Why Do Nurses Leave Their Jobs

Why Do Nurses Leave Their Jobs? Understanding the Reasons and Exploring Solutions

Every job has its unique challenges, and nursing is no exception.  Job dissatisfaction, burnout, and nurse staffing shortages have serious repercussions on the healthcare system’s ability to meet patient needs. 

So why do nurses leave their jobs, and what’s the solution? We’re glad you asked! 

The Magnitude of the Problem: Nurses Leaving the Profession Within the First Year?

According to a recent study, the nursing profession has an alarming turnover rate of 17% in the first year alone, and a staggering 56% within two years. Registered Nurses (RNs) are particularly affected, facing higher rates of workforce exits compared to their hospital peers.

 Top Reasons Why Nurses Leave

While each nurse’s decision to leave the profession is personal, there are several common themes that contribute to the number of nurses leaving their jobs. The following four reasons play a substantial role in nurse turnover rates


Nursing is a demanding career, both physically and mentally.  This has become even more true in recent years, as more and more healthcare facilities find themselves chronically understaffed. This translates to more patients, greater responsibilities, and a compromised work-life balance, leading to burnout and, ultimately, an exit from the nursing field. 

2. Lack of Professional Support

Many nurses are finding that they lack the support needed from both leadership and their peers to cope with the demanding and high-stakes environment. This can take its toll, especially in terms of one’s ability to deal with the ongoing stress of the job. A lack of professional support can also play out in regards to overall job stability, leading some nurses to leave the profession rather than attempt to cope with its challenges on their own. 

3. Unrealistic Expectations

Ongoing staffing problems force nurses to work excessive hours to perform duties outside of their area of clinical expertise. These issues contribute to turnover rates as nurses seek better-fitting positions or leave the industry altogether.  

4. Loss of Passion 

While loving your job isn’t always necessary, feeling invested in it is crucial. . Unfortunately, nurses who don’t feel appreciated in their role may lose that sense of investment, especially when employers fail to offer growth opportunities.  This can lead to nurses pursuing career changes in other fields that provide more incentives for professional improvement. 

The Rise of Per Diem Nursing: A Viable Solution 

Being a nurse is incredibly challenging, but so is saying goodbye to a career you’ve worked so hard for. Per diem nursing offers a solution to this problem by  providing nurses with more control over their professional lives while addressing the issues behind increasing turnover rates.

Working per diem means that nurses sign up for individual shifts rather than working full-time at a facility. This approach empowers nurses to choose when, where, and how much (or little) they want to work, removing barriers of achieving work-life balance and preventing many from leaving the profession in search of better opportunities. 

Major benefits of per diem nursing include:

  • Increased career flexibility
  • Premium hourly pay
  • Skill and experience diversification
  • Less risk of burnout

Healthcare facilities also benefit from per diem nursing by addressing staffing shortages and resolving gaps without burdening full-time staff.NurseIO is committed to bridging the gap between nurses and facilities with our easy-to-use platform designed to combat turnover issues. Sign up today to explore the flexibility of per diem staffing, and join us in fostering better experiences for all.

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