LAS VEGAS — Despite concerns about safety in the workplace and inadequate staffing, most nephrology nurses would likely recommend the specialty to others entering the profession, according to results of a survey conducted by the American Nephrology Nurses Association in collaboration with Nephrology News & Issues.
Initial results were released here during ANNA’s National Symposium and in the article, “The health and safety of nephrology nurses and the environments in which they work: Important for nurses, patients, and organizations,” published in the March-April issue of the Nephrology Nursing Journal.
The survey was sent out to the membership and subscriber base of the two organizations in January, with questions focused on nurse safety and workplace issues, opportunities for recognition, staffing levels, salary and benefits, and other topics. Years on the job, age and other demographic data were also collected. In all, 1,070 nurses responded to the survey.
According to a press release from ANNA, most nurses (94%) indicated they were satisfied with being a registered nurse and 91% said they definitely or probably would recommend pursuing a nursing career to qualified individuals. Most would also recommend nephrology nursing.
Areas of concern
Areas of concern identified in the survey included staffing; exposure to hazards; long, intense hours of work and call; verbal and physical abuse; and discrimination. Respondents cited major reports of verbal abuse, threats and discrimination, especially from patients and patients’ families and significant others.
Of the nurses surveyed, 50% reported their workplaces occasionally or frequently tolerated verbal abuse, and 18% said physical abuse was occasionally or frequently tolerated. From January 2017 to January 2018, half of the respondents claimed patient care had improved at their organization or work unit. However, about 16% of respondents noted the quality of patient care had reportedly gotten worse and in some cases, “much worse.”
Leaving the profession
Despite positive words about the profession in which they are employed, a high number of nurses said they plan to leave their current position in the next 3 years. Among the respondents, 40.4% said they would leave their current position within the next 3 years; 16.7% of that group said they would leave in the next 12 months.
While some indicated they would take a different position in a clinical/patient care nursing environment and others would return to school for more nursing education, 25.2% of the group planning to leave their present nursing position in the next year said they would retire. Of the group planning to leave in the next 3 years (23.8%), 46.1% of that group said they planned to retire.
Ulrich BT and Kear TM. The health and safety of nephrology nurses and the environments in which they work: Important for nurses, patients and organizations. Presented at: American Nephrology Nurses Association; April 15-18, 2018; Las Vegas.