Doctor holding stethoscope to piggy bank

Nurses remain passionate about their work, but are increasingly dissatisfied with compensation and wages according to a new survey.

In a poll of nearly 1,800 nurses conducted last spring by workforce solutions platform Cross Country Healthcare, 86% said they were dissatisfied with pay rates and compensation, while more than half said staffing challenges were making their jobs harder. More than a third said stress and burnout were affecting their careers as well.

“Nurses are passionate but exhausted, and there is room for meaningful changes,” Michael Skovira, MBA, MPAS, PA-C, chief medical officer at Cross Country Healthcare, said in a statement. “We must change how we educate, train, hire, manage and treat our nurses. We have all the tools to start now, but we cannot implement these practices if we continue to blame the pandemic for a situation that has been growing for years. We need to come together as an industry and start now.”

The poll found other discouraging trends: nearly one-third of nurses said their desire to leave the field had increased since the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly half said they would not have joined the profession if they could talk to their former selves about their career choice. 

The findings in the Cross Country Healthcare poll echoed those found in previous surveys of nurses. A poll last year in the American Journal of Nursing found 44% of nurses were at risk of burnout due to increased workloads, inadequate staffing and a feeling that employers did not understand their emotional needs.