The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nursing workforce are explored in a new global survey from McKinsey & Company, which asked frontline nurses in various countries if they want to stay in their current roles. Between 20 and 38 per cent of nurse respondents in the United States, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Japan, France, and Australia indicated they were likely to leave their current role in direct patient care in the next year.
This means nursing shortages may be a rising risk in many countries. For example, we estimate a shortage of between 200,000 to 450,000 nurses (10 to 20 per cent) in the United States by 2025.
Surveyed nurses cited a desire to seek higher pay as the number-one reason driving them to leave the profession. However, having a positive work environment—caring teammates, a safe space, and a sense of purpose—is important to nurses who say they want to stay. The same was true in the global survey.