Despite ongoing concerns of burnout and fears that clinicians will be dropping out of the healthcare industry in droves, the majority of nurses are planning to remain in the field.
That’s according to the fourth annual 2023 State of US Nursing Report by Incredible Health, which reported 80% of nurses plan to stay in healthcare until retirement. That’s way up from 55% who said the same in 2022, meaning many in the field may feel like things are moving in the right direction.
While the finding is good news for employers and healthcare providers, 84% of nurses also say they do not think the nursing industry is improving fast enough when it comes to addressing understaffing, burnout and pay.
Incredible Health’s report is based on data analysis of its own proprietary hiring data of more than 700,000 nurses, and a survey of more than 3,000 nurses who use the Incredible Health platform nationwide. The report comes as the healthcare industry is still grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as outside economic headwinds, including higher costs and near-record inflation rates.
Another good indicator for the nursing industry is that 10% fewer nurses this year said they plan to leave their roles within the year compared to 2022, “indicating an overall increase in job satisfaction,” the report said.
One of the biggest influences on job satisfaction for nurses is compensation, and satisfaction could be going up due to higher raises and bonuses this year. For example, just fewer than half (48%) of offers made on the Incredible Health platform included a sign-on bonus. That’s 14% higher than 2022. In addition, the average bonus was 8% higher than last year, hitting $11,767.
Nurses in South Carolina have seen the highest average sign-on bonuses, according to the data, with bonuses averaging $17,763. However, California had the highest overall salaries in the United States, though only 40% of offers included a sign-on bonus, which averaged $10,931.
Facing burnout and long hours, nurses are turning to social media for support more than ever, the report found. Sixty-percent of nurses said it’s important to use social media as a nurse in the healthcare industry today, and 77% agreed it is a source of support and community. More than half said they communicate with their health systems via social media, as well.
While nurses are leveraging social media technology, they aren’t up on the use of AI just yet, and the nursing industry is split in their beliefs if AI will be a positive or negative force on healthcare. In addition, 63% are worried AI could create an imbalance between younger and older generations in nursing. So far, only 25% said their health systems are using virtual nursing.
Despite the improvements in job satisfaction indicators, the majority of nurses want to see more and agree the industry is not moving fast enough to keep up with workforce demands. Nearly all ––93%––said staffing shortages have worsened in the last year, and 73% said inadequate staffing is their biggest industry concern. More than half (55%) also said they are dissatisfied with the staffing at their own facilities.