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Towards resilience and wellbeing in nurses

By Emma Jane Brennan - Author First published: Last updated:

The nursing profession is both physically and emotionally demanding (Olofsson et al, 2003). The nature of nursing work on a daily basis involves caring for patients and families experiencing progressive illness, death and bereavement, offering comfort and support through challenging times of uncertainty, loss, anxiety, fear and pain, and sharing in times of joy (Sherman, 2004). Nurses face additional pressure due in part to an ageing population with complex health, social and physical needs (Oliver et al, 2014).

The nursing profession has been under considerable strain in recent years. Austerity measures and efficiency drives have led to increased pressure on the workforce with high levels of staff shortages (Wray, 2013). Role expectations and challenging working environments can place nurses at high risk of burnout and stress-related sickness (Garrosa et al, 2011; Foureur et al, 2013).

  • Burnout is a gradual process where an individual experiences feelings of mental and physical fatigue

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Emma Jane Brennan

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