stressed worker

Fully 49% of nurses surveyed are likely to exit the profession over the next two years, according to ShiftMed’s annual State of Nursing Report.

“The mental and physical stress of the pandemic, excessive hours, lack of time off, and flexibility is making some nurses reconsider their profession,” said Todd Walrath, CEO of 

In the survey of 250 nurses, among those who indicated they may leave nursing in the next two years, 38% said they will pursue non-patient-facing roles in healthcare, whereas 31% said they plan to leave healthcare altogether. More than three-fourths of the respondents indicated that the desire to care for others is just not enough to draw people into caregiving.

Respondents were equally divided on what factor or factors might convince nurses to stay put.  Higher pay might entice more nurses to stay in the field, according to 39% of respondents. Thirty percent said better shifts would help, whereas 30% indicated that more flexible scheduling might help.

Such responses align with findings in a larger OnShift survey of more than 2,100 long-term care employees that indicated that more than half of unvaccinated nursing home workers plan to find a job where COVID-19 vaccines are not required.