According to a study published earlier this year on Nursing Outlook, Kelly, Gee, and Butler (2020) found that clinician burnout is characterized by three classic symptoms: exhaustion, cynicism, and reduced personal accomplishment. It seems as though much of the nursing labor force is affected by clinician burnout. In another recent study published this year on JAMA Network, Shah, Grandrakota, and Cimiotti (2021) found that anywhere from 34 to 54 percent of clinicians in the United States experience burnout.
Unfortunately, workforce turnover is a chief consequence of clinician burnout. An article published within the past six years by the Journal of Hospital Administration, Analyzing U.S. Nurse Turnover: Are Nurses Leaving Their Jobs or the Profession Itself, indicated that workforce turnover can be categorized as either professional turnover or organizational turnover. Researchers Mazurenko, Gupte, and Guogen (2015) discussed the difference between the two types of turnover:
An RN may change organization, but continue working in health care, referred to as organizational turnover, while another RN may leave the nursing field to work in a different industry, known as professional turnover….The number of RNs dissatisfied with their job can have an impact on the nursing shortage in a given organization, but the number of nurses changing jobs does not reduce the total number of nurses in the labor force. (Mazurenko et al., 2015)
It is no surprise that the ebb and flow of hospitalizations throughout the country due to the pandemic has put even more strain on healthcare workers. A recent study conducted by AMN Healthcare Services Inc. indicated that over half of the nurses who had taken their survey admitted to feeling burned out and that 39% (well over one third), have felt like quitting.
Without a doubt, a nurse’s places in a clinical setting is paramount to the well-being of our nation’s healthcare industry as a whole, but, certainly, there are other areas within the system where trained nurses can exercise different skill sets.
Furthermore, Mazurenko, Gupte, and Guogen (2015) also related that the way nurses feel about nursing and the way they feel about their nursing jobs are two very separate ideas. We all understand nursing is a compassionate profession and that it takes a lot of heart to be a good nurse, but data suggests that while nurses love the theoretical concept of nursing, not all are enamored with their day–or night–jobs.
In spite of the rising workforce turnover for burned out nurses, there are other options within the healthcare industry where nurses can put their training to work. One such option is medical review. Medical reviews involve the collection and clinical review of medical records and related information to ensure that payment is made only for services that meet all coverage, coding, billing, and medical necessity requirements. Medical review nurses bring deep clinical experience and medical education to ensure program compliance, healthcare integrity, and patient quality of care. Some medical review nurses work with federal and local government to help conduct investigative and analytical work that helps eliminate fraud, waste, and abuse of vital health care resources. Such nurses analyze medical records to identify irregularities in an effort to detect and prevent fraud, waste, and abuse of integral healthcare programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.
Interested in learning more about this feel good nursing work?
Intara Talent Solutions is a talent agency based in Alexandria, VA, designed specifically to match healthcare professionals like nurses with public and private clients across the nation to support program integrity efforts, including compliance and investigative work.