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Nurse morale: pay rise would help prevent looming workforce exodus – RCN

Survey finds poor staffing and long hours are pushing nurses to consider quitting
A depressed looking black nurse. Over half of BAME nurses say their experiences over the pandemic led them to consider quitting Picture: iStock

Survey finds poor staffing and long hours are pushing nurses to consider quitting

Nurses are experiencing increased stress, putting in more hours amid staff shortages and working above their pay grade, RCN analysis indicates .

The college's findings come from a survey of 41,000 members in May and June.

Higher stress levels and greater responsibility

Just over three quarters (76%) of respondents reported an increase in their stress levels.

A third (34%) were working at a higher level of responsibility and 90% of those people said they had no extra pay.

More than a third (38%) said staffing levels had worsened during the pandemic and a third were working longer hours.

While most (88%) respondents said they were passionate

Survey finds poor staffing and long hours are pushing nurses to consider quitting

 iStock
More than half of BAME nurses in the survey are considering leaving their jobs
Picture: iStock

Nurses are experiencing increased stress, putting in more hours amid staff shortages and working above their pay grade, RCN analysis indicates.

The college's findings come from a survey of 41,000 members in May and June.

Higher stress levels and greater responsibility

Just over three quarters (76%) of respondents reported an increase in their stress levels.

A third (34%) were working at a higher level of responsibility – and 90% of those people said they had no extra pay.

More than a third (38%) said staffing levels had worsened during the pandemic and a third were working longer hours.

While most (88%) respondents said they were passionate about their job, just over a third (35%) might consider leaving by the end of this year. 

Risk of nurses leaving the profession

 ‘The pandemic is not over’
Dame Donna Kinnair: the nation risks
losing nurses if pay does not improve

Almost half (44%) said the way nursing staff have been treated during the pandemic has made them consider quitting, with the percentage being higher among black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) staff (54%) than in white respondents (42%).

RCN general secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said the findings supported the college’s call for a significant pay rise without delay. 

‘The pandemic is not over, but unless there is improved pay, we risk many of our members leaving the profession – at a time when the nation needs them more than ever,’ she said.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: ‘The Agenda for Change deal is delivering year-on-year pay increases for our valued NHS staff, including increasing the starting salary for a newly-qualified nurse by over 12%.’


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