A new study reveals that, of more than 400,000 nurses who quit their jobs in 2018, nearly one-third cited burnout as their reason for leaving, according to a study published this month in JAMA Open Network.
In a February 4, 2021 N.Y. Times article Dr. Sheetal Khedkar Rao, 42, an internist in suburban Chicago, can’t pinpoint the exact moment when she decided to hang up her stethoscope for the last time. There were the chaos and confusion of the spring, when a nationwide shortage of N95 masks forced her to examine patients with a surgical mask, the fears she might take the coronavirus home to her family and the exasperating public disregard for mask-wearing and social distancing that was amplified by the White House. Among the final blows, though, were a 30 percent pay cut to compensate for a drop in patients seeking primary care, and the realization that she needed to spend more time at home after her children, 10 and 11, switched to remote learning.
Traumatized and tired, nurses are quitting due to the pandemic
CNN spoke to three nurses from Florida, Oklahoma and Minnesota about why they quit their hospital jobs. It wasn’t a decision any of them made lightly — they’ve been in nursing their entire adult lives.
A recent episode of The Dose Podcast, the guest, Mary Wakefield, takes us on a journey from rural hospitals to clinics in underserved areas, all through the eyes of nurses. Mary, a nurse with a long career in health care and public service, says the pandemic has revealed that America’s public health infrastructure is “incredibly anemic.”
Nurse burnout didn’t start with Covid-19. (And it won’t end with Covid-19, either.)
Nurses have been struggling to bear the weight of the Covid-19 crisis for nearly a year now. But as this newly released data reveals, nurse burnout was already a challenge long before the pandemic began. I wrote previously about what’s driving nurses into burnout and steps that should be taken for Preventing Nurse Burnout. Our research revealed, even before the pandemic, most nurse leaders were focusing their efforts on the top of the pyramid, aiming to help nurses work creatively and achieve their full potential. It’s an important goal, but if you overlook fundamental needs, you could be unintentionally missing the critical route cause.