Nearly 25% of nurses plan on new careers

Almost one-quarter of registered nurses (RNs) surveyed earlier this year say they will seek a new place of employment as the economy recovers, according to research from U.S. staffing company AMN Healthcare. That number is up sharply from a similar survey conducted in 2010, which found 15 percent of RNs planned to leave their jobs.

The survey collected data from 1,002 respondents between February and March 2011. Five percent of respondents hailed from nursing home/extended care settings.

“Nurses are at the core of quality care in our nation’s delivery system,” said Ralph Henderson, president of AMN Healthcare’s Nursing and Allied Division, in a release. “If nurses change jobs in large numbers—as they say they will in our survey—that may increase nurse vacancy thus putting stress on staffing resources.”

While nurse career satisfaction is high at 74 percent, actual satisfaction with the role RNs now hold is much lower at 58 percent. Job satisfaction declined to the 58 percent figure from 66 percent in the 2010 survey.

The survey notes that 32 percent of nurses plan to take steps in the next one to three years that would take them out of nursing altogether (by retiring or seeking non-nursing jobs) or reduce the volume of clinical work they do (by switching to part-time or less-demanding roles). This is up from the 26 percent who said they would take those steps in the 2010 survey.

Other key findings of the 2011 survey include:

Eight percent of RNs said they returned to the nurse workforce for economic reasons, versus only three percent who said that in 2010.

Forty-three percent said they either would not recommend nursing as a career to young people or were not sure they would. That is up significantly from the 36 percent who said that in 2010.

Forty-four percent said they would not select nursing as a career if they had it to do over or not sure that they would.

The full results of the AMN Healthcare survey are available here under the “Surveys” header. Completion of a registration form is required before results become available for download.

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