According to the Medscape Nurse Career Satisfaction Report 2018, the overwhelming majority of nurses are glad they became nurses or advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). Among the 10,284 nurses who responded to the online survey, 98 percent of nurse midwives, clinical nurse specialists and certified registered nurse anesthetists responded yes when each was asked if they were glad they became a nurse or APRN. The satisfaction rates for nurse practitioners, licensed practical nurses and registered nurses (RNs) ranged from 94 percent to 96 percent, with a small proportion of nurses expressing regret pursuing a nursing or APRN career.
However, when asked if they “could do it all over again,” only 76 percent of RNs said they would again choose nursing as a career, with 22 percent responding that they would not. The authors of the report stated that they have “seen this phenomenon in previous survey results, and as yet don’t have an explanation for it. It’s easier to understand that nurses and APRNs might wish they’d ended up in a different practice setting.” Survey results show that only 29 to 38 percent of all respondents seemed satisfied with their practice setting. There were also gender-related differences in overall career satisfaction, with male RNs (67 percent) less likely than female RNs (77 percent) to choose a career in nursing again.