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60pc of nurses consider career switch


Thousands of nurses have considered abandoning the profession in the past year because of NHS restructuring, a survey has revealed.

Just over 60 per cent of the 11,500 nurses surveyed by Incomes Data Research on behalf of 13 trade unions had thought fairly or very seriously about leaving their job in the past 12 months.

Of those who had considered leaving, 54 per cent blamed NHS restructuring, while 43 per cent cited staff shortages, 78 per cent mentioned stress or workload, 26 per cent said working hours and 37 per cent said target setting.

Two fifths had considered a career in teaching, while 28 per cent had looked at jobs in caring services, 23 per cent management and 21 per cent retail.

The research, based on responses from 31,000 union members, has been submitted to the NHS pay review body.


Readers' comments (11)

  • To be honest who can blame them? Any other sector would pay at least the same as if not more for doing better hours with less expected responsibility/accountability and education/skill.

    I want to know what NT is doing to make the idiots in charge realise that low pay and poor working conditions are forcing the best and brightest to leave in vast droves?

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  • Do you know, I am one of the nurses just hoping to get to early retirement before I crack. I am so tired with working so hard in a climate of poor standards, poor morale and the fear of losing my job. I am being asked to do more and more and do you know, the altruism that I have given to the NHS over 30 years is wearing so thin that if it was not for the patients and the fact that I would not get another job, I would leave the NHS as soon as possible. My days are only made bearable by the patients as it puts one own life in perspective.

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  • The pay, working hours, stress and the community immage towards nurses are two major factors that make nurses thinking of leaving their job. I worked as a nurse for the last 15 years at different levels and different places, i am thinking to completely change my job now to some thing else, it is very depressing when you look at other workers with very much less education, qualification and experinece are paid much higher than nurses. I HAVE A PLUMBER FRIEND who took 6 monmth course earn every month over 4000 pounds, good for him.... i am going to work in trade?

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  • I totally agree with anonymous at 7.40. I have 37 years nursing experience and if it were not for the patients who I feel extremely priviliged for them to allow me into their lives, their problems and what they go through does put your life into a different perspective. I have to deliver devastating, life changing news to some of them. The good work done by hard working nurses with high standards is only recognised by the non clinical people who put upon them even more, for no extra recognition (unless you are male). For just one manager to turn round and actually show appreciation instead of focusing on the next target would be a miracle as far as I am concerned.

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  • problem is what can u do?? ive looked excessively at retraining but its just not plausable with the cost. as a post grad you get no help at all with funding and unless youve got a spare 4o +K lying around its impossible. which means looking for 'on-the-job' training which just doesnt pay or get you excited enough (ie dull repitition, poor autonomy). if i could go back and advise myself - i would of done 2 extra years and trainined to be a doctor - you have so many more options available. at least i could of afforded to fund my vetinary medicine training then - which unfortunalty is only a career choice as a post grad for the rich.

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  • If we hear our colleagues talking of a career change I suggest we do all we can to encourage them along this path. We might then be able to replace these jaded long timers who just want to moan about how hard they've got it with enthusiastic newly-qualified nurses who are desperate for a job.

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  • anonymous 11.22pm
    I find it very sad that you make such a negative comment about your colleagues
    i have been a nurse for over 20 years and have seen many managers of varying standards, and so many changes have not alwaysifit been sucessful or benefit the patients
    whilst i agree with change and progress i do question some of the decisions made by managers,
    i can understand frustration by nurses, as for the last 5 years plus we have had several changes of managers, with restructuring and staff moral has hit rock bottom, communication being one of the biggest issues why dont managers talk to there staff and be truthful i have sat in meetings where i know managers are lying and being very economical with the truth and a few weeks down the line you know your suspicions were right
    nurses need to be informed, managers need to be truthful and promote a healthy working enviorment nurses need to feel valued, no one minds going that extra mile but if you constantly use your staff and they feel undervalued, used and abused with nothing given back they will look to other career changes, but thats not just in nursing as for the newly qualifed nurses who are enthusiatic yes thats brilliant but if we dont change the enviroment they are coming in to how long do you think it will be before they start thinking about change
    You have to start at the top come on managers i challenge you to start treating your staff as a valued commodity

    I know its a very basic statement but how many of us have been affected by the ripple effect if someone smiles we smile

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  • Anonymous 7:48 am. I don't make my comments about all my colleagues, most of whom are excellent. I make them about those who spend all there time moaning about how hard things are, rather than trying to do something positive about it. Moaning is infectious. New nurses and students become socialised to their environment and begin to develop this same negative attitude, which eventually impacts on the way they care for patients. Moaning by itself, which is what many nurses do, benefits no one.

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  • Anonymous 7 Dec 11:18 am.

    "The good work done by hard working nurses with high standards is only recognised by the non clinical people who put upon them even more, for no extra recognition (unless you are male)."

    I am a male nurse and find you assertion males in the profession are somehow better treated to be a sexist and offensive comment.

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  • Anonymous | 7-Dec-2010 11:18 am, do you want to explain your quite frankly sexist comment 'unless you are a male'? Implying that we get preferential treatment only because of our gender?

    Anonymous | 7-Dec-2010 5:57 pm I absolutely agree with you. If I had my time over again I would not have put myself through the hellish sacrifice that was Nurse training, not for the little reward we get at the end of it in terms of pay or working conditions. Like you said though, what do we do?

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