25% of new RNs are leaving

You may have seen this recent story – a new study found that 25% of new RNs leave their first job within two years due to “a variety of unexpected situations”  they discover in the workplace:

  • Colliding expectations (how nursing is respected)
  • The need for speed (perform like a seasoned RN)
  • You want too much (high patient to nurse ratios)
  • How dare you? (lateral violence)

One of my favorite quotes from the survey is from a second-career nurse: “. . . if nursing is to ever attract some of the best and the brightest and certainly retain RNs and/or diversify to include males, nursing needs to really consider how it treats its employees. There is no way people in business would stand for it and I am aware that I work for a very good organization. In some ways, hospitals have adopted the business model to survive, but because the model is too lean, ultimately we will lose.”

Each of those bullet points listed above would be a major task to accomplish. And yet, you can’t ignore survey results like that. The future of nursing is voting with its feet and walking off the floor.
What will it take to drop that 25% down to 20%? 12%? 5%? Where do we start? And when?

Pellico, PhD, APRN, Brewer, RN, PhD, Kovner, RN, PhD, FAAN. What newly licensed registered nurses have to say about their first experiences. Nursing Outlook 200957:194-203.


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