Retaining Nurses to Mitigate Shortages

Terri Gaffney, PhD, MPA, RN


Am Nurs Journal. 2022;17(1) 

In This Article

Workforce Shortages

In the wake of COVID-19, attitudes toward work are changing. Employees are leaving their jobs and looking for something better in what some economists call the Great Resignation. Nurses are no different. According to recent reports by McKinsey and Company and the American Organization of Nurse Leaders, 22% of RNs and 20% of nurse leaders may leave their positions within the year as a result of their experiences during the pandemic.

Also, an aging workforce and looming nursing shortage further complicate the retention crisis. The 2020 National Nursing Workforce Survey indicates that one-fifth of RNs will retire within 5 years, and the American Hospital Association's 2021 Environmental Scan projects a shortage of 500,000 RNs by 2026. With a shrinking pool of experienced nurses, high nurse turnover rates, and an aging workforce, organizations must address the urgent need to retain nurses.