Nurses who left their job stated that burnout was a significant factor. These findings, from a cross-sectional survey, were published in JAMA Network Open.

For this study, 3,957,661 nurses were anonymously surveyed between April and October 2018 about their work environment by the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Service Administration National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses (NSSRN).

The respondents were mostly women (90.4%), White (80.7%), mean age 48.7 (standard deviation [SD], 0.4), and 49.5% worked in a hospital.

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Of the entire sample, 9.5% reported they had left their most recent position and 31.5% stated that burnout was a contributing factor. Other important factors for leaving their positions included stressful work environment (34.4%), lack of good leadership (33.9%), inadequate staffing (30.0%), and poor compensation packages (26.5%).

The nurses who left their position due to burnout were mean age 42.0 (SD, 0.6). Women living in the West of the United States reported less burnout (16.6%) compared with the Southeast (30.0%).

Leaving a job due to burnout was more prevalent among nurses working in other inpatient settings (odds ratio [OR], 2.26; 95% CI, 1.39-3.68) or hospitals (OR, 2.10; 95% CI, 1.41-3.13) and working more than 40 hours per week (OR, 3.28; 95% CI, 1.61-6.67) or 31 to 40 hours per week (OR, 2.26; 95% CI, 1.19-4.29).

This study may have been limited by its broad definition of burnout.

These data suggested burnout remains a significant problem for nurses working in the United States, indicating a need for increased system-level support or reevaluation of workflow to provide adequate support.

Disclosure: One author declared affiliations with or received funding from the pharmaceutical industry. Please refer to the original article for a full list of disclosures.


Shah MK, Gandrakota N, Cimiotti JP, Ghose N, Moore M, Ali MK. Prevalence of and factors associated with nurse burnout in the US. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(2):e2036469. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.36469