Correction to press release - 60% of nurses burn out & quit

on 17 November

Correction to recent misleading press release that 60% of nurses burn out and quit.

Members will have noticed recent press releases  in national media and picked up by our news clip service stating that  60% of nurses burn out and quit.  Dr Martin Woods  as the researcher concerned has provided us with the following  important correction.

he actual survey itself was a small pilot study on moral distress in nursing involving approximately 30 registered nurses, of whom only 50% actually returned the completed survey. The figure ‘6 out of 10’ was in fact merely the actual number who replied that they had left a nursing position because of a moral issue. This in itself was a surprising result, amongst others of interest, because it seemed to indicate a potentially serious issue. However, this particular finding was presented in the press (Sunday Star Times, November 13, p.A8) as ‘60% of nurses burnout and quit’, which was misleading, and attempts have subsequently been made to correct this anomaly. Yet the article did at least refer to the study as a pilot one only, noted at least a few indicators of potential concern, and indicated that the main survey results (a national survey of nurses in NZ) would be more reliable. Hence, the results of the pilot study cannot be generalized or viewed as indicative of a major problem in nursing at this time. Nevertheless, it is pertinent to note that if the trends seen in the pilot study are repeated in the results of the main study, then these findings would indeed be of considerable concern to the nursing profession. The main study findings should be available next year, probably around March or April.

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