New Survey Unveils Significant Impact of COVID-19 on the Future of Nursing

Cross Country Healthcare and Florida Atlantic University’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing survey identifies impact on nurse satisfaction levels, key areas of focus to help improve and advance careers and increase overall well-being and mental health of nurses

Cross Country Healthcare, Inc., a leading provider of advisory and workforce solutions, including contingent staffing, permanent placement and other consultative services for healthcare clients, today announced the results from a nationally represented survey of nurses and nursing students showing that the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced long-lasting negative perceptions of their future careers. The survey, conducted in partnership with Florida Atlantic University’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, identifies root causes of the current stressors among healthcare professionals and provides actionable areas to help improve nursing satisfaction, career outlook and mental well-being.

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New Survey Unveils Significant Impact of COVID-19 on the Future of Nursing. (Photo: Business Wire)

New Survey Unveils Significant Impact of COVID-19 on the Future of Nursing. (Photo: Business Wire)

The survey reports that nearly 37 percent of nurses identify as being burned out, stressed and/or overworked. The poll results further reveal that only 32 percent of nurses are very/completely satisfied with their occupation, compared to 52 percent prior to the pandemic. Moreover, 29 percent of nurses say their desire to leave the profession is dramatically higher now versus pre-pandemic, noting the nursing shortage and inadequate staffing levels as top contributors to the low satisfaction. 66 percent of nurses expressed some level of consideration to leave the profession, signaling long-term impacts on our health system post-pandemic.

“On one hand, this research shows us that the pressures for nurses under COVID-19 are significant and likely long-lasting,” said Henry 'Hank' Drummond, PhD, MDiv, BA, RN, senior vice president, chief clinical officer at Cross Country Healthcare. “On the other hand, the data is very clear in outlining specific areas that we can improve, and Cross Country Healthcare is making every effort to support our nurses by addressing these challenges.”

The survey also pinpointed areas of change that nurses believe would positively affect the profession. These include incorporating new staffing approaches and increasing wages. For instance, 97 percent of polled participants agree, and 81 percent completely agree, that increases to pay rates and other incentives would attract and retain nurses. More than half (58 percent) agree that telehealth should be a cornerstone of care delivery and 85 percent believe that we must improve cross training to adapt to crisis events. Additionally, the majority of nurses (85 percent) strongly believe national licensure, a multistate license that would allow nurses to practice across state lines, would have greatly benefited the country during the pandemic.

“Our nurses are the backbone of the healthcare system and if too many leave or decide not to pursue a career in nursing, the consequences would be catastrophic,” said Safiya George, PhD, APRN-BC, FAANP, dean & professor at Florida Atlantic University’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing. “Our nurses need solutions, many of them outlined in this research, that will ease burnout and reduce stress, as well as help them enjoy long-term and satisfying careers.”

Cross Country Healthcare has long provided mental health outlets to its healthcare professionals. Specifically, during the pandemic Cross Country Healthcare launched a dedicated mental health hotline and offered a licensed clinical social worker so that employees and clinicians can safely and openly express their emotions and have an immediate resource for assistance.

“Having recently worked in the hospital setting, I can tell you how difficult this time has been for nurses and other healthcare staff,” said Michael Skovira, MBA, MPAS, PA-C, chief medical officer at Cross Country Healthcare. “These findings reinforce the importance of our existing resources and will help our organization design novel and informed long-term support solutions for our valued nurses.”

More about the survey

The survey, conducted in partnership between Cross Country Healthcare and Florida Atlantic University’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, collected 570 responses between May and June of 2021. The results showcase a robust and comprehensive audit of the new post-pandemic landscape of nursing from the perspective of current nurses and nursing students.

About Cross Country Healthcare

Cross Country Healthcare, Inc. (CCH) is a leader in providing total talent management including strategic workforce solutions, contingent staffing, permanent placement, and consultative services for healthcare customers. Leveraging our 35 years of industry expertise and insight, CCH solves complex labor-related challenges for customers while providing high-quality outcomes and exceptional patient care.

As a multi-year Best of Staffing® Award winner, CCH is committed to an exceptionally high level of service to both our clients and our healthcare professionals. CCH was the first publicly traded staffing firm to obtain The Joint Commission Certification, which it still holds with a Letter of Distinction. CCH was recently listed as one of the top four staffing and recruiting employers for women by InHerSights in October 2021 and earned Energage’s inaugural 2021 Top Workplaces USA award in February 2021.

CCH has a longstanding history of investing in its diversity, equality, and inclusion strategic initiatives as a key component of the organization’s overall corporate social responsibility program which is closely aligned with its core values to create a better future for its people, communities, the planet, and its shareholders.

About the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing

FAU’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing is nationally and internationally known for its excellence and philosophy of caring science. The College was ranked No. 11 nationwide by U.S. News and World Report in 2021 for “Best Online Master’s in Nursing Administration Programs” and No. 32 for the “Best Online Master’s in Nursing Programs.” In 2020, FAU graduates earned a 95.9% percent pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN®) and 100% AGNP Certification Pass Rate. FAU’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). For more information, visit

Copies of this and other news releases, as well as additional information about Cross Country Healthcare, can be obtained online at Shareholders and prospective investors can also register to automatically receive the Company's press releases, SEC filings and other notices by e-mail.


Media Contact:

Cross Country Healthcare, Inc.

Corrie Keller, APR, 561-617-2454

Director, Corporate Communications

Gisele Galoustian

Senior Media Relations Director, Research and Health

Division of Public Affairs

Florida Atlantic University

Phone: 561-985-4615


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