Nurse morale is at a ten-year low

Nurse morale is at a ten year low according to a new survey commissioned by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

Nurse morale at ten-year low
Nurse morale at ten-year low
The survey shows that optimism over job security, career progression and training are at their lowest levels since 1997. The survey also highlights that more than a quarter of all nurses are still forced to take a second job to make ends meet.

The survey, 'Holding On', shows that over the last two years fear of redundancy amongst nurses has jumped from 7 per cent in 2005 to 35 per cent today. Even more worryingly, the number of those surveyed who feel nursing offers a secure job has fallen by more than half (from 71 per cent in 2005 to 34 per cent 2007).

One in four (26 per cent) of the nurses surveyed work a second job to supplement their income.

Despite falling morale, the survey reinforces the dedication nurses show their patients, with 58 per cent of all those surveyed working longer hours than they are contracted for. Nurses working full time work an average of 44 hours per week, seven more than their contracted hours.

Speaking today RCN General Secretary, Dr Peter Carter, said: 'To have such a large part of the nursing workforce genuinely worried about the security of their employment is simply unacceptable. Despite feeling undervalued, underpaid and under threat our nurses continue to put in the hours and dedication to deliver high quality patient care.

Other key results from the survey show:

  • 55 per cent of nurses feel they are too busy to provide the care they would like (up from 47 per cent in 2005).
  • Less than half (49 per cent) would recommend nursing as a career (56 per cent in 2005).
  • One in four (28 per cent) nurses surveyed would leave nursing if they could and fewer nurses say they are satisfied with their jobs or that they feel their work is valued.
  • 87 per cent of nurses feel that they are paid poorly in relation to other professions.

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