Nurses face more pressures than ever

Nurses aren’t able to spend the time needed with patients and more often are faced with workplace challenges including violence, according to a new survey from AMN Healthcare.

The survey queried nearly 20,000 RNs and found problems ahead for the industry. In fact, some nurses said they were concerned their health is affected by their jobs and some plan to exit the field to seek a better work-life balance or retire. The challenges also come at a time when more people are expected to need care with an aging population.

“From everything we know, this next decade will be extremely challenging for the nursing profession and healthcare in general, with serious workforce issues facing healthcare organizations at a time when many nurses are already experiencing tremendous pressure," Cole Edmonson, chief clinical officer at AMN Healthcare, said in a statement.

A whopping 86% of baby boomer nurses said they plan to retire over the next five years, which means the demand is likely to soar. Those in the field tended to agree they liked nursing, with 81% saying they were satisfied with their career choice.

For nurses, their current job can be demanding. More than 20% of survey respondents said they hold more than one job, with many holding two full-time jobs. Two-thirds say they are worried about their health from their job and 44% said they often consider quitting. Most concerning, 41% said they don’t have enough time to spend with patients as needed.

Nurses also said they were subjected to workplace violence, with two in five saying they have been victims of bullying, incivility or other violence. Another 25% they have witness workplace violence.

Fortunately, there are ways to improve nursing jobs, with nurses themselves recognizing when organizations strongly support professional development and workplace diversity. Nurses in these workplace settings have higher satisfaction ratings and are more likely to remain at their jobs, the survey found. In particular, reducing workplace violence, as well as improving work-life balance, can create better workplaces for nurses. Just 43% of nurses said their organization does extremely well or very well in supporting professional development, and only 29% said their organization does slightly well or not well at all.