What nurses are saying

Here's what nurses are saying about their work life in our health care system, based on a survey of nearly 5,000 nurses from across the country.

Many nurses want to leave their job, entirely.

  • 4 in 10
    nurses intend to leave their job, the profession or retire.


Well, there are a
few reasons.

Our health care system is understaffed.

  • 7 in 10
    nurses mention insufficient staffing levels and high workloads as the top reasons why they want to leave their workplace. More than 66% say they regularly work short staffed, while 75% of nurses say their workplace is regularly over capacity.

Almost every nurse has experienced workplace violence.

  • 9 in 10
    nurses experienced some form of abuse over the last year, and 40% are unsure if they have mental health supports provided by their employer.

As a result, many nurses struggle with their mental health.

  • 73%
    of nurses report having symptoms of anxiety and depression within the last two weeks. Meanwhile, 8/10 nurses have registered some form of burnout.

Many young nurses regret their career choice.

  • 44%
    of early-career nurses are dissatisfied with their career choice. Close to 34% intend to leave the profession, while 28% rate their mental health as very poor or terrible.

Our public health care system is at risk.

  • 36%
    of nurses say they are exploring agency work or increasing the amount of agency work they already do. Private nursing agencies siphon nurses away from public health care institutions across the country.

How can we retain more nurses?

There's a lot we can do to take care of our nurses, so they can take care of us.

We can provide incentives.

Several nurses say these three incentives would keep them in the field: 

  • 67% of nurses say guaranteed days off would help them stay in the field.  
  • 64% of nurses say paying less tax would be a strong incentive to stay.
  • 67% of nurses say they would appreciate more flexible work schedules.

Tell your MP it's time to take care of nurses.