Alarming Number of Nurses Are ‘Unengaged” at Work, Per New Report

( – A Nebraska marketing and research company recently released a report that identified a high level of disengagement among nurses. The company surveyed nearly 2,000 nurses from 37 different hospitals in the United States. The survey consisted of 34 questions, with several related to their level of engagement. The results were staggering, with less than 50 percent of respondents reporting that they were “fully engaged” while at work. Nearly 14 percent reported that they were completely unengaged while on the job.

The survey also found that those who claimed to be fully engaged were “emotionally and intellectually connected to their hospitals.” Oftentimes, fully engaged nurses volunteered for extra shifts and rarely missed work. Unengaged nurses are usually focused on counting down the hours until the next break or the end of their shifts and often call in sick when stressed out, according to the report. They also view their patients as a “diagnosis or a task,” forming no emotional connection to them. Candace Wheelan, who is an advanced practice registered nurse and an assistant nursing professor, believes that the report reveals the need for change in the profession. She argued that nurses need more autonomy in their positions, in addition to more developmental opportunities and the ability to form a deeper engagement with their superiors.

Wheelan said that nurses need to feel included in the decision-making process, which she believes will increase engagement. She added that nurses need to be offered opportunities to advocate for the needs of the departments they work in, which could be provided through professional development programs. Chicago-area registered nurse Rhonda Collins pointed out that the report showed that nurses who finished school during the pandemic were the most unengaged of the respondents. She said that many of them went through their clinical training without the opportunity for a normal hands-on experience. According to the report, millennials were the most unengaged group out of the respondents.

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