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Half of nurses to quit within 10 years: survey

One third of nurses cite low pay, high workload and unclear career progression as the reason they plan to quit.

Overwhelming workloads are causing dissatisfaction among Australian nurses, with more than half set to leave the profession in the next decade, a new survey suggests.

The survey of 200 nurses conducted in February found only 17 per cent expected to be in the profession for another five years, while 51 per cent reported they would leave within 10 years.

Although retirement - at 67 per cent - was the main reason for departure from the job, 33 per cent of nurses surveyed pointed to overwhelming workloads, unclear career progression, low pay and inflexible work hours as the reason they wanted out.

Peter Harte general manager of Kronos Australia, which commissioned the survey, said more attention needed to be paid to the nursing workplace.

"We are seeing an overwhelming number of Australian nurses feeling the pressure to overextend themselves at work," he said.

"Prolonged dissatisfaction with workload is sure to lead to decreased productivity and low retention of nurses in our healthcare system."

As part of the survey nurses were also asked about barriers to productivity.

More than half (56 per cent) said overwhelming workloads were creating problems, while 20 per cent pointed to a lack of technology or inability to use the technology as a cause of lower productivity.

"One of the key focuses for the healthcare industry now is to better manage their workforce in order to maintain high staff morale and improve productivity," Harte said.


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