This past week, AMN Healthcare[i] released its latest nursing survey. To say the results are alarming is an understatement. Sadly though, I am not surprised. Several stats grabbed my attention and my heart. Here are a few:
- Only 15% of nurses employed in hospitals say they will “continue working as I am” in one year. 36% of hospital nurses say they will continue working as nurses but will seek a new place of employment.
- Nurse career satisfaction has been at 80 – 85% for a decade; in 2023, it dropped to 71%.
- The likelihood of encouraging others to become a nurse is down 14 points from 2021.
How can hospitals possibly lose 35% of their current RNs? This statistic is alarming, to say the least, but I think the saddest statistic is that nurses are not as likely to recommend the profession to others.
In the AMN study, Chief Clinical Officer, Cole Edmonson, describes the Next Healthcare Reform. He highlights solutions ranging from department-level action to global re-design. Some can be implemented quickly, and others will require years. Meanwhile, one thing healthcare leaders can do right now is to stay connected with their nurses on the front line. Listen, learn, and help them reclaim their passion for this wonderful profession.
Nurses Are Fleeing: How to Re-Engage Staff
In my book, Reclaiming the Passion – Stories that Celebrate the Essence of Nursing, I share numerous stories from nurses throughout their careers. The goal to re-engage staff is to share a bolus of inspiration from nurses and encourage nurses to recall their own stories. One common denominator among the nurses I interviewed is that they are so deep into the daily work, there is little time to reflect on the joys inherent in the profession. In fact, some nurses had a hard time recalling a story about pivotal moments in their careers. But when they did share, their stories were profound.
- Encourage journaling to help nurses reflect on their important work. Provide writing cues to get them started. These can be as simple as, “I know I made a difference today when…”
- Make storytelling a part of the culture. Hold discussion groups where nurses can share stories about patients and co-workers who made an impact on their lives.
“Stories have got to be told or we forget who we are and why we are here.”
Sue Monk Kidd, author
- Talk with staff every day and ask what they feel good about today. Find out what is going well.
- Be generous with recognition and support
Looking Towards the Future
No single action will change the trajectory of the nursing crisis, but even the smallest efforts on the unit level can make a difference. There’s so much about nursing that most of the public doesn’t know. Let’s find and share the stories with the world. When we tell our stories about what’s good about nursing we’ll attract more people to the profession and reclaim the passion.
Tags: Employee Engagement, Leadership, nursing, nursing shortage