11 years and I was curious what everyone is doing. I bet we see a flooded market of NPs even worse than now in a year or 2. I’m debating leaving it all together. Everyone is telling me I should just try something new in nursing instead like dialysis or management before giving up on it. I think for me it’s my location, Atlanta. Of course I haven’t worked at northside or Piedmont yet.  I loved nursing at the Cleveland clinic in Ohio it was such a amazingly run hospital. I just don’t want to move back to snow. LOL. 

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 29 years experience.

15 hours ago, vintagegal said:

Let them leave, tons more people entering the field.

Except if they're leaving for legit reasons r/t crappy conditions, droves of "fresh meat" allow the powers that be to avoid changing or improving those conditions...

morelostthanfound, BSN

Specializes in CVOR/General Surgery. Has 29 years experience.

2 hours ago, Jedrnurse said:

Except if they're leaving for legit reasons r/t crappy conditions, droves of "fresh meat" allow the powers that be to avoid changing or improving those conditions...

To hospital administrators, it really doesn't matter the reason nurses are leaving in droves as long as the nursing supply continues to be greater than the demand.  With this scheme, they can continue with appalling and unsafe staffing conditions, stagnant wages, and the trimming of already meager staff benefits.

kbrn2002, ADN, RN

Specializes in Geriatrics, Dialysis. Has 19 years experience.

Turnover in the LTC I used to work for has been much higher than usual the year and half since I left. I still talk to a few people from there and about 1/2 of the nurses are new. Like me I am sure some left for greener pastures, or at least what they hope to be. 

I actually left a couple of months before COVID hit so I avoided that insanity in the LTC setting. I thought overall it was handled pretty well in dialysis where I am now. In our region turnover isn't bad. The clinic I am working in now seriously has zero turnover. The only reason a position opened is the nurse I replaced retired.  The only new to the clinic PCT transferred because another one retired.  Other than retirement nobody has left this clinic in years. 


Specializes in Oncology, ID, Hepatology, Occy Health. Has 35 years experience.

A view fom the other side of the Atlantic. Covid has had a major impact on nurse retention here in France.

While turnover was always high in the Paris region, it was actually difficult to get  work in most other areas. This has changed dramatically and there are now shortages everywhere. People are just tired and burned out after Covid.

My own hospital just outside Paris has beds closed due to staff shortages which I've never seen in the 12 years I've been here. We had a €1000 ($1181 US) Covid bonus plus 2 whacking pay rises which is great for those of us who stayed put but didn't do that much for retention. Sadly the impact on us IDEs (RNs) is that we sometimes find an RN has been replaced with an Aide Soignant (Nurse's Aid) which with the best will in the world, doesn't replace a trained nurse.

Our new grads come out of school soon and they're offerng a hiring bonus of €5000 ($5905 US) if they stay at least a year. Other hospitals are offering a hiring bonus of up to €9000 ($10,630). Desperate measures for desperate times.


Edited by DavidFR

subee, MSN, CRNA

Specializes in CRNA, Finally retired. Has 49 years experience.

On 7/17/2021 at 5:06 PM, vintagegal said:

Let them leave, tons more people entering the field.

Great.  Just what the patient need - a bunch of newbies with no institutional knowledge.  The price we pay for cranking way too many graduates out of programs.

caffeinatednurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-surg, telemetry, oncology, rehab, LTC, ALF. Has 5 years experience.

I see a variety of responses here, but I can personally say that COVID 100% destroyed the staffing on my unit. Right from the start, approximately 50% of our staff left, young and old. RNs, NAs, UCs, everyone. Then our hospital compensated by hiring a ton of travelers, which worked for a little while, but now my unit is approximately 50% travelers and 50% new grads. On night shift alone, we have 2 nurses that have been there more than 1 year and they're both in charge. Nobody knows what to do when there's a rapid response, a behavioral response, or a code. Every floor is short, including our ER and ICU. Most of the experienced and older nurses have moved to day shift. Staffing and ratios are worse right now than they were at the height of our COVID peak...we at least had travelers and some experienced unit nurses at that point. We're running with "just enough" staff most days and nights and sometimes not even that.

Why? A few left to travel, but most of the nurses who have left either retired, took a better job elsewhere, or took a job away from the bedside. We also lost several nurses to COVID, as well as nurses who left during COVID because of health conditions. I could be wrong, but I don't think those numbers are going to come back. With the shortage of staff and the worsening work conditions in hospitals right now, it's not an encouraging environment for new grads to stick around, either.

I love Nursing and it was a difficult decision when I decided to leave the job I was doing.  With politics being a a big part of my decision,  I finally realized that survival mentally, physically, emotionally the best thing for me to do was leave the job I was doing.  I am an older Nurse who retired in September 2020.  I have a ADN degree so Long Term care and Home Care seem to be the only jobs available for me.  I have worked Long Term care and do not care to do Homecare.  At this time, I am enjoying my retirement and may or may not return to Nursing.  I renewed my license just in case and keep my CME's done.  

I wish everyone the best who work in Nursing today.  When I am asked by young people interested in Nursing.  I still say it is the most rewarding profession that pays well and has good benefits. 


Erindel RN, ADN, BSN

Specializes in inpatient psych, hospice, ED psych, Clinic nursing. Has 7 years experience.

On 7/13/2021 at 11:43 AM, Hannahbanana said:

As for me, I’m tapping my IRA and full social security.

Hint: a lot of us are boomers retiring, LOL.

Other than that, people may be leaving hospitals but they’re not necessarily leaving nursing. Interest in other ways to use your nursing education and experience has never been higher. Cf., legal nurse consulting, testifying experts, nurse life care planning, medical case management, parish nursing, death examiners, disaster relief…. 

I would love to be a death examiner! I have no idea where to begin for that type of nursing though..