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The Ultimate guide to prevent nursing burnout in todays healthcare industry

The nurse is the cornerstone of modern healthcare. These licensed professionals are responsible for everything from diagnosing and treating patients to advising them on preventative measures to keep them healthy. The demand for registered nurses is at an all-time high and is expected to continue rising in coming years.

Unfortunately, not everyone who takes this career path experiences success. In fact, many working RNs today are feeling burnt out from the pressures of the industry, leading to an increase in attrition rates among new grads and experienced professionals alike. That’s why we created this guide on preventing nursing burnout as a resource for anyone considering a career in the health care field or anyone who is currently working as an RN and is looking for ways to stay happy, healthy and effective at work.

What is Nursing Burnout?

Burnout as a concept has been studied since the 1950s, but the term itself was only coined in the 1970s. Burnout occurs when you feel consistently overworked, stressed, and unfulfilled in your profession. It’s a state of emotional exhaustion that can lead to physical and mental health issues if left untreated.

Nurses experience burnout at higher rates than many other professions due to their high-stress, high-stakes roles in the health care industry. They are responsible for dealing with sick patients, administering treatments and therapies, and taking care of the administrative needs of the hospital or clinic. This makes the average workday extremely long, and leaves little to no time for resting and recuperating.

Why Is Burnout So Common Among Nurses?

There are many reasons why nurses experience higher rates of burnout than other professions. Here are just a few:

Lack of support: Many nurses report feeling unsupported by their managers, co-workers, and even their patients. This lack of emotional support makes it easier to feel overwhelmed by the high-stress situations nurses often find themselves in.

Lack of control: Nursing is a field of work that often involves long hours, lots of overtime, and unpredictable schedules. This can make it difficult to plan your day, keep up with your personal life, and even go to the bathroom when you need to.

Pressure to succeed: The health care industry is highly regulated. Nurses must follow strict protocol when administering treatments, administering medications, and documenting observations. This means nurses can feel pressured to follow an almost superhuman level of precision that is difficult for anyone to maintain for long periods of time.

How to Prevent Nursing Burnout

To prevent nursing burnout from setting in, you should take steps to reduce stress, increase self-care, and strengthen your emotional resilience. Here are a few ways to do that:

Take breaks: All workers need breaks throughout the day. This is especially true for those in high-pressure or high-risk jobs like nursing. Breaks allow you to recharge, get rid of built-up stress and come back to work feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day.

Find support: When you feel like you’re the only person dealing with high-stress situations, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and unmotivated to keep going. Finding support both inside and outside of work can make a huge difference. At work, you can reach out to your fellow nurses, manager, and even patients to find support. Outside of work, you can find support from friends and family members. You can also consider joining a community of other nurses through organizations like your state nursing association or an online support group.

Take care of yourself: This is related to taking breaks and finding support. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, you need to give yourself time to recuperate and find a way to de-stress. If you’ve been working long hours without time to rest, you’re more likely to make mistakes and feel exhausted, making it even harder to get through the day. This applies to your outside life too. If you’re trying to have a social life, spend time with your family, and have a hobby, but you’re feeling too stretched thin, you’re likely to feel stressed and burnt out even faster.

Use mindfulness: Mindfulness is a mental health technique that has been found to help people in all sorts of different jobs reduce stress, increase focus, and prevent burnout. The University of California has a great overview of how mindfulness can be used in the workplace. You can also look for a guided meditation app to help you stay calm and focused throughout your day.


Nursing is a rewarding and challenging career, but it can also be extremely demanding. Preventing nursing burnout is essential for staying healthy both mentally and physically. To prevent burnout, you should take breaks, find support, take care of yourself, and use mindfulness. If you feel like you’re experiencing burnout, don’t hesitate to take steps to get back on track.

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