This figure highlights the immense impact that the pandemic has had on the nursing profession. The survey also found that nurses’ mental health had taken a significant hit, with many reporting symptoms of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Many expressed a sense of being undervalued and unsupported, as well as dealing with an overwhelming workload.
The survey, which was conducted in February and March of this year, drew responses from more than 17,000 nurses across the US. The findings shed light on the challenges that nurses have faced during the pandemic, including long hours, high levels of stress, and a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) early on in the crisis. Many also reported having to look after COVID-19 patients without proper training or support.
The high number of nurses leaving the profession is a cause for concern, especially given the ongoing demand for healthcare workers during the pandemic. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the country could see a shortage of up to 1.1 million nurses by 2022, which could result in increased patient mortality rates and a reduced quality of care.
The survey results highlight the need for better support for nurses during the pandemic and beyond. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing recommends that healthcare employers take steps to help nurses cope with the ongoing stresses of the crisis, including offering mental health support and providing adequate PPE. Additionally, the survey suggests that increased investment in nursing education and training could help to address the wider nursing shortage in the US.
In summary, the survey reveals that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the nursing profession in the US, with roughly 100,000 registered nurses leaving the workforce due to pandemic-related burnout and stress. The high number of departures is concerning, given the ongoing demand for healthcare workers during the crisis, and highlights the need for better support for nurses. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing recommends that healthcare employers offer mental health support and adequate PPE to help nurses cope with pandemic-related stresses, and calls for increased investment in nursing education and training to address the wider nursing shortage in the US.