Why Do Nurses Quit?

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Why Do Nurses Quit?

There is a rising level of unrest in the world of nursing that has seen many nurses change roles within nursing or quitting the profession all together, with the highest number leaving in just their first year in the job. Some say the figures may even be as high as 1 in 5.

Becoming a nurse is often something people dream of doing from when they are very young, especially as it is one of those professions that families tend to adopt as a tradition. Basically, if you are a nurse there is a good chance that your mother and your grandmother were also nurses and that helps drive you in that direction. Also, nursing is appealing because it is one of the most altruistic professions available, and it allows you to commit yourself to caring for others.

Nurses who have quit have given the following as their main reasons for leaving:

Poor Management

This was one of the most common reasons for nurses quitting. This is because there are some fundamental flaws in NHS hospital management that have led to nurses facing periods where they do not have adequate supplies, which can put patients at risk and nurses under pressure. Plus many nurses have had to do significant over time, both mandatory and voluntary which puts undue pressure on nurses both physically and mentally, and on their work/life balance.


Indeed another major factor for nurses quitting is stress. This can come about under perfectly normal working conditions, but when it is as a result of under staffing or inadequate resources it becomes the hospitals fault. Nurses who entered into the profession with a desire to help people have found themselves crying at the end of each day when they thought they would be feeling happy and proud of a hard day spent making people feel better.

Something Different

Often nurses who are new to the job may find themselves unprepared for the stress involved with working in particular departments. This is why many decide to leave for another area of nursing within the first year. Accident and emergency departments for example offer nurses things like verbal abuse, physical attacks and the potential for needlestick injuries that they may not have been prepared for, so they may look to move somewhere like surgery where situations like this are much less likely to happen.

Many nurses also want to try something different in another country, especially when their wage can be doubled by moving to the other side of the world.

Are you a nurse thinking about quitting? If so why?


Dylan Robertson is a registered nurse. He did many support worker jobs and mental health nursing jobs before he settled on a life in the trauma department.


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