Exhausted tired doctor or nurse. Virus outbreak.

The healthcare sector could experience yet another challenge in the near future as more than 6 in 10 (63%) nurses are considering leaving the profession in the next 5 years according to the new State of the Healthcare Workforce report by Vivian Health. This is up from 43% last year.

2022 State of Staffing

Vivian Health surveyed over 3,500 healthcare workers, more than three-quarters (77%) of whom were nurses. Respondents cited burnout, the high-stress environment, and perceptions of inadequate compensation as reasons for considering resignation. This was despite the fact that compensation increased for almost three-quarters (73.5%) of respondents from 2020 to 2021, suggesting that working conditions are key to clinician job satisfaction.

Low morale and staffing shortages continue to impact health systems. Just over three-quarters (76%) of respondents report that morale had gotten worse in the last year, up from 72% in 2021, while more than 4 in 10 (41%) report that their mental health was seriously impacted by working through the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021. Additionally, 44% of respondents feel like their unit is short-staffed “all of the time/every day.”

A return to permanent staffing could be a solution. Over half (55%) of travel nurses would consider switching to a permanent role, and the median rate that travel or short-term contract professionals would accept for a permanent staff job is $65/hr. This is higher than average for a permanent position but below average billing rates for traveling nurses.

In addition to compensation, nurses cited mental wellbeing, staff-to-patient ratios, and respect as key factors in whether they would accept a new role.