Just under 40% of practice nurses say that the stress associated with the job is affecting their level of patient care, according to results of a new primary care survey.
When asked whether the stress has caused them to take some time off, one in five practice nurses said that they felt it would be likely within the next year.
A further 12% said that they had already taken time off over the last year due to stress.
The findings come from the Primary Concerns report, released by Nursing in Practice publishers Cogora.
Respondents were encouraged to give additional information as to how stress had affected their work, or why they had taken time off.
One respondent said that it would be ‘wrong to say this [stress] does not influence our care on occasions’, while another claimed that she had to work part-time as she ‘could not cope’ with a full-time role.
One reported that their contract does not allow paid sick leave, and so they are unable to take time off when needed.
Stress was a factor for the 48% of people who said that they would look to leave the profession in the next year. Of these, 25% said they were planning to retire, but the remaining 23% said that retirement was not the reason for leaving, with one claiming that they were actively looking for a different job due to burnout.
Working beyond contracted hours on a regular basis was an often-cited problem, with 28% saying they work beyond their hours every day, and a further 29% ‘a few times a week’.
The findings come as the latest NHS Digital statistics found only a small growth in the practice nurse workforce.