Record numbers of physicians, nurses, and advanced practice providers are planning to leave their professions, according to several recent surveys. These surveys also shed light on clinicians’ top reasons for leaving – from COVID-related stress to utter exhaustion.
Organizations across the nation are working diligently to understand and address providers’ concerns and to make changes in efforts to retain their permanent providers. However, this exodus will leave healthcare facilities with staffing shortages and a growing need for clinical support. Locums may be an answer.
Surveys Show Many Doctors and Nurses Want to Leave
Recent surveys paint a dim picture. Many healthcare providers plan on departing in what’s been dubbed “The Great Resignation” among American workers.
According to a 2020 survey of 20,665 providers at 124 institutions (Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Innovations, Quality & Outcomes):
1 in 3 physicians, APPs, and nurses intend to reduce work hours.
1 in 5 physicians and 2 in 5 nurses intend to leave their practice altogether.
A 2021 McKinsey survey of 400 frontline nurses showed:
22% planned to leave their current position within the following year.
Over half of those nurses plan to find another career path, a nondirect care role,
or to retire or leave the workforce entirely.
Our Cross Country Healthcare and Florida Atlantic University’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing 2021 survey of 570 nurses reports:
Nearly 37% of nurses identify as being burned out, stressed and/or overworked.
Only 32% of nurses are very/completely satisfied with their occupation.
29% of nurses say their desire to leave the profession is dramatically higher now versus pre-pandemic.
66% of nurses expressed some level of consideration to leave the profession.
Facilities Address Providers’ Reasons for Leaving
Healthcare organizations across the nation and globe are working hard to address providers’ concerns. This is especially challenging given the demands of the ongoing pandemic. Surveys of dissatisfied providers show they are considering leaving due to:
- Burnout, fear of exposure, COVID-related anxiety/depression, and workload (Mayo)
- Staffing, intense workload and emotional toll (McKinsey)
- Higher levels of stress, workload, fear of infection, COVID-19-related anxiety or depression, and the number of years in practice (CCH/FAU)
Support for Impending Staffing Challenges
Although facilities can strategically address the reasons providers cite for wanting to leave, leaders must prepare for the inevitable: some providers will not be convinced. There will be those who choose to leave their organization or the profession entirely.
Being prepared for staffing shortages is wise, and locums may be a solution. Locums support can help fill gaps, especially on short notice should a provider decide to leave.
To learn more about how locums can be a safety net when you need it most, connect with a staffing expert today.