Burnout is a state of mental, physical and emotional stress resulting in a chronic state of pressure or stress at work and is associated with individuals who do “people work” (Aiken and Sloane, 1997), a category into which nurses obviously fall. The number of nurses suffering from burnout has increased over the years, possibly causing negative effects on patient care, working environments and staffing shortages.
Hospitals should focus on creating a healthy work environment in which nurses feel supported by their coworkers and management. Hospitals should also make available stress management programs that address symptoms of burnout and assure safe nurse staffing patterns are in place. A decrease in nurses’ perceived burnout could potentially help to decrease the national nursing shortage and help hospitals eliminate costly expenses in recruiting nursing staff. Lower patient to nurse ratios, a better work environment created by better management, higher pay and shorter working shifts would all make the nursing field more desirable and attract more people to train in the field.
Holdren, P., Paul III, D. P., Coustasse, A. (2015, March). Burnout syndrome in hospital nurses. Paper presented at BHAA International 2015 in Chicago, IL.