Avoiding Burnout. Any tips?



Nursing is a difficult profession and there are endless ways to end up burned out. Most of us have personally been here, or know a coworker who has. Please share your thoughts and suggestions for avoiding burnout and keeping nurses happy :smiley:


To start things off, I’d say a good suggestion is to take time off. I’ve seen what happens to nurses who try to work a lot of overtime, and their mood progressively deteriorates until other start avoiding them because they are so irritable. I think everyone needs time off from their work, and nursing is certainly no exception. It’s a grueling job and time away is a good way to recenter yourself and by the time you come back, you’ll start off in a better mood.



I kid, but then again, I enjoy a good brew.




I wrote this blog post for American Journal of Nursing, and wish with all my heart I could distribute it to every friend and family member of a nurse, so they knew how to support us better.


Sometimes I think it’s just best to switch environments when you get burned out, perhaps irreversibly so. There may be factors at your current job that will make coping and correction damn near impossible, and your easiest move could be to apply to new jobs that interest you and where you think you’d be happier.

It’s not worth it to stick around in a job that you hate if you have other options. One of the great things about nursing is that we are blessed to have a dynamic working environment. Hate bedside nursing? Work in a doctors office or for an insurance company? Hate med-surg? Try the ER. Hate the chaos of the ER? Try the ICU. Want good daytime hours and minimal weekends, holidays, etc.? Try the OR or endoscopy. There are so many options to move around and most of us can probably find something we like and enjoy.