US Survey of Incidence of and Reasons for Nurse Anesthetists Leaving or Having Considered Leaving Their Jobs

Franklin Dexter, Richard Epstein, Mohamed Elhakim, Cormac O'Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many nurse anesthetists changing positions or considering leaving their positions can give the impression that suboptimal quality of anesthesia department leadership exists. To provide nationally accurate benchmark data on annual turnovers of nurse anesthetists to assist chief nurse anesthetists who may be scrutinized for the resignation rate of nurse anesthetists at their hospital, we used the 2018 US National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses. Analyses show that, during 2017, approximately 13.6% (99% CI, 6.6%-25.8%) of survey respondents left the positions that they held as of December 31, 2016. Approximately 37.6% considered leaving but did not resign as of December 31, 2017 (CI, 26.2%-50.6%). Estimates for nurse anesthetists were comparable to those for registered nurses (ie, not unique to nurse anesthetists). With both estimates combined, approximately 53% of nurse anesthetists changed or considered leaving their primary position (CI, 37.3%-68.0%, P=.62 compared with half). The most commonly reported reason was "better pay/benefits" (P≤.0064 vs all other reasons, including burnout). Applying the results, in a department with 37 nurse anesthetists, the national incidence of 13.6% would represent a turnover of 5.0 per year. The 13.6% incidence could also result in 1 of 5 years having as many as 11 nurse anesthetists (30%) leaving.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)484-490
Number of pages7
JournalAANA journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Anesthesiology
  • nurse anesthetists
  • personnel turnover
  • salaries and fringe benefits
  • surveys and questionnaires

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medical–Surgical
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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