Pressures of the job, work-related stress, poor staffing levels and poor pay made up the top reasons for leaving.
A new report reveals how tens of thousands of nurses at an early stage in their careers have quit the profession over the last five years.
The report, published today by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), raises serious concerns about the profession’s future given the exodus of young staff.
Data included in the report from the nursing regulator shows that nearly 43,000 nurses left the profession and health and social care sector in the early stages of their careers over the past five years.
A prior analysis undertaken by the College found the pressures of the job, work-related stress, poor staffing levels and poor pay made up the top reasons for leaving.
RCN General Secretary and Chief Executive, Pat Cullen, said: “We’ve lost almost as many young nurses in the last five years in the UK as the number we need to fill all the vacant posts in England’s NHS.
“That nurses aren’t just choosing to retire early, but are quitting – and not just the NHS but the profession entirely – when they’re only a few years into their career, is deeply worrying.
“It speaks volumes about the dire state that ministers have allowed nursing to fall into through years of underfunding and neglect.
Ms Cullen continued, “The government’s negligence towards addressing vacancies is having a devastating impact on patient care and is why our members took to picket lines again last week.”
“The government cannot blame the pandemic and other winter pressures for the crisis unfolding before our eyes – this has been a long time in the making yet the government has consistently ignored clear signs.
“The Prime Minister needs to get round the negotiating table and offer a fair pay rise to stop the exodus.”