Workplace burnout is a common issue every industry is facing today, and the nursing industry is no different. Nurse burnout is the major challenge the healthcare industry is facing today.

Due to long working hours, work-life imbalance, emotional and physical exhaustion nurses feel burnout. Majority of the nurses are on the verge of leaving either nursing jobs or their professions due to burnout.

According to the Medscape Nurse career satisfaction report 2021, 34% of LPNs and 35% of RNs reported burnout.

What Is Nurse Burnout?

Burnout is a kind of work-related stress. It is a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.

Nurse burnout is also the same. Due to constant exposure to suffering and dying patients, overtime, disrespect towards nurses, they don’t feel any zeal or enthusiasm for the work, always feeling tired and losing interest in the job. And this  is called nurse burnout.

Shortage of nurses is the most prevailing issue in the US today, and the main factors causing this shortage is nurse burnout

As per the July 2021 Nursing Central Survey, 91% of Nurses considered leaving or were actively looking to leave the nursing profession.

To overcome this, we need to prevent nurse burnout, and to prevent it we have to recognise the signs of burnout.

Let’s see some prominent signs of burnout in nurses which every healthcare organization should look at and try to avoid.

Signs Of Nurse Burnout

1) Always feeling tired

Nurses always have to be on their toes to look after patients, clarifying their doubts, supporting them and their family members.

Working more than eight hours a day, continuously working in night shifts, and sometimes working in double shifts make them tired. 

Feeling tired all the time, being exhausted that it affects their routine, feeling difficulty in waking up early or sleeping at night are signs of burnout.

2) Insensitive toward patients

Nurses have to be compassionate and empathetic toward patients to help patients recover faster. But constant exposure to suffering and dying patients, makes them insensitive and less compassionate towards patients. Symptoms of compassion fatigue or insensitivity are

  • Irritability
  • Chronic exhaustion
  • Headaches
  • Lack of sleep
  • Low Job satisfaction

3) Feeling unappreciated

Nurses go to any extent to serve patients, even if they put their lives at risk. They don’t bother to get injured or infected while serving patients. 

In return for doing these selfless services what they expect is just respect and appreciation. And many hospitals often fail to give them the respect and appreciation that they deserve. And this results in a loss of interest in work and ultimately in burnout.

Thankfully, seeking support for compassion fatigue and burnout has never been easier with the availability of online therapists who can provide guidance and counseling to nurses struggling with the emotional toll of their work.

4) Emotionally Detached

If a nurse is not listening to what patients are saying to them, getting irritated and angry all the time, and being insensitive to the pain of the patients, then it’s a red flag. This happens when nurses get emotionally detached due to burnout.

5) Constant anxiety related to work

Some kind of tension or anxiety at work is quite normal. Especially for doctors and nurses as they are dealing with critical and threatful conditions of patients. But constant anxiety is harmful for both, for them and for their patients. Constant anxiety, lack of confidence, and lack of hope for the betterment of patients are signs of nurse burnout.

6) Finding no enjoyment in work 

Nursing is the most fulfilling job, as it gives an opportunity to serve mankind. It is so rewarding seeing patients going home with a smiling face. 

But sometimes nurses feel indifference when their patients get recovered or not, they just do their work for the sake of doing. They don’t enjoy whatever they are doing, they don’t feel any zeal while doing their work. These are the symptoms of nurse burnout.

7) Unexplained illnesses 

If the person is not happy and at peace from within, they start falling sick every now and then. Frequent illness, headache, and body pain happen because nurses constantly feel stressed out and burnout.

8) Urge of leaving the job

Frequent urge of leaving the job or a nursing career are signs of burnout. Nurses enjoy the satisfaction that comes with every recovered patient, and financial freedom. But constant stress, anxiety, emotional and physical exhaustion make them feel burnout and urge them to leave their job.

To avoid the nurse burnout, knowing the actual reasons for the nurse burnout is very essential.

The common reasons for nurse burnout are:

  • long working hours
  • Stressful work
  • Staffing problem
  • High patient-to-nurse ratio
  • Poor quality of ratio

To know more about the causes of burnout in nurses and how to prevent it read here.

Let’s see some important steps to prevent nurse burnout.

How To Prevent Nurse Burnout

1) Address the nurses’ concerns

If you want nurses to take care of your patients, you have to take care of them first. The very first step to prevent nurse burnout is to acknowledge, empathize, and address nurses’ concerns to make them feel valued.

Valued, respected, and appreciated nurses work with double zeal and enthusiasm, and give their best to serve the patients.

Encourage nurses to voice out the problems and troubles they are facing in the organization. Allow them to socialize with other nurses and let them share their concerns. Provide time-to-time counseling to give them an opportunity to share their problems. This will help them to keep the burnout at bay.

2) Prioritize nurse physical and mental wellbeing

The secret of highly productive and efficient employees is their physical being and mental well-being. The same is applicable to nurses. 

Encourage nurses to spend some time in self-care activities like gym, yoga, meditation, etc. The healthcare organization can do this by sponsoring workout classes, partnering with gyms to encourage regular workouts, hosting meditation classes, starting meditation classes, etc.

The Massachusetts health and hospital association has developed the caring for caregivers initiatives. This includes focusing on gratitude for nurses’ work, workplace safety, and well-being. 

As part of this initiative, they also started a podcast to share some tips and tricks to improve the health, well-being, and effectiveness of the program.

3) Allow them to take breaks

Preventive maintenance is a must to avoid breakdown, this is true even for nurses. If you want your nurses to work to their full potential then make sure they are not overworking and taking frequent breaks. The other way to prevent nurse burnout is to allow them to take breaks every two hours.

4) Offer flexible timings

Flexible work schedules are the new normal after pandemic. More than monetary gain, employees now focus on having flexible work timings, and work-life balance. That’s why to keep the nurses’ burnout at bay, offer them to choose their shift on their own.

As per the report by 55% of nurses reported more control of their shifts would decrease exhaustion.

Moreover, reputable platforms like medical solutions allow professionals in this field to find travel nursing jobs which could provide that all-important flexibility that they need to bolster their work-life balance.

5) Appreciate them

An appreciated employee would always go extra miles to get things done. This is true in the case of nurses too. Your gesture of appreciation will encourage them to work better and help them stay strong in difficult situations.

Nurses often prioritize others before them, so they deserve appreciation and gratitude for their hard work.


Thus, to provide satisfactory patient care, taking care of your nurse and helping them to avoid burnout is a must. 

Recognising the signs of burnout and taking actions to prevent burnout is a sure shot way to combat nurse burnout issues.

To overcome the shortage of nurses and maintain the optimum workflow of nurses choose Ampliz as your hiring partner. 

Ampliz provides you with the most accurate, authentic, and reliable contact information of healthcare professionals including doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, etc. to ramp up your recruiting process and have the most qualified and experienced healthcare professionals in your healthcare organization.