Survey: Half of nurses considered quitting over coronavirus exhaustion

Thousands of nurses answered the questionnaire about their health, their work, and how they felt during the pandemic.

File picture of nurses / Credit: Finnish Nurses' Association Instagram

Half of the nurses in Finland have considered quitting their jobs after suffering from exhaustion during the coronavirus crisis of the spring and summer.

That’s the key finding in a new survey from the Finnish Nurses’ Association published Monday. It also revealed 80% said they suffered from some form of exhaustion during the pandemic – although 25% said they were exhausted even before the pandemic.

According to the union almost 1-in-4 nurses had to move from their regular ward to a ward dealing with intensive care patients or coronavirus sampling this year, which added to their stress.

“If more than half of the respondents have considered a change of industry during the coronavirus pandemic it is clear that the second wave cannot continue with the same setup as before [in hospitals]. Nurses and their immediate superiors need to be listened to and supported more” says Nina Hahtela President of the Finnish Nurses’ Association.

Nurses also felt that their occupational safety was often put at risk while working during the pandemic, and that their value was not reflected in the actions of their workplace leadership.

However, despite being undervalued and underappreciated, some 44% of nurses said they felt an increased sense of professional pride during the coronavirus crisis.

The survey was answered by 2,344 members of the Association.