60+ Alarming Nursing Burnout Statistics and Facts [2024]

November 27, 2023 0 Comments

Are you struggling to balance your nursing career and life? 

Does your life look like, ‘long shifts, heavy workload, and no breaks’? 

You are not the only one!

According to Nursing Burnout Statistics, 95% of nurses accepted feeling burnt out within the past three years. And over 50% of nurses quit within the first five years due to work stress.

Nursing burnout is a major problem faced by the healthcare sector.

The pandemic has worsened the situation as 10% of nurses had suicidal thoughts during Covid. 

As the world is predicted to face a shortage of 13 million nurses by 2030. Don’t let burnout define your nursing career. Explore the latest nursing burnout statistics and gain valuable insights to reclaim joy and balance in your professional life.

Top Nursing Burnout Statistics: Editor’s Pick

the world is predicted to face a shortage of 13 million nurses
  1. 95% of nurses accepted feeling burnt out within the past three years. [1]
  2. Over 50% of nurses quit within the first five years due to work stress.
  3. 17% of nurses quit within the first year of their work.
  4. The world is predicted to face a shortage of 13 million nurses by 2030. [5]
  5. The critical care and neurology departments compose 48% of nursing burnout. [7]
  6. 10% of nurses had suicidal thoughts. [12]
  7. 5.68% of nurses were not aware of whom they should report their burnout problems. [11]
  8. The current annual turnover rate of nurses is 27.1%. [11]

Nursing Burnout Statistics Based on Demographics

Do all nurses feel the same amount of stress and workload? No.

While Nursing is supposedly a women’s job, females feel more burnout, it also depends on age, location, field, and experience.

Based on Gender

81.2% of females feel burned out while only 18.8% of male nurses feel burned during nursing sessions. [1]

Based on Age

  • According to RNAO statistics in 2022, 42.9% of nurses of all genders between 20 or less felt burned out. [2]
  • 84.4% of nurses aged from 21 years to 25 years feel work stress. [2]
  • 91.6% of nurses from 26 to 30 years of age group find work stressful. [2]
  • 16.8% of nurses above 40 years feel burned out due to work. [2]
  • If we talk about the baby boomers club, 51% of nurses belong there. [2]
Age Group% of Burned Out Nurses
20 or less42.9%
20-3033.9%
31-4073%
41-5016.8%
50-6067%
60+51%

Based on Location

  • 63% of stressed nurses are from the US. [2]
  • Oman has reported that 38% of nurses felt depressed and 73% found it difficult to sleep. [2]
  • Belgium has 60% of the burnout nurses. [2]
  • Uganda has 40% of burnout nurses. [2]
  • Statistics from China reveal that 5% of the nurses in China have suicidal thoughts and 17% of nurses in Australia are taking mental health support. [2]

Burnout Statistics Based on Department

Curious to know which department puts too much workload on nurses?

According to Statistics, the critical care and neurology departments compose 48% of nursing burnout. [7]

Next in the line are family medicine and gynecology, with 47%. [7]

The newest departments that require special knowledge and understanding of the latest technologies comprise the lowest nursing burnout, like pathology(32%), dermatology(32%), and plastic surgery (23%). [7]

Here we have curated a list of the latest nursing burnout statistics based on departments:

Medical DepartmentBurnout rate
Critical Care48%
Neurology48%
Family Medicine47%
Ob/Gyn46%
Internal Medicine46%
Emergency Medicine45%
Radiology45%
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation44%
Urology44%
Allergy & Immunology44%
General Surgery43%
Cardiology43%
Otolaryngology42%
Pulmonary Medicine41%
Pediatrics41%
Infectious Diseases40%
Nephrology40%
Oncology39%
Gastroenterology38%
Anesthesiology38%
Rheumatology38%
Psychiatry36%
Public Health & Preventive Medicine36%
Diabetes & Endocrinology35%
Orthopedics34%
Ophthalmology33%
Pathology32%
Dermatology32%
Plastic Surgery23%

Nursing Burnout Based on Experience

Do you think newly hired nurses feel more burnt out?

Unlike popular opinion, nurses with the lowest and highest experience are most stressed because of their jobs.

Over 50% of nurses quit within the first five years. [6]

17% of nurses quit within the first year, and 56% quit in the first two years. [6]

There are 31.1% of nurses according to the nursing burnout statistics who have been working for less than seven years. [10]

7% of stressed nurses are still working for eight years to 15 years. [10]

nursing burnout statistics based on expierience

Causes of Nursing Burnout

What are the causes behind Nursing burnout? Why do nurses feel stressed due to work?

Low staffing is the major reason behind 80.19% of nursing burnout. Nurses often need to work overtime, take multiple shifts, and work multiple duties due to the lack of staffing. [13]

Other than high workload (75.73%), the following are significant causes of Nursing Burnout that need attention:

  • Bad workplace culture
  • Lack of respect
  • Emotional exhaustion
  • Physical exhaustion
  • Low Payment
  • No break and proper relaxing times even on leaves and time off
  • Bullying and verbal abuse
reasons for nursing burnout

It is interesting to note that, during Covid-19, was the toughest on Nurses. 38.16% of nurses felt majorly burnout and stressed during the pandemic. [10]

How has Covid affected Nursing Burnout?

As Covid has been a major reason for nursing burnout in the last few years, let us go through its effects and post-pandemic facts.

66% of nurses felt burnout, while 62% fatigue towards patients. [12]

64% of nurses felt depressed and their physical health declined during Covid in the US. [1]

50% of nurses felt stressed and exhausted due to verbal attacks by patients and their families. [4]

In the US, 22% of nurses were highly affected by ethical dilemmas while serving Covid patients. [1]

10% of nurses had suicidal thoughts. [12]

Despite working in the medical field and realizing the importance of mental health, only 18% of nurses are likely to take help and outside support for their mental health. [9]

26.47% of nurses don’t feel comfortable discussing burnout with their seniors. [9]

Concerns about Covid: Nurse’s POV

10% of nurses had suicidal thoughts during pandemic

There are different levels of concern about work-life balance.

 There is no doubt that Covid has impacted nurses’ health and personal lives one way or the other.

As of 2021, 29.7% were extremely concerned about covid-19 while 5.7% were not concerned at all. [8]

30.1% of nurses committed they are moderately concerned and 15.1% are slightly concerned. [8]

No matter the level of concern, their personal and work life has suffered a lot during the pandemic. 

Signs, Symptoms, and Cures

To cope up with nursing burnout it is crucial to identify signs and symptoms of burnout.

There are various cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and physical symptoms of nursing burnout:

  • Depersonalization and emotional numbness
  • Increased irritability and frustration
  • Constant sadness
  • Inability to make decisions or solve problems
  • Difficulty remembering details or conversation
  • Inability to focus
  • Insomnia or sleep deprivation
  • Headaches
  • Frequent illness

To cure burnout and stress, nurses should consider taking a break, time off, and professional help to restore their love for the job. 

Remember, there is no substitute for therapy.

Are employers fixing the problem?

When nurses were asked if they had discussed their burnout issues with superiors. What were their reactions? Are they trying to fix the problem? Are they concerned about you?

In answer to these questions, nurses laid out the following facts:

Answers to “Have you discussed burnout issues with employers?”Percentage of Nurses
Yes, but my employers did nothing to fix the issues44.08%
No, I feel uncomfortable to share26.47%
No, I do not know who should I report to5.68%
Yes, and my employers implemented some changes5.49%
No, I do not experience such issues7.225

It is shocking to note that the majority of employers were not concerned about nursing burnout issues and 5.68% of nurses were not aware of who they should report their problems to. [11]

Do Nurses Want to Switch Careers?

Are you wondering, if the job is too stressful, why are nurses still sticking to them?
Do they want to do some other work?

  • 40% of nurses are searching for new roles in the same field due to burnout worldwide. [4]
  • 27% of the nurses aspire to become travel nurses. [4]
  • 23% of nurses wish to switch careers. [4]
  • 10% of nurses want to retire from this work. [4]
plans after quitting nursing
  1. 95% of nurses accepted feeling burnt out within the past three years. [1]
  2. 30% of nurses quit their jobs in the US. [3]
  3. The current annual turnover rate of nurses is 27.1%. [11]
  4. Burnt-out nurses account for up to 2.7 million US nurses. [11]
  5. 34% were planning to leave their jobs by the end of 2022. [6]
  6. Career fatigue is an important reason for 40% of nurses switching careers. [4]
  7. 16% of nurses are not enjoying their jobs. [3]
  8. 98% of hospitals report their work is physically and mentally demanding. [14]
  9. And 85% of nurses feel stressed due to these demands. [14]
  10. Over 50% of nurses quit within the first five years. [6]
  11. 17% of nurses quit within the first year, and 56% quit in the first two years. [6]

Nursing Burnout FAQs

What are the common signs of nursing burnout?

There are various cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and physical nursing burnout signs like depersonalization, emotional numbness, increased irritability and frustration, constant sadness, inability to make decisions or solve problems, difficulty remembering details or conversation, inability to focus, insomnia or sleep deprivation, headaches, and Frequent illness.

What do nursing burnout statistics indicate about nurses who quit the profession?

According to statistics, about 1.5 million nurses were planning to leave their jobs by the end of 2022. If we consider the US, 95% of nurses accepted feeling burnt out within the past three years and 30% of nurses quit their jobs due to burnout.

Over 50% of nurses quit within the first five years due to work stress and 17% quit within the first year of their work.

Which medical departments face the highest and lowest nursing burnout?

The critical care and neurology departments compose 48% of nursing burnout.

Next in the line are family medicine and gynecology, with 47%.

The newest departments that require special knowledge and understanding of the latest technologies comprise the lowest nursing burnout, like pathology (32%), dermatology (32%), and plastic surgery (23%).

How to prevent and cure nursing burnout?

To prevent nursing burnout, it is recommended to allocate shifts and distribute workload equally among staff. Employers should ensure the appropriate availability of staff and there should not be a huge shortage in times of crises. Employers should provide motivation, support, good wages, proper breaks, and a healthy workspace environment to nurses.

In order to cure already prevailing nursing burnout, nurses should consider taking a break, time off, and professional help to restore their love for the job. As they say, There is no substitute for professional help.

Final Thoughts

Healthcare departments are facing high nursing turnover rates. Due to understaffing, low wages, and physical and emotional exhaustion, nurses feel burnt out. The pandemic has worsened the situation. If we consider the US, 95% of nurses accepted feeling burnt out within the past three years.

Employers need to understand the causes behind nursing burnout and work on implementing essential measures to prevent nursing burnout as 30% of nurses quit their jobs due to burnout. 

Youths do not want to choose nursing as a career and already-hired nurses want to switch their careers. This in terms will result in more understaffing, and hence more burnout. 

Sources

  1. National Library of Medicine. Nurses’ job burnout and its association with the work environment, empowerment, and psychological stress during the COVID‐19 pandemic
  2. Elite365. Nurse Burnout: Management and Prevention
  3. RNnetwork. Survey Finds Nearly Half of Nurses Considering Leaving the Profession.
  4. NSI. 2022 NSI National Health Care Retention & RN Staffing Report.
  5. Quartz. The world faces a shortage of 13 million nurses by 2030
  6. Forbes. Amid Healthcare’s Great Resignation, Burned-Out Workers Are Pursuing Flexibility And Passion.
  7. Medscape. Medscape Report.
  8. RNAO. Nursing Through Crisis – A Comparative Analysis 2022.pdf
  9. Trusted. The State of Mental Health in Nursing in 2022
  10. People Element. 2022 Nursing Shortage Statistics
  11. Nursing CE. Nursing CE Central: Nurse Burnout Study 2021.
  12. PMC. Burnout and Resilience among Frontline Nurses during COVID-19 Pandemic.
  13. Supplemental Health Care. Nurses Dealing With Compassion Fatigue Have Options.
  14. NIH. Fatigue and the Female Nurse: A Narrative Review of the Current State of Research and Future Directions.

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