Nursing Career Fulfillment: Statistics and Statements from Registered Nurses


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Abstract

Executive SummaryWhile numerous studies have quantified the challenging aspects of the nursing profession today in terms such as vacancy and turnover rates, fewer have truly “qualified” the personal aspects of being a nurse in verbatim terms such as “unmanageable” and “impossible.”This study attempts to complement existing data with deeper meaning about the complexity and intensity of the nursing experience.The survey of nurses (N=801) from Texas addressed issues such as compensation, personal health, and work environment.Several themes emerged from the survey including a clear statement that nurses love the “intrinsic rewards of nursing” with equally clear statements about negative aspects of their career.Compensation was frequently cited as a dissatisfier with respect to issues like recruitment being valued more than retention, wage compression for bed-side roles, and minimal differentiation for expertise.Stressors named by nurses were multi-faceted: paperwork, patient complexity, turnover, and overtime.Feedback related to workload was notably intense with comments such as “powerfully overwhelming.”

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