The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for registered nurses. Media reports, most of them anecdotal, have reported upticks in nurse resignations, and plans to resign and/or leave nursing due to COVID-19. This article reports findings from an online anonymous 95-item survey completed by about 1,600 nurses from a New York City metropolitan area health system's (HS) four hospitals and ambulatory care centers about their COVID-19 experience in the spring of 2020, their intent to stay at the HS, and their intent to stay working as a nurse. Conducted early in the pandemic, this survey addresses a major gap in the literature, as there was no timely evaluation of nurses’ intent to leave during the “Great Attrition” wave or to stay during the “Great Attraction” trend. Among those nurses completing the survey, 85.7% reported that they planned to work as a nurse one year later and 77.9% reported that they planned to work at the HS one year later. Those nurses who obtained a master’s or doctoral degree as their first professional degree in nursing, or had a high level of mastery, were less likely to report an intent to stay at the HS. Those with no children, those who thought the HS was more supportive, and those who thought that registered nurse–medical doctor relations were higher were more likely to intend to stay at the HS. Those nurses who reported worse communication with their nurse manager were less likely to report an intent to stay in nursing. Those who reported lower stress, who were unmarried and had no children were more likely to intend to work as nurses. Our findings on nurses’ intent to leave their organization and their intent to leave nursing are much lower than reports in the popular press. Our data were collected early in the pandemic and it may not reflect the accumulated stress nurses experienced from witnessing the death of so many patients.
- nurse manager
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Leadership and Management
- Issues, ethics and legal aspects