Nurse burnout Credit: / SDI Productions

Many of the 4.5 million registered nurses in the US may be ready to quit. A 2022 national survey of almost 335 000 registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and licensed vocational nurses published earlier this year by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) found that more than a quarter planned to leave the profession by 2027. A subanalysis estimated that about 100 000 registered nurses had already left the nursing workforce, possibly due to burnout from the COVID-19 pandemic—mirroring results from an analysis of 2021 data.

Looking ahead, the figures are grimmer: in an April statement, NCSBN projected that the US may lose an additional 800 000 registered nurses within the next 4 years, “threatening the national health care system at large if solutions are not enacted.”

But it’s not yet time to panic, according to Linda Aiken, PhD, RN, MN, a professor of nursing and sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is also the university’s founding director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research. Intention isn’t action: not all nurses who […]

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