The last few years have been challenging, especially for nurses and CNAs. So to officially close out one year and properly welcome in another, The Nursing Beat and connectRN teamed up to check in with our community by asking nurses to share their hopes and dreams for 2023.
When thinking about the promise of a new year, 7 out of 10 nurses that responded said they are feeling hopeful- at least concerning their personal lives. Many are planning to accomplish exciting new goals to achieve their resolutions that included:
“Being better than I was last year.”
“Staying positive, remaining curious, and agile.”
“Focusing more on my mental health.”
“Buying a new house for my family.”
“Saving enough money to retire.”
“Restoring my work/life balance.”
Professionally speaking, over half of the respondents reported feeling the same hope and optimism, but this isn’t surprising.
The number of nurses leaving the profession has been well-documented and reported on since the pandemic’s beginning. Yet, despite the nursing shortage and its impact on patient care, our community remains deeply passionate about the profession. Whether seeking work opportunities in new care settings, supporting advocacy efforts, speaking up more for what they need, or just lifting each other up, our community of nurses is hopeful that change is possible through:
“Supporting my colleagues so that they feel heard.”
“Supporting new nurses both professionally and personally.”
“Working more in a hospital setting.”
“Getting all of my CEUs done, so I’m not scrambling to get them done before license renewal.”
“Supporting the safe staffing bills in the legislature.”
“Promoting the activities and involvement of others within my nursing association.”
“Finding my happiness with nursing again.”
In the spirit of finding happiness, our community is also exploring how to make nursing work for them, whatever that may look like. Many are even reimagining where their nursing experience and skills can take them beyond just the bedside by:
“Creating my dream job and relentlessly pursuing it.”
“Finding a position that balances my professional and personal goals and life better; a remote nursing job, part-time position, or a less stressful hospital role.”
“Start writing for profit as an RN.”
“Transition to a medical device industry or space as a clinical specialist or nurse.”
“Turning my side hustle into my main hustle.”
“Returning to nursing after an absence.”
Those who may have left or taken a step back from nursing in recent years voiced what needs to change to recommit to the profession, including:
"Better compensation and benefits."
"Safer staffing ratios."
"Improved working conditions."
"More opportunities for professional advancement."
"Better communication with and feeling heard by management."
"More schedule flexibility."
"Additional resources and support."
"Guaranteed lunch breaks."
Overall, our survey revealed strikingly similar results to what McKinsey reported in their 2022 Frontline Workforce Survey: over 60% of nurses agree that safety, flexibility, and a positive working environment are the most important factors to keep nurses in nursing. Additionally, feeling supported in an environment where every nurse feels valued and values one another is no longer just a pipe dream but a necessity for retention. Collaboration with healthcare administrators and nurses cannot have an “us versus them” mentality any longer if we intend to make positive impacts within the industry. Likewise, healthcare administrators must understand that a system that balances flexibility between work and personal life isn’t a bargaining chip anymore but rather a way of respecting the nursing community as both professionals and as human beings so they feel empowered to be the best nurses they can be. When these changes are implemented, along with so many more, nurses can begin to love nursing again.
I’m hopeful our community will be able to accomplish all of this and more in 2023. The bonds between The Nursing Beat and the connectRN nursing community are strong, and together, anything is possible in the year ahead.
Nick Iuliano is connectRN's VP, Head of Content. When Nick’s not helping to tell our best brand, clinician, and partner stories across our marketing channels, he’s likely to be found on his Peloton, catching a class at Orange Theory, spoiling his nieces, or volunteering for the Trevor Project.