Your views

Why are so many nurses leaving the profession and what can be done to prevent it?

Pay more attention to nurse pay and well-being to ease a ‘Big Quit’ from the NHS

More attention needs to be paid to nurses’ pay and well-being if the NHS is to survive the ‘Big Quit’, say our readers’ panel

The nursing register saw a 27% increase in the number of nurses, midwives, and nursing associates leaving this year .

With 13,945 leaving between 1 April and 30 September, compared with 11,020 during the same period last year, the figure represents a four-year high.

How can we prevent a ‘Big Quit’ in nursing and the NHS?

Why are so many nurses leaving the profession and what can be done to stop them?

Nursing Standard readers have their say.

  • RELATED:

More attention needs to be paid to nurses’ pay and well-being if the NHS is to survive the ‘Big Quit’, say our readers’ panel

A nurse wearing a mask, waving as she leaves a hospital building
Picture: iStock

The nursing register saw a 27% increase in the number of nurses, midwives, and nursing associates leaving this year.

With 13,945 leaving between 1 April and 30 September, compared with 11,020 during the same period last year, the figure represents a four-year high.

How can we prevent a ‘Big Quit’ in nursing and the NHS?

Why are so many nurses leaving the profession and what can be done to stop them?

Nursing Standard readers have their say.


Sherene Gayle is a staff nurse in acute medicine in London

Sherene Gayle, staff nurse in acute medicine in London

A well-deserved pay rise is urgently needed to stop the flow of nurses from the profession.

Nurses have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic and need better recognition as a valued profession: they need financial support to remain in their roles and also be able to care for their families.

Increased workloads and reduced staffing levels have lowered morale. The government could recognise and value nurses by increasing pay by 12%, which would attract new nurses to study and also retain nurses in their roles.

I feel well supported by my hospital trust and management team. If newly qualified nurses are better supported, they are more likely to stay.


Rohit Sagoo, founder and director of British Sikh Nurses

Rohit Sagoo is founder and director of British Sikh Nurses

@RohitSagoo

The global pandemic has exposed long-existing problems for nurses: being overworked, having heightened stress levels and high patient-to-nurse ratios. Still, we persevere.

My love of the nursing role and sense of responsibility to my patients stops me from leaving the profession. Yet so many nurses feel discontented, angry and frustrated that our well-being has been ignored by politicians and health leaders.

It's not just the obvious solutions that would change this – better pay, flexible hours and adequate staffing. The profession needs well-thought-out systemic change that would address retention and stop us from leaving the profession.


Liz Charalambous is a teaching associate at the University of Nottingham

@lizcharalambou

Liz Charalambous, a teaching associate at the University of Nottingham

If the government is serious about preventing nurse resignations, it must listen to the reasons why nurses leave the profession.

Nurses need support to sustain their own mental and physical health and well-being so they are able to support their patients and colleagues.

This includes feeling valued. Being in control of their workload, off-duty planning and length of shifts would help staff maintaining a healthy work-life balance and support them to fulfil any caring roles they may have outside of work.

Pay is vital: it is important that nurses are able to afford a healthy lifestyle.


Jandryle Trondillo, deputy home manager at Caring Homes Group

Jandryle Trondillo is deputy home manager at Caring Homes Group

@jaytrondillo

There are multiple reasons behind the exodus of nurses from the NHS and social care.

Many are struggling with staffing pressures and less-than-optimal working conditions and this affects their job satisfaction. The pandemic has amplified these problems.

Working conditions would be expected to be difficult in a pandemic but what will make people stay is the reassurance that they are valued.

In the workplace, nursing managers have a responsibility to ensure their colleagues feel safe and happy at work.

At nation level, the government needs to address working conditions, staffing and fair pay.


Readers’ panel members give their views in a personal capacity only

Sign up to continue reading for FREE

OR

Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first three months:

  • Customisable clinical dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals including Nursing Standard
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • NMC-compliant RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs