About a month ago I had the experience of teaching a newer nurse about call, call being something I know a lot about. I helped them optimize their screens in the electronic health record, showed them a bit about the EHR in the hospital, and explained the steps of how to get called in for a case, in effect everything that I wrote about in the What to do when you get called in series last spring.
This is a nurse with less than 6 years of experience, who expressed interest in returning to school information, specifically going back to school to explore what else their nursing degree could do for them. Because the bedside was not where they wanted to be. I could not blame them, knowing that the last three years have been chaotic for a nurse, let alone a new nurse. And we already know that longevity is not in this generation’s DNA.
And a good percentage of new nurses leave the profession altogether in the first five years. I’ll give you a hint, what is 1 divided by 2?
17% in the first year alone.
And this is a problem. For the hospital, for the department, and for them and their family.
What makes a nurse who has gone through all the schooling, all the hours on the clinical floor, and all the hours in a specialty area want to leave?
How do we as the bedside nurses who remain, and the department, and the hospital make them want to stay?
On one hand, sure, go live your best life.
On the other, why?
On the third, how are you going to figure out what you want to do?
All questions that these nurses should look within themselves to answer.
I am loath to support a newish nurse leaving the profession, or at least the bedside. However, if a nurse is not committed to the wellness of others, why keep them?