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Nurse Burnout: What You Need To Know To Prevent Burnout

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Fatigue, loss of motivation, decreased satisfaction — if this sounds like you, you may be dealing with nurse burnout.

Burnout amongst nurses isn’t a new phenomena. However, nurse burnout didn’t receive national attention until the Covid-19 pandemic in which nurses were on the frontlines reckoning with a novel virus in a perilous environment.

Read our complete guide to nurse burnout and learn how to prevent burnout.

What Is Nurse Burnout?

You may have felt burnout, but do you know what it is? Let’s define it.

First off, burnout is an occupational condition, not a medical phenomenon, according to the World Health Organization. Read that again. Burnout is an occupational condition. 

Nurse burnout is caused by the often stressful environments nurses report to daily. In addition, nurses perform physically and emotionally demanding work that can have lifechanging impacts adding to the stress.

All things considered, nurse burnout is a prevalent issue that has the potential to impact all nurses. Continue on to learn the extent of nurse burnout.

Nurse Burnout Statistics

Unfortunately, nurse burnout is not an uncommon occurrence.

Forty-seven percent of nurses report that they’re beginning to feel burnout, presently burned out, or completely burned out and may need assistance, according to American Nurses Foundation’s November 2022 “Pulse on the Nation’s Nurses Survey Series: Annual Assessment Survey.”

As a result, 19% of nurses who responded to the survey intend to leave their position in the next six months. Likewise, 27% of nurses are considering leaving their position in the next six months.

Signs of Nurse Burnout

Nurse burnout symptoms aren’t always easy to identify because they often mask themselves as other ailments. For example, a troubled night of sleep may not be out of the ordinary. Likewise, an occasional bad mental health won’t raise a red flag, especially if you have other stressors. However, multiple ongoing symptoms occurring simultaneously may be an indicator that something deeper may be occurring.  

So if you suspect there’s more to your symptoms than just your out-of-character moodiness, keep reading to learn about the signs of nurse burnout.

ProcrastinationCynicismChanges in appetite
Reduced efficacyFeeling detachedFatigue
Reduced performanceHelplessnessFrequent
Withdrawal from normal activitiesLoss of motivationStomachaches

Keep in mind this list of nurse burnout symptoms is not an exhaustive list. If you are experiencing nurse burnout symptoms, you may want to consult with a doctor or counselor to ensure it’s not another ailment.

Reasons for Burnout

Can you prevent burnout? Yes and no. To better explain, let’s first take a look at the reasons for burnout.

In American Nurses Foundation’s November 2022 survey, “Pulse on the Nation’s Nurses Survey Series: Annual Assessment Survey,” 12,581 nurses responded to “What contributes most to your workplace burnout?” The results are as follows:

  • 34% responded that there’s not enough staff
  • 12% feel that they lack their employer’s respect
  • 10% report too many administrative tasks
  • 9% report insufficient compensation
  • 8% work too many hours.

One or more of these may be true for you if you are experiencing burnout.

The question remains, however, can you prevent nurse burnout? Yes! With a comprehensive self-care routine and supportive work environment, you can ward off burnout and improve your livelihood. Keep reading to learn how to prevent nurse burnout.

How to Prevent Nurse Burnout

Spend Time With Friends and Family 

Will planning a family outing really help burnout? The research suggests yes!

In “Pulse on the Nation’s Nurses Survey Series: Annual Assessment Survey,” 70% of nurses reported that spending time with their friends and family strengthened their well-being.

Spending time with family and friends increases our sense of belonging and purpose, improves our self-confidence and self-worth, and helps you cope with traumas, according to the Mayo Clinic.

So if you’re feeling the onset of burnout, reach out to a friend or family member.

Planning a family game night, attending a niece’s birthday party, going out to lunch with your closest comrades — all of these are great examples of how you can ward off nurse burnout.

Ask For Help

Burnout can feel isolating and frustrating with no end in sight. And some things can’t be fixed with a vacation day. If your preferred coping mechanisms don’t give you relief, ASK FOR HELP.

There is zero shame in reaching out to a mental health professional or doctor.

As a nurse, you know that healthcare providers can assess your chronic symptoms and offer long-term solutions.

Change Your Environment

At the end of the day, nurse burnout is an occupational condition. You can take steps to improve your wellbeing, but if your work environment does not improve, you may continue to experience nurse burnout. 

This isn’t a call to quit nursing. That is a personal decision that should be discussed with your family, friends, and counselors. 

So what are we saying? Consider a change of pace and location. The nursing profession offers a multitude of nursing contracts.

Per diem nursing allows you to pick up shifts as you feel appropriate, allowing you to maintain your nursing career and care for your mental health. Travel nursing is also an opportunity which allows nurses to change their environment and travel to desirable destinations.


Nurse burnout is a prevalent and ongoing issue. Confronting and discussing the issue candidly is the first step to solving the epidemic profession-wide. Continue the conversation with nurses in your life and share this blog.

Visit the Jogan Health blog for more nurse resources.

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