Why a third of NPs may be leaving healthcare—and what you can do

According to Medscape“Nurse Burnout and Depression Report 2022,” nearly one-third of NPs are considering leaving health care, especially as many struggle with burnout and other job difficulties.

NP burnout during the pandemic

For the report, researchers surveyed 2,084 NPs in the United States between April 5 and May 20, 2022, to assess their experiences with burnout and depression.

Overall, more than 60% of NPs reported feeling burned out, with 30% saying they were both burned out and depressed. Most NPs (62%) also report experiencing burnout for at least a year, with 20% saying they have experienced burnout for more than two years now.

When asked what contributes to their burnout, many NPs reported too many bureaucratic tasks (49%), insufficient compensation (43%) and lack of respect from their co-workers, colleagues and other staff (43%). Other factors that contributed to burnout include long working hours, lack of respect from patients and stress from Covid-19 issues such as social distancing.

In addition, 66% of NPs reported that burnout contributed to their depression. Other contributing factors to NP depression include being a healthcare professional, the Covid-19 pandemic, family issues and finances.

“I think the pandemic, like other issues, not only magnified, but intensified its grip on an already overburdened and stressed nursing workforce,” said Danielle McCamey, founder and CEO of Color DNP and an assistant professor and assistant dean for clinical practice and relations at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing.

Because of the pandemic, “demands on bedside providers do not allow for adequate recovery and healing, which contributes to this vicious cycle of burnout that is completely unsustainable and really, really inhumane,” she said.

Overall, 31% of respondents said they were considering leaving the healthcare profession.

According to April Kapu, president of American Association of Nurse Practitionersorganization has been “seeing an increasing number of doctors – particularly nurses and NPs – leaving the profession, particularly if there are no opportunities to improve the workplace environment, mental health support or opportunities to make changes within their careers.”

McCamey expressed similar sentiments. “It is documented that NPs are re-examining their priorities and commitment as to whether to continue pre-practice or seek other opportunities outside of the nursing profession,” she said.

How to reduce NP burnout

In the report, the NPs described specific efforts they made to reduce job burnout, including using meditation and other stress-reduction techniques, reducing their work hours, and requesting staffing changes to lighten the workload. their work. Notably, 25% of NPs said they changed work settings or took another job to reduce burnout.

In addition, NPs also listed several organizational changes that could help reduce their feelings of burnout. Of the NPs surveyed, 50% said that increasing compensation to avoid financial stress would help reduce their feelings of burnout, and 40% said that greater respect from their employers, peers and other staff would he helped them.

According to one respondent, “[g]respect in turn for the work I do from the general public and the health system” would help reduce burnout as “[a] the doctor can go anywhere, but if I change places or roles, I start all over again.”

“Throughout the pandemic, nurses, including NPs, have experienced sustained physical exhaustion, prolonged pathogen exposure, emotional turmoil and grief at the loss of patients, family and friends to COVID-19,” Kapu said. “Working in a state of crisis for months, now years, has been really difficult.” (Robbins, Medscape, 17/8; Carbajal, Becker Hospital Review8/18)

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