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Sharp increase in staff thinking of leaving nursing

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61% cited pay as a factor 61% cited pay as a factor

There has been a notable rise in the proportion of nursing staff considering quitting the profession, driven primarily by concerns about pay, research from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has found.

The results show that across the NHS and independent sectors, the percentage thinking of leaving the profession has increased to 36%, or more than a third, from 27% at the end of last year. Of those thinking of leaving, 61% cited pay as a factor. Other factors cited include the way nursing staff have been treated during the Covid-19 pandemic (44%), low staffing levels (43%), and lack of management support (42%).

The report warns that the increase in those considering leaving is a serious cause for alarm. Entering the pandemic, there were already approximately 40,000 nursing vacancies in the NHS in England alone.

‘The responses from our members working in all sectors reveal how their professional lives have been changed by the pandemic,’ said Dame Donna Kinnair, RCN Chief Executive and General Secretary.

‘Existing tensions have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Earlier sticking plasters are no longer covering gaping holes.’

The findings also show that while 74% of respondents felt more valued by the general public, just 18% said they felt more valued by the Government. The figure for the proportion feeling more valued by the media was 58%, and in relation to patients and service users it was 54%.

‘The Government must take steps to retain the nursing staff we have, as well as to increase entry into the profession,’ added Dame Donna. ‘Investment in staffing and pay is about both patient safety and the health of our workers. That is how to strengthen all NHS and care services to help keep patients safe.’

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Im an experienced ENP and plan to leave the NHS when I take my pension at 55 ONLY because my trust will only give yearly contracts if I wish to retire and return, meaning I loose my sickness benefits and my job security. After working for almost 30 years, I now feel undervalued and disappointed and would rather work through an agency or limited company, than worry if I will be kept on in a job that I enjoy every year !
I know several of my colleagues of a similar age, feel the same way. Certainly, the NHS will loose many very experienced professionals who would have stayed working for another 10 years if given permanet contracts with the benefits they have worked for over long careers !
Posted by: ,
you should look into primary care staff especially practice nurses we have been in crisis for years and so under valued. most of us are not on agenda for change and work for poor pay and poor working terms eg holidays/sick. we are the forgotten few and are always overlooked when you look at nurses it is always about hospital staff. practice nurses are leaving/retiring early in increasing numbers and unfortunately being replaced with cheaper hca that are not qualified to do the job.
Posted by: ,
I have been a nurse for 20 years, and accept nursing is a vocation, you were never going to get rich in this job.
But I am seriously looking for another job, I cannot live on what I earn as my circumstances have changed and no longer have a partner to supplement the house hold bills ect...
It's time we were paid a decent wage for the job we do. I know I chose this profession but had I realised I'd be up to my eyes in debt 20 years later, I would have chosen a different path as I had choices then which I don't have now!.
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