3 strategies for combating nurse burnout during and after the pandemic

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As published by HealthLeaders, December 23, 2020.


Renee Cecil was recently interviewed by Son Hoang, nursing editor of HealthLeaders, to discuss the issue of nurse burnout which has increased dramatically due to the pandemic. Below, we share an excerpt from the article and a link to the full article.


As frontline nurses continue to care for the growing number of COVID-19 patients, enact strategies to reduce their risk of burning out. 



  • Identify and support nurse leaders who, in turn, will proactively address the contributing factors to nurse burnout.
  • Involve frontline nurses in decision-making to help with engagement and adoption of new processes.


Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses were already facing a high burnout rate—with nearly four out of 10 nurses reporting they felt burned out—possibly due to long hours, increased workloads, weak work cultures, fragmented communication from leadership, and the emotional toll from caring for significantly ill patients.


Then nurses stepped up when the pandemic hit, putting their own fears and exhaustion aside, as well as the needs of their families, to prioritize the needs of their patients, which is an approach that is not sustainable for the long-term, says Renee Cecil, DNP, RN, CEN, TCRN, SANE, NREMT, senior consultant for Philips Healthcare Transformation Services.


"Faced with the overwhelming emotional and physical turmoil of the pandemic, these feelings of burnout are compounded among our frontline nurses and those in nurse leadership roles to the point of trauma," says Cecil.


Staffing issues also intensify nurse burnout, she adds. Before the pandemic, departments were already struggling with staff shortages. In fact, according to an article published in 2018 in the American Journal of Medical Quality, the country is forecasted to have a shortage of more than half a million registered nurses by 2030. Now, as the pandemic stretches on, a growing number of nurses are being exposed to the virus, requiring time away from work to quarantine. 


Read the full article by HealthLeaders at 3 strategies for combating nurse burnout during and after the pandemic. 


Renee’s input was also leveraged in an article by The Oncology Nurse, read it here.

About the author

Chris Comeau


Senior Consultant

Renee brings vast clinical and leadership experience, working in community hospitals, academic trauma centers, critical care, helicopter EMS services, and at a large healthcare system. She focuses on staff recognition and engagement, decreasing turnover, implementing team nursing, and improving collaboration between EMS and the ED team. She has helped implement process changes that have positively impacted patient and staff satisfaction, reduced wait times, and improved throughput.

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