Nurses contemplate leaving their profession

  • Majority of German nurses considering leaving the profession
  • Germans are looking to assign more responsibilities to nursing staff
  • HARTMANN supports better recognition of the nursing profession
March 13, 2018 – Berlin. More than 50 percent of nurses in Germany are thinking of leaving their jobs due to the current professional environment. This has been revealed by the HARTMANN GROUP’s Pflexit-Monitor, provider of medical and nursing products. The company will be supporting the German Nursing Day from March 15-17, 2018.

Nurses are not recommending their profession to others

Nurses in Germany are dissatisfied with their professional conditions, as the current Pflexit-Monitor shows. 53 percent of nurses surveyed said they had recently considered leaving their profession. The main reasons in particular are the permanent staff shortage – confirmed by almost three quarters of all respondents (71 percent) – and the generally high workload (56 percent). Only 35 percent would choose the same job again – 43 percent would pursue other careers. Another startling finding was that barely one-third (32 percent) would recommend the profession to others.

Main aim: better recognition of the profession

Nurses contemplate leaving their profession
"The public perception of the nursing sector is currently very high. And rightly so, because the results of the study clearly show that the nursing profession needs to be more highly valued in many ways. The finding that nurses do not recommend their profession to others will complicate an already difficult recruitment process," according to Dr. Chima Abuba, Managing Director of HARTMANN Germany. Abuba continues: "We are all obliged to value the nursing profession in terms of responsibility, salary and professional training. The new federal government is planning important steps to improve the situation, but it will be a long process, and we feel that there is an urgent need to finally take action." Remuneration, reformed nursing training and the academisation of nursing are just some of the topics to be addressed. "The Monitor also shows that almost half of German nurses enjoy their roles, despite the problems – collectively, we need to work to improve this," said Abuba. While more and more doctors have been recruited in recent years, the number of nurses has not risen to the same extent despite the increase in patient numbers. According to the Bertelsmann Foundation, there could be a shortfall of around 500,000 full-time nursing staff by 2030.

Equality for nursing staff is needed

Nurses are often considered merely doctors' assistants. However, together with the doctors, they are the driving force behind patient recovery. "We need equitable structures for nursing staff. Even today, nurses take on a lot of responsibility without receiving the recognition they deserve," said Raimund Koch, health public policy spokesman for the HARTMANN GROUP. One option is reassigning of healthcare responsibilities to nurses. For certain diagnoses, nurses should assume the tasks of doctors. The 2008 Nursing Extension Act (Germany) defines the possibility of pilot schemes for certain conditions, e.g. wound care. This includes writing prescriptions. "Transferring healthcare responsibilities can give the nursing sector a significant boost. It is a step towards validating the nursing profession and setting it on an equal footing with that of physicians and pharmacists. Based on a rather complex process, the first model projects are planned for 2020,“ added Koch.

German consumers support greater responsibility for nurses

German consumers are already open to this change. In the Pflexit-Monitor survey, more than two-thirds (67 percent) were in favour of nurses assuming selected skills from doctors that they have also learned in their training, such as infusions. Nurses writing prescriptions after additional training, e.g. for wound products, is supported by a majority of Germans (51 percent). "In many treatment areas, nurses are as well informed as the acting physicians. The healthcare system and particularly patients, can benefit from this as nurses have a lot of knowledge," said Koch. The aim of the HARTMANN GROUP is therefore to support the validation and recognition of the nursing sector, because it is primarily nurses who use the company's products and solutions. "We work side by side with nursing professionals. HARTMANN supports nursing staff with various training courses, extensive networks and products to make their daily work easier," explained Chima Abuba. "Since 2014, we have also been the sponsor of German Nursing Day and the German Nursing Prize, to help bring visibility to the current situation – since we know that nursing will be key in the future,“ added Abuba.

About the Pflexit-Monitor

The Monitor investigates the situation of German nurses every six months, focusing on whether nursing staff want to leave the sector. The current, first edition was conducted by the survey institute DocCheck on 300 nursing staff from all over Germany. A representative survey (n = 2,038) of YouGov consumers is also conducted on different nursing topics - in this issue, on the reassignment of healthcare responsibilities to nurses.