Leading Exit Factors in Healthcare

Healthcare Turnover

Are you facing high turnover and trying to determine the root causes of why people are leaving? If so, you’re certainly not alone. 2021 healthcare turnover ended at 27.1% according to NSI Nursing Solutions’ 2022 National Health Care Retention & RN Staffing Report. Healthcare organizations like yours are turning to employee listening solutions like People Element to figure out what is causing turnover and how they can engage their people. 

People Element administers confidential exit surveys to individuals who have left their job to help organizations identify and understand the reasons why their employees are leaving, then helps distill the answers given down into actionable insights that actually mean something to you.

All of our exit surveys aim to identify reasons for leaving the organization. The questions ask a respondent to rate the impact various factors had on their decision to leave their job on a scale ranging from “No Impact” to “Main Reason for Leaving.” The various factors include items such as pay, immediate supervisor, leadership, growth opportunities, schedule, workload, etc. We compiled over 25,000 exit surveys administered by People Element, to identify the leading exit factors in healthcare. The two factors consistently rated the highest as reasons for leaving are workload and immediate supervisor.

People Element goes further than just telling you the top exit factors. We want you to know the key drivers of those exit factors. What are key drivers? These are the items on the survey that have the highest impact on the exit factors. Statistically speaking, they are the items most correlated.

Leading Exit Factors

Across our healthcare clients, the workload items that respondents disagree with most often are:

  1. The amount of work I was expected to do was realistic
  2. There was sufficient staff in my department to handle the workload
  3. I had the resources and equipment I needed to be successful at my job
  4. My workload allowed me to handle my work and home life.

For the immediate supervisor, the key drivers that we see the most disagreement with are:

  1. My immediate supervisor effectively handled employee issues and concerns
  2. I trusted my immediate supervisor
  3. My immediate supervisor treated employees with respect
  4. My immediate supervisor clearly communicated expectations for my performance

What They Want

Nurses and healthcare employees indicated that they were looking for:

  • Better nurse-to-patient ratios
  • Real mental health resources
  • Adequate staff and leadership support
  • Fair pay and benefits

Are you interested in knowing the key drivers of turnover in your organization? People Element can help! We will begin by administering confidential surveys to your exiting employees. Your People Element representative will then consolidate the results, help determine the root causes of turnover in your organization, and assist you in creating a formal plan to act on those results. Learn more, here.


Gaines, K. (2022, January 26). What’s really behind the nursing shortage? 1,500 nurses share their stories. Nurse.org. Retrieved August 29, 2022, from https://nurse.org/articles/nursing-shortage-study/

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