AUSTIN (KXAN) — Nurses hope their message has a long-lasting impact as National Nurses Week ends.

“What we really need to be doing is making sure that the employers, policy makers and schools of nursing are supporting nurses every day in the job they are doing,” said Michelle Larkin, a former nurse advocating for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The RWJF is the country’s largest philanthropy dedicated to health.

Larkin said employers need to care for nurses as much as nurses care for their patients.

“It’s taking a look and making it easy for nurses to say, ‘hey, I’m not ok I need some help,” said Larkin.

The group said one way to help nurses is for employers to dig into staffing ratios.

“Make sure they are looking at illness levels and the complexity of patients and making sure they are not putting nurses in unsafe working conditions by having to care for too many sick patients.”

Last year, 100,000 nurses left the profession according to Larkin.

“This data was alarming and disturbing, because a large percentage of nurses leaving were under the age of 35.” 

The survey also found nurses listed burnout and fatigue as the most common reason for leaving their job.

Larkin said others blame “a fair bit of violence at the bed side both physically and mentally by patients and family members.”