April 17, 2023

NCSBN study shows effect of COVID-19 on nursing workforce

By: Judy Mathias

Editor's Note

This study from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing finds that about 100,000 RNs left the workplace because of stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic, and another 610,388 intend to leave by 2027.

A subset of the 2022 National Nursing Workforce Study was included in the analysis. Reported trends represent population-based estimates of 29,472 RNs (including APRNs) and 24,061 LPNs across 45 states.

Key findings include:

  • A total of 62% of nurses reported an increase in their workloads during COVID-19.
  • A quarter to half of nurses reported feeling emotionally drained (50.8%), used up (56.4%), fatigued (49.7%), burned out (45.1%), or at the end of their rope (29.4%) “a few times a week” or “every day.”
  • These issues were most pronounced in nurses with 10 or fewer years of experience.
  • There has been a 3.3% overall decline in the nursing workforce during the past 2 years.

According to the authors, this is the first time research has revealed how COVID-19 has impacted the nursing workforce and forecasted what the nursing workforce could look like in the near future.

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