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New concern with nurse burnout: Holiday “quitting spree”

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Sleighbells ringing. Children caroling. If a recent piece by a consulting firm Korn Ferry is right, these holiday sounds could include that of nurses throughout the country quitting.

Why would nurses quit during the holiday season?

According to the firm, 44% of employees consider quitting during the holidays. They explain that this time of year allows workers to take a moment to reflect on their lives and, upon such reflection, many employees realize they do not like the direction of  their professional life. Fueled by dreams of future success, many chose to quit their current position and change professional direction.

The firm is using the information above to call on management companies to address long standing issues and curb the potential for a post-holiday “quitting spree” before it starts.

Those within the healthcare industry note that few positions have more longstanding issues then nursing. As such, they are voicing concern that the next big quitting spree may come from the nursing industry. If healthcare leaders take heed of the warning, one of the biggest issues that may help retain nurses is likely that of professional burnout.

How serious is nurse burnout?

Burnout within nursing is a serious problem. Researchers found that 62% of nurses reported burnout in 2020. Potentially more concerning is the fact that the majority of nurses who reported burnout were under the age of 25.

What’s a nurse to do?

Although changes from hospital administration is important, there are things nurses can do to help ease the burden and potential for burnout. Nurses who wish to continue within their chosen profession are wise to address the burnout, not just attempt to power through. Burnout can have serious professional implications as those who struggle with burnout can have issues with focus, exhaustion, and efficiency. These can result in errors providing patient care that can cause harm to the patient and put the nurse’s professional license at risk. This is because these errors could trigger an investigation by the state licensing board.

Those under investigation by the Texas Board of Nursing are wise to take the matter seriously. Possible penalties can include a suspension or even revocation of a nursing license. You are allowed legal representation during the investigation. This advocate can help to better ensure your interests are protected throughout the process and reduce the risk of serious penalties.

Attorney John Rivas is responsible for this communication.