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Nurses Sense Trouble Ahead in Profession, Survey Finds

72 percent of the nurses reported that risks loom ahead for the nursing profession

76 Percent Satisfied with Jobs but Many Fear New Challenges for Profession

Nurses throughout the country give high marks to their jobs but anticipate a host of challenges within the coming years, according to the first nationwide survey of nurses and the outlook for their profession.

Vital Signs 2012: A National Nursing Attitudes and Outlook Report,highlights survey findings conducted by Jackson Healthcare, the nation's third largest healthcare staffing company, in conjunction with Jackson Nurse Professionals.

Seventy-six percent of the nurses in the survey said they were satisfied or very satisfied in their jobs in caring for the sick or infirm.  However, 72 percent of the nurses reported that risks loom ahead for the nursing profession-particularly workload increases, a nursing shortage and increased liabilities and litigation involving nurses.

"Nursing is a great profession at the moment," said Richard L. Jackson, chairman and CEO of Jackson Healthcare. "It provides good pay, rewarding work and a nice balance between personal and professional life.

"However, with so many seniors approaching retirement, a potential nursing shortage, more litigation in the medical profession and a potential explosion of newly insured patients thanks to the Affordable Care Act, nurses fear the future and changes coming to their profession."

The survey found that only 5 percent of nurses currently are very dissatisfied with their work. But those who are unhappy tend to be younger nurses (ages 25 to 34) compared to nurses ages 65 or older. Male nurses also are more likely to be unhappy compared to female nurses. The survey found a significant spike in nurses retiring in about 10 years.

"With the potential for so many nurses retiring in the near future, America's healthcare delivery system may have a real problem if younger nurses are unhappy and leave the profession as well," said Scott L'Heureux, president of Jackson Nurse Professionals.

The survey found that in the next three to five years, 49 percent of nurses planned to keep their current jobs while 13 percent said they would seek a leadership position in nursing. Eleven percent said they would return to school to earn a bachelor's degree in nursing; 10 percent said they would like to teach nursing; and nine percent said they would like to transition to a nurse practitioner role.

To access this nurses' survey report, click here.

To download a PDF of this news release, click here.