Registered nurses know there's a staff shortage and say the quality of patient care has declined as a result, but most are still satisfied...

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Registered nurses know there’s a staff shortage and say the quality of patient care has declined as a result, but most are still satisfied with their jobs, a new survey has found.

Ninety-five percent of RNs say there is a nurse shortage, 72 percent say nurse turnover has increased in the past year, and 68 percent say nurses must care for a greater number of patients than they did a year ago, according to a national survey conducted for NurseWeek.com and the American Organization of Nurse Executives.

As a result, 89 percent say the amount of time they have to devote to each patient has declined, and 76 percent say the quality of patient care provided by nurses has deteriorated.

However, 77 percent said they are “very” or “moderately” satisfied with being a nurse. Of nurses who have left the field, 45 percent said that less-stressful working conditions would be “very likely” to cause them to consider returning.

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