Work in the healthcare industry varies widely. Some occupations require a lot more training and education (and pay a lot more) than others. But, all healthcare workers are extremely important — from doctors, to nurses, to business and facilities managers. These are the folks we entrust with the care of our most precious and valuable resource — our health.
However, according to a new study from CareerBuilder, the healthcare workers who are on the front lines of our care, our nurses, are under a tremendous amount of stress. The data CareerBuilder compiled reveals so much about the occupation of nursing, and about the compassionate professionals who’ve built their lives around this critical work.
1. Nursing jobs are growing, and so is the pressure on nurses.
Nursing jobs are on the rise. This study, which was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder earlier this year, found that these jobs increased by 6 percent from 2012 to 2016. And, they’re expected to grow by another 7 percent by 2021. However, employers are struggling to fill these positions, and that means more work and more hours for qualified RNs already working in the industry.
2. Many nurses say they are highly stressed and even burned out.
The understaffing that’s a part of life for many nurses only compounds the stresses that already existed for these workers. Nursing isn’t easy to begin with. According to this study, 54 percent of nurses ranked their level of job stress as high. And, seven out of 10 said that they feel burned out in their current jobs. This is explained, in part, by the fact that 56 percent of healthcare employers said they currently have positions available but cannot find qualified candidates. This figure was a full 7 percentage points higher than all of the other industries that were surveyed.
3. It’s a stressful job.
Nurses know, perhaps better than anyone, that it’s important to take care of yourself. But, this is easier said than done when working at a stressful job. Respondents to the survey reported many symptoms as a result of their job stress. The most common symptom, “tired all the time,” was experienced by 50 percent of the nurses surveyed. Thirty-five percent reported “sleepless nights.” Thirty-three percent said they’d experienced “weight gain” as a result of the stress. And 32 percent reported “high anxiety” and/or “aches and pains.” And, a staggering 19 percent of those surveyed said they were experiencing “depression” which, as nurses know, comes with very serious health consequences.
4. Still, most nurses say they love their jobs.
The dedicated men and women who occupy this vital profession still seem to love what they do, despite everything. Seventy-six percent said they are satisfied with their jobs overall. Still, there is clearly plenty of room for improvement. Eight-five percent of nurses also said that while they aren’t actively looking for a job right now, they would be open if they came across the right opportunity.