Nearly half of nurses planning career change soon, survey finds

Nearly half of all nurses say they plan to make a career change over the next three years. That could exacerbate the nursing shortage, according to the results of a recent survey of registered nurses. An unrelated survey finds that most nurses experience violence on the job.

Of the 1,399 respondents to the AMN Healthcare survey, 44% say they will probably change the course of their careers to something less demanding between now and 2013. A total 28% say that, if they have their way, they won't be at their current job one year from now. And although 78% of nurses claim to be satisfied with their jobs, 41% say they would not choose nursing if they had the chance to do it over again. Some current industry projections indicate that there could be a shortage of up to 250,000 nurses by 2025.

Meanwhile, a separate survey from Curtin University of Technology in Perth, Australia, finds that 75% of all nurses surveyed experienced some form of violence or abuse on the job. Still, only 16% of incidents were officially reported. Nearly all (92%) reported verbal abuse; 69% reported physical threats, while 52% experienced physical assault, Roughly 30% of the nurses did not report incidents because they felt workplace violence was part of the job. A total of 50% said that when they had reported an event, senior managers had failed to take action. The results are published in the February edition of the Journal of Clinical Nursing.