We have all heard that there are not enough nurses. Hospitals are short staffed, nursing home facilities cannot get enough nursing staff to meet their needs, and the list goes on. Recent data from the Texas Department of State Health Services provides numbers to back these concerns, finding almost 40% of current nurses are eligible for retirement or will be within the next six years. Since only 13% of nursing staff is under the age of 36 and 23% under the age of 55, this looming large exodus as older nurses transition into retirement is a cause of concerning.
The nursing staff is also seeing shortages from quiet quitting. The medical profession is not immune to this growing response to toxic work environments. The mantra to “act your wage” has inspired staff to push back against responsibilities outside of their job function. This is not always a bad thing, as some tasks fall outside of those covered by the nursing license. Agreeing to help with an inappropriate request could have dire consequences, including an official investigation and a negative impact on your nursing license.
On the other end of the spectrum, loud quitting is growing in popularity. Loud quitting involves making it clearly and widely known the reason for leaving the position. This is especially popular in the healthcare industry. A sign of a potential loud quitting problem within in an organization is the presence of worker strikes.
Whether looking at loud quitting, quiet quitting, or growing retirement, the fact is productivity within hospitals and other healthcare facilities will take a hit. This can make it even more difficult for those who remain in the profession. The pull of the quiet quitting movement when stressed with these pressures is tempting, but nurses can protect themselves from this path. Two strategies include the following.
#1: Know your worth
These statistics, along with the aging baby boomer population and continued demands on the healthcare arena, should highlight the importance of the nursing staff. Numbers are generally not increasing enough to meet the demand. This means that you likely have some bargaining power.
#2: Take action
If part of your frustration is a belief that your pay is not in line with market rate, consider taking the issue to superiors and ask for better compensation. Instead of quietly getting frustrated, take action. If that employer is not willing to provide a reasonable salary, other facilities may.
Attorney John Rivas is responsible for this communication.