June 14, 2024

Study: Depression, lack of support outweighed pandemic-specific influences on nurses leaving jobs in 2020

Editor's Note

Coworker and employer support strongly influence nurses' intentions to remain in their jobs, while symptoms of depression are associated with nurses planning to leave, according to a study conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic by researchers at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing.

Available to the public September 30 in the Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, a publication of the American Nurses Association (ANA), the survey involved 629 U.S. nurses across 36 states during the summer of 2020.  Researchers found that workplace support, including colleague and organizational support, outweighed pandemic-specific factors (such as pandemic preparedness or PPE shortages) in predicting nurses' intent to stay. Conversely, nurses experiencing depression symptoms were less likely to plan to stay, suggesting a link between mental health and job retention.

With 60% of nurses reporting some level of depression, the study emphasizes the need for robust mental health resources and supportive work environments.

A June 4 report from NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing offers further details and context on the research.

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