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Survey: Nurses’ career satisfaction trails physicians

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A Medscape survey found that only 56 percent of registered nurses (RNs) would choose nursing as a career again, about the same percentage as those who are satisfied with their pay.

Medscape said this  career-satisfaction measure is higher (60 percent) for advanced practice nurses (APNs)  and lower (48 percent) for  practical nurses, who consist of licensed practical nurses and licensed vocational nurses.  APNs of course earn considerably more than do practical nurses.

“{These affirmative responses tracked salary contentment in the survey. At the same time, making good money is fourth down on the list of what nurses find rewarding, trailing relationships with patients, a sense of competence, and professional pride,” said the news service.

“Career satisfaction for nurses as a whole is lower than that for physicians, 64 percent of whom said they would choose their field again if they could do it again.”

“Nurses expressed more widespread regret about other aspects of their career. Less than a third in each of the main categories of APNs, RNs, and practical nurses would choose their current practice setting again, and only 19 percent of RNs and 35 percent of APNs said they would pursue the same level of educational preparation.”

Pamela Cipriano,  R.N., president of the American Nurses Association, told Medscape that the findings are “another wake-up call that we must do better to retain the all too critical nursing workforce.”

“This survey shows that the working environment for RNs is still not uniformly providing the support and conditions that nurses find professionally rewarding and personally satisfying,” Not surprising, nurses point to the relationship with their patients as most rewarding. Nurses in all settings deserve to receive competitive and fair compensation, but more importantly, they want the time and resources to provide the care they deem necessary…for patients and families.”


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