An annual survey of registered nurses designed to measure career paths and satisfaction levels finds the intent-to-retire rate among RNs has jumped to 13%. It had been running at 6% in previous years.
At 71 years old, Charlie Duckett, RN, has been caring for patients for nearly 25 years, but his enthusiasm for the profession hasn't waned.
"I'm very dedicated. I love what I do," he says. "You go to the hospital, and you take care of people, and you help save lives. And at the end of the day, you feel like you've really helped people. I never wake up in the morning and say, 'I don't want to go to work.'"
In his two decades as a travel nurse and previously, as a military diver and medic in the army's Special Forces, Duckett has been to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro and to the bottom of the sea. He's treated patients all over the country, from Hawaii to Alaska, California to Connecticut.
A note of excitement rises in Duckett voice when he talks about patient care. It's this kind of enthusiasm that he'll take with him when he finally retires from nursing.
Alexandra Wilson Pecci is an editor for HealthLeaders.