How To Prevent Nurse Burnout

As we are entering a time of unique change in the healthcare industry, taking care of nurses will need to be our #1 priority. Have you ever heard of career burnout? It is commonly experienced by those in the healthcare field. Everyone feels burnout differently, whether it is just job dissatisfaction or general fatigue. Burnout can leave professionals feeling unmotivated and unwilling to continue on their career path. Nurse burnout especially impacts not only the nurses themselves, but the patients as well. It is important for both your patients’ sakes and your own sanity that you learn how to prevent nurse burnout.

How to Prevent Nurse Burnout

A frustrated stressed nurse takes a break in the hallway.

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Causes- How to prevent nurse burnout?

Long Shifts 

Traditionally, extended work shifts of twelve hours or longer are common and popular among hospital staff nurses. With twelve-hour shifts, hospitals aim to have an increase in productivity due to fewer shift changes, and employees may enjoy the extra full day off as a result. Indeed, most nurses have the ability to work long and hard hours, for years even, without realizing the mental and physical strain they have put themselves through. However, several recent studies are showing how the negative effects of these long shifts have an enormous impact on motivation and increase burnout.

It is also common that nurses may not receive a full-break or sometimes any break at all. Nurses are often paged during their breaks, giving them very little mental or physical downtime. While it might be bearable during the shift or assignment, nurses will often feel the fatigue once the assignment is over. So what are some solutions for how to prevent nurse burnout during long shifts?

While these may seem like small fixes to a big problem, they are some of the most beneficial tips for how to prevent nurse burnout. They are fast and easy practices that can have a large impact on your mentality on the job.

Emotional Exhaustion


Much like physical exhaustion, emotional exhaustion is a form of fatigue commonly experienced by those working in interpersonal careers. It is a lack of motivation to do even the most menial of chores. Nurses are especially susceptible to this feeling of emotional exhaustion and while it might seem like there isn’t much that can be done, there are small steps that you can take to help prevent emotional exhaustion during your assignment such as:

Eliminate your stressors

If you find that certain things are stressing you out, maybe you’re not balancing your time right, or you feel unorganized, try to solve these problems first. Maybe instead of just remembering (or not remembering) everything, try keeping a journal or a planner! By eliminating the small stressors first, you are helping yourself problem-solve and prioritize which will help to give you a little peace of mind.

Eat a more balanced diet

We are always being told to eat healthier and eat a more balanced diet, but why? Not only can a better diet help our physical health, but it can boost your mental health as well! Giving your body the vitamins and minerals it needs to function at an optimal level will make you physically feel better, which in turn will make you mentally feel better as well. Eating right will also improve the quality of your sleep, as well as boosting your energy levels. This might solve your lack of motivation by itself!


Similarly to eating right, we are always being told by our parents, our peers and anyone else we give the chance to, that we need to start exercising more. Obviously, there are a ton of physical benefits to exercising, but the mental benefits are great too! Exercise boosts serotonin levels and endorphins which in turn will boost your mood. Whether it be running on a treadmill or doing some yoga after a long shift, exercise will really play a big part in minimizing emotional exhaustion. Exercise is one of the easiest things to implement into your routine and will be a very beneficial addition to your list of how to prevent nurse burnout.

So what are some solutions you’ve found for how to prevent nurse burnout? Let us know in the comments below!

Author: Travel Nurse Source

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