MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The growing nursing shortage is pushing many healthcare systems across the country to their breaking point.

A new survey by technology-based nursing hiring platform Incredible Health found more than one-third, or about 34 percent of nurses, say it is very likely they will leave the profession by the end of the year. 44 percent cited burnout and a high-stress environment as the reason for their desire to leave.

The survey also found 27 percent of nurses cited benefits and pay as the second-leading reason for quitting their jobs.

Some Mid-South nurses are now looking at other options.

“What we’ve seen with the pandemic is that need and that gap widen and it’s been prolonged for sure,” said Trenda Ray, a Chief Nursing Officer in Arkansas. “They may have moved into telehealth, school health, or care management and they may have into the clinic.”

Nationwide, about one in five full-time registered nursing jobs are unfilled. Between the impact of the pandemic, an aging workforce, and an aging population in need of more care, the shortage is only getting worse as many hope nurses receive the support they need.

Some hospitals across the nation are also increasing pay, offering bonuses, or helping to pay off student loans in hopes of getting nurses to stay on the job.