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Ways to Help Prevent Nursing Burnout

A career in nursing can be lucrative, but with long hours and high-stress situations, it can also quickly lead to burnout. In fact, out of all professions, nurses are more likely to experience burnout and emotional exhaustion. Not only can burnout lead to nurses leaving the profession, but it can result in mistakes made on the job and an overall lack of quality in patient care. Knowing how to prevent and handle burnout can help nurses stay strong on the job and enjoy the benefits that come from a career in nursing.

Ways to Prevent Nursing Burnout

Focusing on Yourself

Nurses spend hours every day focusing on others. After a 12-hour shift full of taking care of patients, they often head home to families vying for their attention, try to fit in time with friends and take care of some of the necessities of life. Taking a moment to decompress or focus on themselves is often the last thing on their minds. However, that time to decompress, reflect and focus on yourself is crucial when it comes to avoiding burnout.

Relieve Stress

After work, take some time to do whatever it is that helps you de-stress. It may mean getting regular massages, enjoying some time in prayer or reading a book. Maybe it helps to write in a journal or sit and debrief with a friend over a cup of coffee. Whatever it is, it must become a priority. Look for ways to incorporate stress-relieving activities into your shift at work as well. No matter how hectic the day, take a moment to have that cup of coffee, do a short yoga routine or just sit down and catch your breath.

Healthy Eating and Exercise

Taking care of yourself physically is as important as taking care of yourself emotionally. In the middle of a long shift or when you get home tired, it’s much easier to choose something quick and unhealthy to eat. However, taking the time to choose healthier food options and make sure you’re getting all of the nutrients you need will help boost your energy levels and give you something to feel good about. Making regular time for exercise will also make it easier to endure those long shifts and keep your energy levels up.

Focusing on Your Career

Focusing on the positive aspects of your career will help you avoid burnout. Think back to why you went into nursing in the first place and use that as motivation for days when you face unruly patients or don’t get a moment of rest during your entire shift. Look to the future of your career as well and try to come up with ways to make it something you can enjoy doing for a lifetime.

Set Goals

Setting goals will give you something to work towards and can motivation you to stick with nursing. Do you aspire to obtain a management position? Do you want to get an advanced degree? Set a plan for reaching your goals and stick to that plan no matter how hard it may seem.

Connect with Others

Connecting with other nurses can also help make the stress you experience more bearable. If you have had a particularly troubling day, you can talk it out with others who understand and provide empathy. They may also be able to help you come up with solutions to problems you are facing in the workplace or offer advice to help make your job easier.

Don’t Be Afraid to Step Away

If you feel burnout coming on, sometimes you just need to step away. While you cannot leave your job in the middle of your shift, you can take a few days off and choose not to focus on work at all. You can turn down overtime opportunities even though the extra money would be nice. Since nurses are in high-demand, you are also not limited to your current position. If your current job is getting boring, it’s okay to look for something else. Ask about being transferred to a different unit or try working a different shift. Sometimes nursing burnout just means it’s time to spice it up a bit and try something new.

Nursing Scholarships

American Assembly for Men in Nursing (AAMN) American Cancer Society Doctoral Degree Scholarships in Cancer Nursing Gallagher Student Health Careers Scholarship
The Gates Millenium Scholars (GMS) National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA)
New Careers in Nursing (NCIN) Nurse Corps Scholarship (NCS) Nurses of Tomorrow
Nursing Economics Foundation Tylenol Future Care Scholarship American Holistic Nurses Association

Colorado Technical University Online

Specialized, industry-current degree programs in Health Administration Services, Healthcare Management and Nursing.

Programs:

  • Master of Science in Nursing - Nursing Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN completion)

Grand Canyon University

Nursing Degree Programs from Grand Canyon University's College of Nursing & Health Care Professions

Programs:

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice with an Emphasis in Educational Leadership
  • M.S. in Nursing: Health Care Informatics (Bridge)
  • M.S. in Nursing: Public Health (Bridge)
  • And more...

South University

Several nursing programs are available at the bachelor's, post-graduate, master's, and doctoral levels.

Programs:

  • Nursing (BS)
  • Nursing (RN to BSN)

Baker College Online

Baker College is proud to be the largest independent college in Michigan with the most focused approach to education and training available. With one of the highest graduate employment rates in the country, our mission is to help our students find meaningful employment.

Programs:

  • Nursing (Post-licensure) - Bachelor
  • Nursing Administration - Master's

Northcentral University

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

Programs:

  • Doctor of Education - Nursing Education

Keiser University Graduate School

For over 35 years, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals. 

Programs:

Kaplan University - KHE

At Kaplan University, we offer over 180 degree and certificate programs.

Programs:

  • MS in Nursing
  • Master of Science in Nursing : Executive Leader
  • Family Nurse Practitioner Graduate Certificate
  • And more...

Medical Careers Institute

Start a great career in healthcare with Medical Careers Institute.

Programs:

  • Nursing (RN-BSN) - Bachelor's

West Coast University

Advance your career. 100% Focused on Health Sciences.

Programs:

  • MSN - Informatics (Online)
  • MSN – Advanced Generalist (Online)
  • RN to MSN - Advanced Generalist (Online)
  • And more...

Fortis Institute

At Fortis Institute, you may get the skills and training you need to prepare for a career.

* Programs vary by location

* Please contact each individual campus for accreditation information


Programs:

  • Associate Degree in Nursing

Liberty University

Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.

Programs:

  • Master of Science in Nursing: Nursing Administration
  • Master of Science in Nursing: Nurse Educator
  • BS in Nursing (RN to BSN)

South University

As a student at South University, you will have the opportunity to learn from accomplished faculty members who have real-world experience in the subjects that they teach. Our small class sizes allow you to receive personalized attention from instructors, and the encouragement to recognize your goals for the future and the means to achieve them.

Programs:

  • Nursing (BS)
  • Nursing (RN to BSN)

California University of Pennsylvania

Recognized by the U.S. News and World Report for: Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s 2017, Best Online Programs, Grad Education 2017 and Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s for Veterans 2017

Programs:

  • Dual Degree: MSN-MBA (MSN-MBA) - Online
  • RN-BSN (Bachelor of Science) - Online
  • MSN Nursing Administration & Leadership (Master of Science) - Online

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