Pa Health Secretary Releases Nursing Survey

  1. data expected to provide objective information for
    policymakers, educators and employers
    harrisburg (nov. 26) -- on behalf of gov. mark schweiker, health secretary robert s. zimmerman jr. today released a comprehensive survey of registered nurses (rns) in pennsylvania, based on the first, in-depth statewide survey conducted since the discussion of the nursing shortage began.

    "the demographic, educational, professional, employment, and job and career satisfaction data provided in this report will give legislators, policymakers, educators, employers and researchers objective information about this vital state resource," secretary zimmerman said. "we developed this survey in an effort to gain objective information about the nurse workforce in the light of growing concerns about the current and future supply of nurses on a national and state level."

    earlier this year, the department of health convened a study of nurse leaders, employers, nurse researchers, registered nurses, nurse educators and representatives from state government agencies to better develop an understanding of the multiple factors that may be contributing to a shortage of nurses. this study group encouraged the department to develop an accurate and objective source of data about registered nurses.

    the survey was part of an april 2002 license renewal, and 94 percent or 40,667 registered nurses licensed in pennsylvania responded to the survey. the department of state's bureau of professional and occupational affairs is participating with the department of health to develop a better understanding of the registered nurse workforce.

    because of the large number of rns licensed in the commonwealth, license renewal is conducted every six months for about one-fourth of the total number. the department included a similar survey in license renewal applications due in october and will continue to survey until all rns have had the opportunity to complete a survey form.

    the simple, 14-question, anonymous survey took about six minutes to complete. the report provides information on a statewide, as well as a county by county, basis.

    some of the findings were:

    - about 76.5 percent of rns responding to the survey work in health care;

    - 84.7 percent of the 29,000 rns licensed in pennsylvania responding to the survey, which indicated that they were employed in health care and who provided a state of employment, were employed in pennsylvania. fifteen percent are employed in other states;

    - 68.4 percent of nurses employed in health care in pennsylvania reported that they were full-time employees. 31.6 percent indicated they worked part-time;

    - most nurses employed in health care in pennsylvania work in hospitals (57.3 percent), while 9.5 percent work in nursing homes, 6.9 percent in physician offices and 6.6 percent in home-health agencies;

    - the age distribution of the rn workforce employed in health care in pennsylvania differs from that of state's population in general. eleven percent of nurses responded that they were between the ages of 20-34. by contrast, 25.6 percent of pennsylvania's population age 20 and over is in this age bracket;

    - the average age of a registered nurse employed in health care in pennsylvania is 45.9 years;

    - twelve percent of nurses employed in health care in pennsylvania reported working mandatory overtime in the past two weeks. eighty-eight percent indicated that they did not work mandatory overtime;

    - by and large, rns in pennsylvania seem satisfied with both their jobs and careers, with 84 percent rating themselves as satisfied or somewhat satisfied with their jobs;

    - however, 45 percent of rns employed in health care in pennsylvania indicated that they planned to leave nursing within the next 10 years. this included 13.8 percent of nurses in the 20-34 age bracket; and

    - compared to data from a national sample of registered nurses compiled by the health resources and services administration, pennsylvania nurses employed in health care tend to be more satisfied with their jobs (69.1 u.s., 83.9 pennsylvania).

    the health department has begun preparing a similar report for licensed practical nurses in pennsylvania and plans to work with the department of state to survey physicians and dentists.

    a copy of the complete study is available through the pa powerport (pdf file, accrobat reader required)
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Dec 31, '02
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  3. by   oramar
    I just renewed and answered those questions. I remember being disappointed that the questionaire was not more comprehensive. If I remember correctly there were no questions aimed at people in my situation. Retired but not by choice. What they needed was a "retired because I am to frightened to try again" response. I chose to check retired because it was the closes to my situation.
    Last edit by oramar on Dec 31, '02
  4. by   oramar
    I printed it out to page through it at my leisure. I have to warn you that it took just about a whole package of paper. I don't mind. I will spend a lot of time going over it. How did they get so much info from those few questions?
  5. by   NRSKarenRN
    Report is 74 pages.


    88 percent of RNs employed in health care in Pennsylvania did not report mandatory overtime within the past two weeks.

    o 42 percent of RNs employed in state inpatient facilities, 22 percent of RNs employed in military/federal facilities and 15 percent of RNs employed in hospitals reported mandatory overtime.

    Job satisfaction is linked to working conditions such as mandatory overtime. In the survey, 28 percent of RNs who reported mandatory overtime responded that they
    were either gvery dissatisfiedh or gdissatisfiedh with their job, compared to 15 percent of the RNs with no mandatory overtime.

    o 18 percent of those RNs employed in health care in Pennsylvania reporting mandatory overtime were gvery satisfiedh with their job, as opposed to 36 percent of those who did not report mandatory overtime.
  6. by   oramar
    This is fascinating stuff. I am stunned by how few minority nurses there are in Pa. Didn't really notice it before.
  7. by   oramar
    Percentage of RN's saying they are dissatisfied with career by age. The largest group responding is the 35-49 age group. However, the 50-64 age group report disatisfaction at higher level than younger group. Why? Is it because this is the age you really start to feel it? Interesting enough the 65+ age group report less disastisfaction than the 50 to 54. Well, if you are still working at that age chances are you work somewhere that is really supportive of older nurses. Also, this is the smallest age group of all.