Why Nurses Are Quitting and How You Can Better Retain Your Staff

Staff retention, particularly nursing, is a big topic in health care today. High turnover rates among nurses significantly impact hospitals and health systems while putting patients at risk. The pandemic has only increased job dissatisfaction among nurses. Here are the reasons nurses are leaving, where they are going when they leave, and what your organization can do to retain top nurses.

Why Are Nurses Leaving?

Nurse turnover is a serious nationwide problem. Here are the top reasons they leave their jobs and even the profession.


Burnout is always a problem in health care. However, the pandemic has made burnout an even more significant issue. For starters, nurses work long shifts of typically 12 hours. They work around people potentially infected with a deadly virus and the high-stress level becomes understandable. Worse still, the staffing shortages often lead to longer shifts and fewer days off. Additionally, some nurses fill gaps in care delivery that could require skills they are not comfortable using.

COVID Vaccination Status

Many medical facilities require their personnel to be fully vaccinated. Some nurses are reluctant to comply with this policy. During the early vaccine roll-out, 11.2% of nurses were hesitant to get the vaccine, with 5.1% unwilling.

Hot Job Market

Nursing is a victim to the great resignation like every other profession. It is creating new leverage for workers in markets where it is difficult to attract talent. It forces employers to offer bonuses, higher pay and other benefits. Many nurses are taking advantage of the current booming job market.

Where Are Nurses Going?

20% of health care workers have quit their jobs since the pandemic began. Here are a few of the destinations:

  • Other clinical settings. Some nurses are transferring to outpatient settings for less stress due to shorter shifts, no nights, weekends or holidays. Other nurses are choosing to get their advanced degrees.
  • Adjacent health care sectors. Many nurses have experience in multiple therapies, making them ideal candidates for pharmaceutical and health-insurance jobs. Years in the hospital give these nurses a deep knowledge base.
  • Non-clinical settings. The allure of better pay, mental and easier working conditions is causing nurses to take positions in non-clinical areas such as business consulting, startups, and corporations.

What Can Your Organization Do?

Your health care facility must be proactive regarding nurse retention. Consider redesigning the work using technology and off-loading administrative tasks to other employees. Additionally, you can research ways to reduce call time, allow some training from home, and provide more paid time off.

You may wish to restructure existing policies to create a humanized clinician experience to let nurses know that your organization cares about their professional and personal goals. Creating this experience provides nurses with autonomy, new workflows, and the ability to provide feedback to leadership.

Mentorships are another great way to help build loyalty and improve the number of nurses you retain. Also, mentoring relationships with experienced nurses and new hires develop opportunities for nurses to advance professionally within your organization.

Get Connected To Top Nursing Talent!

You can’t retain everyone. When you are in need of talent to fill the gaps, we can help! Work with myRNsolutions to find the perfect nursing candidates for your needs.

Why Nurses Are Quitting and How You Can Better Retain Your Staff was last modified: by



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