Close up image of a caretaker helping older woman walk

Roughly 80% of nurses continue to work through neck, back and shoulder pain acquired on the job, according to a survey.

But the same survey also had good news: the nursing profession is safer than it was 10 years ago due to increased use of safety equipment.  

In survey responses from 4,614 registered nurses, participants reported the same top three environmental concerns as in a similar 2001 American Nursing Association survey: the acute or chronic effects of stress and overwork (74% of respondents); disabling musculoskeletal injury (62%); and risk of contracting an infectious disease (43%).

However, two-thirds of RNs said they had easy access to resident lifting and transfer equipment in 2011. That’s a jump from a decade ago, when less than half of nurses said they had access. Roughly six in 10 nurses surveyed said health and safety concerns impact their decision to remain in the nursing profession.

“Healthcare employers must ensure a safe and healthy work environment if they wish to recruit and retain nurses, who are key to the delivery of high-quality patient care,” ANA President Karen A. Daley, RN, Ph.D., said in a statement.

For more on the ANA study, click here.