The high cost of losing nurses to administration
The U.S. is facing a critical nursing shortage in the near future that threatens the quality of patient care and the healthcare system as a whole
In today’s healthcare environment, being a “frontline” nurse is often no longer a long-term career goal, but rather a stepping-stone to other things. As a result, traditional nursing is becoming devalued as a career and an increasing number of nurses today are leaving the bedside for advanced practice or administrative positions.
Experienced bedside nurses are a resource we can’t afford to lose. Not only do lower nurse-to-patient staffing ratios translate to better patient outcomes, high nurse turnover costs organizations a significant amount of money, both in terms of the financial burden of training new staff and the consequences of increased mistakes and reduced patient satisfaction.
What’s caused this shift from nurses spending their careers in traditional nursing roles to seeking more nontraditional positions?
While physician burnout has been recognized as a “public health crisis” (with good reason), cite this without the “good reaso” tag the cite to “public health crisis” many nurses also experience burnout with feelings of emotional exhaustion, compassion fatigue and a lack of professional accomplishment. A recent study by RNnetwork found that “in 2018, 62 percent of nurses felt regularly burned out in their jobs and 44 percent of nurses believed that burnout had affected their work performance.”
A leading cause of nursing burnout is increased workload in the face of due to staffing shortages. Endless paperwork and EHRs that are disruptive to their workflow leave many feeling overwhelmed. Additionally, they are forced to combat the constant inefficiencies of dealing with health insurance companies on the phone as they watch their time with patients diminish daily.
Staffing shortages and “churn”
As more nurses move on to administrative positions or change professions, tenured staff must constantly orienting waves of new nurses. This a churn that places even more undue burden on experienced nurses in an already stressful workplace, them away from the bedside and continuing the cycle.
Nursing is a physically demanding job. As the weight of the average patient increases many nurses are choosing to leave the bedside for a desk job to avoid, or as a result of suffering, physical injuries. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, eight out of 10 nurses say they regularly work with musculoskeletal pain and 24 percent say they have taken sick leave or changed shifts to recover from an unreported injury.