Why Nurses are Quitting and How Healthcare Leaders Can Prevent it

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June 28, 2022

As the nursing shortages continue to rise nationwide, many RNs have left their beloved profession as they become overworked, stressed, and are left uncomfortable in their work environment. After the COVID-19 pandemic, many nurses have slowly progressed out of the healthcare industry due to the significant tolls it has taken on their mental health and personal lives.

According to a March 2022 report by the  Clinician of the Future, 47% of U.S. healthcare workers plan to leave their current roles within the next two to three years. This report was conducted by Elsevier Health, a provider of information for science, health, and technology professionals, as they sought to address current pain points and how the healthcare industry can come together to address gaps. This article seeks to address the causes of higher turnover rates in RNs and how healthcare industry leaders are addressing them.

Causes of Nurse Turnover

Hospitals are facing a higher-than-normal turnover rate for their RNs in recent years. Although many have found solutions on how to lower that rate, nurses have shared what is causing their decision to leave a profession that is extremely difficult to achieve.

Strenuous Workload

High burnout rates for RNs also typically mean higher turnover rates due to excessive workloads. As the demand to hire nurses continues, the lack of resources they receive has caused them to work more shifts than normal. This has caused many nurses to decide to potentially leave their profession as they become overworked and unappreciated. A heavier workload can also lead to poor quality patient care which affects the facility and staff, leading to even higher turnover rates.

Work Environment

A well-rounded work environment is important for staff to thrive in their roles. However, many nurses are beginning to quit their jobs due to workplace incivility around management and toxic co-workers. Workplace incivility is one of the most common reasons why nurses develop negative attitudes toward their profession and institution. Nursing offers many career opportunities, however, if a nurse enters a hostile environment, this can lead to a negative tone in their career which affects overall patient care. A positive work environment impacts nurses’ decisions to stay in their profession or not.

Poor Communication

Good management communication is essential in any work environment, as well as recognizing staff and their accomplishments, whether personal or professional. Having support from leadership can turn a stressful job into an enjoyable one. But, when gossip, cliques, drama, and uncertainty start to develop, hospital units can have problems retaining staff.

How Healthcare Leaders Can Prevent Turnover Rates

Nurses might feel powerless if their workplace is impacted negatively by their surrounding environments, such as limited relationships with coworkers or poor management. However, there are ways healthcare leaders can contribute by improving the work culture that surrounds them.

Encouragement and Recognition

A healthy work environment empowers staff to advance in their careers while simultaneously encouraging teamwork instead of competition. Recognizing their efforts and promoting their hard work, is a way to listen to staff and acknowledge their efforts in distributing good patient care. When it comes to recognizing staff achievement, it is important to note that their hard work has not been overlooked by leaders. Compliment your staff on receiving positive patient feedback, address updates and improvements in management, and share motivating news to help staff feel appreciated.

Recruit International Nurses

Hiring the right nurses is a great example of how healthcare leaders can help employee burnout and improve the culture among them. International nurses bring an immense realm of specialties that assist with nursing shortages across the nation. At Avant Healthcare Professionals, we assist U.S. healthcare organizations in their staffing challenges with registered nurses from across the globe.

The Bottom Line

Overall, we continue to see higher nursing turnover rates across the nation as they become overworked, stressed, or uncomfortable in their work environment. The pandemic worsened the conditions of healthcare workers and left many to leave their profession abruptly.

With nurses feeling burnt out and unrecognized by management, learning how to encourage staff and create a healthier work environment can improve the quality of patient care as well as reduce turnover rates in due time.

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About Avant Healthcare Professionals

Need nurses? Avant Healthcare Professionals is the premier staffing specialist for internationally educated registered nurses, physical therapists and occupational therapists. Avant has placed thousands of international healthcare professionals across U.S. facilities to help improve the continuity of their care, fill hard-to-find specialties, and increase patient satisfaction, revenue and HCAHPS scores. Avant is a Joint Commission accredited staffing agency and founding member of the American Association of International Healthcare Recruitment (AAIHR). Avant Healthcare Professionals is a member of the Jackson Healthcare® family of companies.


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