More than half of nurses are burned out. The consequences are severe.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses around the country reported feeling overworked and burned out. Burnout, characterized by energy depletion or exhaustion, job-related feelings of negativism or cynicism, and reduced professional efficacy, is not unique to nurses, with other types of health professionals and industries also experiencing high rates. The phenomenon is so common that the World Health Organization (WHO) included burnout in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) as an occupational phenomenon. In a recent survey, the American Nurses Association (ANA) found that 62% of nurses report symptoms of burnout.
Levels of nurse burnout vary across settings of care. For instance, oncology nurses report higher rates of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization, which are common measures of burnout, than primary care and palliative care nurses; however; oncology nurses have lower rates of burnout than their emergency department colleagues. Overall, nurses working in hospitals report higher levels of burnout and are more likely to leave their jobs due to workplace stress.