February 20, 2020

The Buzz on Burnout

how common is nurse burnout

Everyone is buzzing about nurse burnout. Its impact on healthcare workers is obvious, far-reaching, and unacceptable. Acknowledging nurse burnout is one of those uncomfortable topics that we simply don’t have the luxury to ignore. Of all of the problems plaguing nurses, it’s the issue that appears to have its solution right in front of us. 

The Buzz on Burnout

While, as a travel nurse agency, we would like to pretend that the industry is all about enjoying yourself in a new location, we know that’s not the reality. We believe in being transparent, and that means that not addressing this issue would be doing a disservice to our nurses who trust us with their careers. Click here to jump ahead to Burnout & Travel Nursing.

What is Nurse Burnout & Why Should We Care?

We combed through studies, surveys, and stats to really understand the issues, concerns, and problems facing nurses — don’t worry, we’ll link them all at the bottom. Nearly 20% of nurses reported that they experience burnout. That number is shocking. It’s 1 in 5 nurses. And we know more than 5 nurses. 

nurse burnout infographic

That’s a lot of nurses experiencing burnout. But here’s the real crux of the problem — does it impact patient care?

The answer is, unfortunately, yes. That’s part of what makes it so difficult. When you add in nurse-guilt, it becomes increasingly difficult to break the cycle. Nurses wear many hats: compassionate caregivers, technical experts, and master clinicians. When you add in the emotional exhaustion, the pieces become increasingly hard to juggle. It’s not that they stop caring about their patients — it’s a depletion of personal resources, they have little left to give.nurse burnout infographic

New Nurse Burnout

Millennials matter in the burnout discussion. Ageism is alive and well in healthcare, but it’s essential to understand what role millennials play now and for the future of nursing. Did you know there’s a nursing shortage? Yeah, we all know that. As millennial nurses rapidly become a large portion of the nursing population, they’re not planning on staying in their jobs. So, we’re losing nurses on both ends. 

millennial nurses

Luckily, millennials are nothing if not industrious — and loud. They’re making noise in the field and telling administrators and researchers what they want. They want direction and a career they can grow in for the longterm. 

Battling Burnout

To truly battle burnout, we have to listen to what nurses tell us. Nurses want to be supported and engaged in their careers. They want to have opportunities to grow and find career fulfillment. And it’s not quite the impossible task some think it is. Nurses reported that critical drivers of true career fulfillment include autonomy, teamwork, trust, and career development.

nurse engagement factors

Burnout & Travel Nursing

For many nurses, travel nursing is the answer to burnout. Hello, autonomy! It’s a way nurses can have immediate control over their nursing practice. Want to work with the latest tech or most prestigious teaching facility? Be a travel nurse. Want to fill a need and explore the country? Be a travel nurse. 

But what happens when purpose and passion become stress and dread?

Burnout symptoms impact people across every industry, and travel nursing is no exception. You may be experiencing a state of physical and emotional exhaustion from long-term stress in your job. Nursing can be both physically draining and emotionally draining. For travel nurses, it can creep up; and that’s because they report experiencing autonomy over their careers, and we know autonomy is an essential factor in feeling career fulfillment. So what does burnout look like for travel nurses?

  • Exhaustion: Are you feeling exhausted most of the time from the day-to-day or emotionally drained?
  • Feeling Overwhelmed: Are you experiencing near-constant stress from worrying about your next shift, assignment, or housing search?
  • Escaping: Do you find yourself engaging in escapist behaviors like excessive drinking? Do you check out from or procrastinate on crucial tasks.
  • Disillusioned: Maybe you’re feeling as though your efforts fail to produce the expected results, bringing on deep disillusionment or cynicism.

A significant component of burnout for travel nurses occurs when their work doesn’t align with their values — what you do day-in and day-out matters. At the core, its crucial to feel as though our work contributes to our long-term goals.

challenges of nursing

Real People. Real Relationships. Real Support.

We believe in doing things differently. We want to do it better. So we asked ourselves and our nurses how to do that? By leveraging our passion for connection to help nurses determine (and reach) their career goals. At the center of it all, you’ll find real people: supportive recruiters, specialists to make your travel life easier, and a community of fellow travel nurses. You’ll also find resources, tools, and inspiration to keep you going when motivation falls short. 

  • Inspiration: Do you need help remembering your passion for travel nursing? Read this — 3 stories from real nurses.
  • Resources: Did you know we have a Chaplain on staff to assist our nurses through the challenging times? Learn more here.
  • Support: It’s time to experience the difference of unparalleled support with TNAA. Start here.