Nurses spend more than "a million hours" every week on paperwork that could be done by a ward clerk.
The survey, conducted in the nursing publication Nursing Times, has lead to nurse leaders calling for employers to sit up and take note.
Janet Davies, executive director of nursing and service delivery, at the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), said: "The first priority for any nurse is spending time with patients delivering high quality care.
"Of course there will always be other tasks that have to be done to ensure that a ward runs smoothly, but time could be saved by better use of technology, ward clerks and admin staff. This lack of admin support for nurses is a problem that goes beyond access to medical supplies.
"Nurses should be free to nurse, so it is crucial that employers look into this research and make sure that their systems are as effective for patients as they can be.”