exhausted nurse with hand up to head

Citing pressures from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, more than one-third of nurses recently polled plan to quit their jobs this year. That is the finding of the third annual Nursing In the Time of COVID-19 report by career site Incredible Health.

The survey of more than 2,500 nurses found 34% planned to leave their jobs, with 44% of those blaming burnout and a high-stress environment as the primary reason for quitting. More than two-thirds of respondents reported they were verbally or physically assaulted by a patient or a patient’s family within the past year. Roughly half expressed anger over hospital coronavirus guidelines and frustration around staffing and care. 

The survey highlights the often challenging work environments nurses endure and the challenges employers face in retaining valued clinicians, Incredible Health co-founder and CEO Iman Abudzeid, M.D., said. 

“Compensation is only one of many factors impacting nurse satisfaction,” Abudzeid explained in a press release. “What nurses want are career advancement opportunities, flexible scheduling and a supportive work culture.”  

Travel nurse pushback

Travel nurses were also an ongoing bone of contention with staff nurses. More than three-quarters of nurses polled reported seeing travel nurses in their units, with one-third expressing dissatisfaction working with those nurses. 

Home health agencies have been forced to hire traveling or contract nurses during the pandemic to cover for staff nurses forced to quarantine, after a COVID-19 infection. However, the number of traveling nurses working for agencies has been declining as the virus recedes. LHC Group said last month the number of contract nurses dropped from 6% of overall staffing in late January to less than .50% in late February.