3 Tips for Dealing with Nursing Burnout
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3 Tips for Dealing with Nursing Burnout

September 30, 2019

If you think that you are suffering from nursing burnout, you are not alone. According to a 2017 survey by Kronos Incorporated:1

  • 98 percent of hospital nurses said their work is physically and mentally demanding
  • 85 percent noted that their nursing jobs make them fatigued overall
  • 63 percent reported that their work has caused nurse burnout
  • 44 percent worry their patient care will suffer because they are so tired
  • 41 percent have considered changing hospitals during the past year due to burnout

These statistics have broader implications for the healthcare industry, including the hospitals, nursing homes, and alternative medical facilities that rely on RNs and CNAs to provide patient care. There is a national turnover rate of 16.8% for RNs and 27.7% for CNAs, and 1 in 5 newly-licensed RNs leave their first job within a year.2,3 With a shortage of qualified nurses in the United States, hospitals can lose $5.2 million to $8.1 million annually when their employees decide to move to greener pastures.4

In other words, your health and emotional wellbeing should be their #1 concern.

Here are our top tips for dealing with nursing burnout, based on the latest research in the healthcare industry:

3 Tips for Dealing with Nursing Burnout

Focus On Self-Care

In a recent article by Becker’s Hospital Review, Kelly Gooch shared five of the biggest issues that nurses face today — a shortage of qualified RNs and CNAs in healthcare organizations, long working hours, physical and environmental workplace hazards, harassment, and periodic violence from patients under their care.5 With high nurse-to-patient ratios and a growing number of workplace stressors, it’s no wonder that nursing burnout is one of the leading causes of employee turnover in medical facilities.6 

After years of research, studies have repeatedly shown that self-care and mindfulness-based stress reduction are effective tools for dealing with nursing burnout in a healthcare setting.7,8,9 Here are a few ways to prevent burnout in nursing positions:

  • Start Moving — Did you know 20-30 minute periods of physical activity can significantly reduce your stress levels while you are at work? Employees in demanding occupations have incorporated walking, running, and yoga into their daily routines to cope with on-the-job stressors, even if they only exercise during their lunch break.
  • Take A Breath — Mindful exercises like deep breathing, meditation, and body scans can help you focus on the present instead of worrying about your workload and the patients that you need to see next.

Work On Your Communication Skills

When we talk to nurses who are searching for a new RN or CNA, their #1 complaint is that the nursing leadership, nursing/medical assistants, and administrative staff at their last job did not actively listen to their concerns. These situations can lead to serious problems with job satisfaction, burnout, and employee turnover; in a setting where nurses handle the vast majority of patient interactions, it’s no wonder that thirty percent of nurses in hospitals say that they feel bullied at work by senior management (13 percent), fellow nurses (11 percent), nursing administration and leaders (5 percent), and physicians (5 percent).10

If you are searching for ways to improve your communication with hospital staff, here are a few ways to prevent burnout in nursing interactions:

  • Focus On Goal-Oriented Communication — The physicians, NPs, and administrative staff at your hospital are also dealing with high levels of stress. When you approach them with a problem, make sure that you have 1 or 2 potential solutions that will make their lives easier. If your discussion is straightforward, on point, and tailored to the needs of the person that you are communicating with, they will be far more likely to work with you.
  • Say Thank You — Everyone likes to be thanked for the work that they do, and studies have shown that positive reinforcement reduces stress and bolsters working relationships. Make sure that you dedicate a few minutes each day to thanking the employees that support and supervise you; if you are seen as an encouraging member of their hospital staff, they will respond to your complaints with more compassion and understanding.

Find A Nursing Job That You Love

At the same time, we know that there are plenty of hospitals, nursing homes, and staffing agencies that don’t set their nurses up for success. If you are dealing with a toxic workplace culture, the best thing that you can do is to find a new nursing job at a mission-driven organization.

At Prolink, we are committed to bringing high-quality nurses to patients across the country. To recruit and retain the best healthcare professionals, we have put our own nursing leadership in place to listen to their feedback, concerns, and career goals. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a travel RN from Phoenix, AZ or a CNA in Pittsburgh, PA — our nurses’ health and emotional wellbeing are our top concern.

We want to work with you to pursue your long-term professional goals, whether you’re interested in a local per diem, contract to hire, or travel nursing job in 2019. Click on one of the buttons below to find high-quality nursing jobs in your area.

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