Record 10% of New Nurses in Japan Quit within 1 Year

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
A cap is placed on a nursing student.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — A record 10.3% of new graduate nurses in Japan quit their jobs within a year of employment in fiscal 2021, which ended in March last year, a survey by the Japanese Nursing Association showed.

The turnover rate rose 2.1 percentage points from the previous year, according to the survey that dates back to fiscal 2005.

The increase was apparently caused by anxieties among nurses and turmoil at hospitals amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the association said. The first COVID-19 case in Japan was confirmed in January 2020.

The survey was conducted in autumn last year on 8,165 hospitals nationwide. Valid responses came from 36.3% of them.

In the survey, 8% of responding hospitals said the number of nurses who left their jobs “increased very much,” compared with the previous year, while 26.7% answered the number “increased somewhat.”

Nearly 40% of hospitals said the pandemic was a contributing factor.

Due to the pandemic, new graduate nurses might not have been able to experience enough hospital training before their graduation, the association said.

“Especially small hospitals can’t do enough to ensure that their staff can work safely and with a sense of relief, which might have raised the turnover rate. Systems and training programs to take care of new graduate nurses are needed,” an association official said.