Gen Z, millennial nurses hit hardest by pandemic

Nurses under 35 years old have been hit hard by the pandemic, with many suffering from mental health issues and over half of them considering leaving their positions already, signaling a looming crisis and need for organizational change, according to a new survey

The American Nurses Foundation and Joslin Insight surveyed 12,694 nurses as the second part of their two-year impact survey between Jan. 8 and Jan. 29, 2022. 

The study found a significant difference in mental health between older and younger nurses, with younger nurses reporting less mental wellness. Thirty percent of all nurses said they're not or not at all emotionally healthy, but for younger nurses, that figure was 46 percent, and for nurses over 55 years old, it stood at 19 percent. 

The instances of negative emotions told a similar story, with 66 percent of nurses under 35 years reporting feeling anxious and 43 percent reporting feeling depressed, compared to nurses over 55 years old, of whom 35 percent felt anxious and 21 percent felt depressed. 

This young, struggling group of nurses also felt the least supported by their organizations, with only 19 percent of them agreeing with the statement that "my organization really cares about my well-being." In a sign of a looming challenge, 61 percent of young nurses said they will leave or are considering leaving their positions. 

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