Fewer nurses intend to leave healthcare, surveys suggest

Survey data trends suggest fewer nurses intend to leave the field compared to last year.

AMN Healthcare's Nurses in 2024 report, a survey of 1,155 nurses, found that only 35% of nurses plan to change jobs and about 20% said they are optimistic that their work will improve this year. A February report by AMN also found 31% of nursing leaders are considering leaving their jobs. 

These numbers are significantly lower than what was reported last year. In January 2023, an AMN Healthcare report found 85% of nurses intended to leave their hospital jobs in the next 12 months. 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, a large amount of research and surveys suggested the potential for a mass exodus of nurses and providers, and many have taken it as a warning to improve retention. To meet nurses' needs, hospitals have poured resources into retention efforts, ranging from knowledge assessment tools to utilizing artificial intelligence to virtual nursing and more. 

These initiatives appeared to have contributed to reducing the number of nurses intending to leave their job or the field. This trend comes as many studies show the workforce is stabilizing. A JAMA Health Forum study found the nursing workforce was 6% larger in 2023 than in 2019. The Health Resources and Services Administration and U.S. Census Bureau released a report that found about 5% of the workforce, or 195,000 nurses, left the workforce during COVID-19. Forty-three percent of those who left plan to return, while 19% said they do not intend to come back. 

Now, some systems are honing in on the next area of concern for nurses: workplace violence. A February report from National Nurses United found 60% of nurses said workplace violence has led them to change jobs, leave jobs or at least consider leaving the job or even the profession entirely.

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