New Survey Unveils Significant Impact of COVID-19 on the Future of Nursing

Cross Country Healthcare, Inc., announces the results from a nationally represented survey of nurses and nursing students showing that the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced long-lasting negative perceptions of their future careers. The survey, conducted in partnership with Florida Atlantic University’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, identifies root causes of the current stressors among healthcare professionals and provides actionable areas to help improve nursing satisfaction, career outlook and mental well-being.

The survey reports that nearly 37 percent of nurses identify as being burned out, stressed and/or overworked. The poll results further reveal that only 32 percent of nurses are very/completely satisfied with their occupation, compared to 52 percent prior to the pandemic. Moreover, 29 percent of nurses say their desire to leave the profession is dramatically higher now versus pre-pandemic, noting the nursing shortage and inadequate staffing levels as top contributors to the low satisfaction. 66 percent of nurses expressed some level of consideration to leave the profession, signaling long-term impacts on our health system post-pandemic.

“On one hand, this research shows us that the pressures for nurses under COVID-19 are significant and likely long-lasting,” said Henry Drummond, PhD, MDiv, BA, RN, senior vice president, chief clinical officer at Cross Country Healthcare. “On the other hand, the data is very clear in outlining specific areas that we can improve, and Cross Country Healthcare is making every effort to support our nurses by addressing these challenges.”

The survey also pinpointed areas of change that nurses believe would positively affect the profession. These include incorporating new staffing approaches and increasing wages. For instance, 97 percent of polled participants agree, and 81 percent completely agree, that increases to pay rates and other incentives would attract and retain nurses. More than half (58 percent) agree that telehealth should be a cornerstone of care delivery and 85 percent believe that we must improve cross training to adapt to crisis events. Additionally, the majority of nurses (85 percent) strongly believe national licensure, a multistate license that would allow nurses to practice across state lines, would have greatly benefited the country during the pandemic.

“Our nurses are the backbone of the healthcare system and if too many leave or decide not to pursue a career in nursing, the consequences would be catastrophic,” said Safiya George, PhD, APRN-BC, FAANP, dean and professor at Florida Atlantic University’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing. “Our nurses need solutions, many of them outlined in this research, that will ease burnout and reduce stress, as well as help them enjoy long-term and satisfying careers.”

Source: Florida Atlantic University