1 in 5 nurses unhappy with career choice: 6 things to know

Approximately one in five nurses would not become a nurse if they had an opportunity to choose a career again, according to a recent Medscape report.

Medscape asked over 10,000 nurses to participate in an online survey about earnings and career satisfaction, with issues ranging from best and worst career aspects to whether they would choose the same profession if given an opportunity to start over.

The survey included responses from licensed practical nurses, registered nurses and advanced practice registered nurses, which included nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, clinical nurse specialists and certified registered nurse anesthetists.

Here are six findings from the report.

1. Ninety-five percent to 98 percent of all respondents said they were glad they became a nurse.

2. If they had a second chance, 15 percent to 21 percent of nurses said they would not choose nursing as a career. (Note that percents range as responses were categorized by RN, LPN, NP, CNS, CRNA and NM nurses.)

3. Approximately 60 percent of nurses said they are unhappy with their practice setting, and many left comments on the survey saying they are increasingly looking for alternatives to hospital jobs that may offer more work-life balance.  

4. When asked what they thought was the most rewarding aspect of nursing, most RNs and LPNs identified "helping people/making a difference in peoples' lives."

5. Only two percent of RNs and one percent of LPNs said the amount of money they make was the most rewarding aspect.

6. Twenty-eight percent of RNs and 23 percent of LPNs said the least satisfying aspect of their profession was administration and workplace politics.

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