Registered Nurse Rebecca Moak poses for a photo in trauma center of the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi October 4, 2013. Reuters/Jonathan Bachman

Forty-four percent of nurses would choose a different career if given the chance to do it all again. Despite earning $95,000 to $170,000, many expressed dissatisfaction with the job, the research reports.

According to the results of Medscape Nurse Salary Survey, nurses who worked outside the hospital setting were happier than their hospital counterparts. The career satisfaction overall was lower than it was for doctors, who said 64 percent of them would choose the profession again based on an earlier Medscape report.

Higher satisfaction is associated with higher salaries. Seventy-three percent of nurse anesthetists are financially happy. In contrast, 53 percent of registered nurses and only 43 percent of licensed practical nurses (LPNs) are content. However, earning money came in fourth on the list of what nurses find rewarding, below trailing relationships with patients, a sense of competence and professional pride.

“Nursing is a very difficult and demanding career choice: long hours, weekend and holiday work, and most importantly, the need to provide hands-on care to people at their most vulnerable times in life, often when they are injured, ill, in pain or dying,” says Susan Yox, a registered nurse and director of editorial content for Medscape, Reuters notes.

Medscape reviewed 8,256 online survey responses from US nurses between Aug 12 and Oct 2, 2015. The subjects included advanced practice registered nurses (APNs) encompassing nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, clinical nurse specialists; registered nurses, with a two-year associate or four-year Bachelor of Science degree; and LPNs/LVNs, with one or two years of training.

The researchers also found out that men made more money than women, regardless of specialty. Though only one in 10 nurses is male, they make nine percent more than women. Perhaps men work more overtime, take on additional employment or they fill managerial positions more often than women.

"This survey shows that the working environment for RNs is still not uniformly providing the support and conditions that nurses find professionally rewarding and personally satisfying," claimed Pamela F. Cipriano, president of the American Nurses Association.

Issues arising from the health care system could also be a factor for the result. Patricia Davidson, dean of the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing in Baltimore, lamented that nurses struggle with fewer resources and tighter budget while receiving an increasing number of patients with chronic illnesses, Reuters reports.

"The Medscape survey provides important insights into nurses' views, attitudes, and career motivations, indicating a fair degree of financial satisfaction, but also uncovering some concerning perspectives about their happiness with their jobs and overall career decisions,” Yox insisted. “Our hope is that the survey will get people talking and thinking about how to best support nurses regardless of practice setting, education levels and gender."

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