The Battling Workplace Burnout Among Nurses

Bonamer and Aquino-Russell

In order to propose changes aimed at battling workplace burnout among nurses, it is essential first to identify which strategies have been proven to be effective. Exhaustion can be manifested in a variety of ways; Bonamer and Aquino-Russell (2019) concentrated on compassion fatigue in their quantitative research. This problem is significant in the context of nursing because it directly impacts patient outcomes. The reason is that compassion fatigue significantly deteriorates the quality of service provided by nurses. The researchers proposed the transcendental meditation technique as a solution to the problem and measured the efficacy of the strategy in increasing nurses’ resilience and compassion (Bonamer & Aquino-Russell, 2019). Their study included two research questions – the effects of transcendental meditation on compassion fatigue and resilience, and whether or not there is a relationship between these two phenomena (Bonamer & Aquino-Russell, 2019).

The researchers employed a simple pretest-posttest design for their study. A single group consisting of 27 nurses participated in the evaluation (Bonamer & Aquino-Russell, 2019). First, training was provided to the participants in the form of instructor-led classes. A certified transcendental meditation trainer taught the nurses self-care techniques (Bonamer & Aquino-Russell, 2019). The instruments used during the process include the Professional Quality of Life Scale to measure compassion fatigue, and the Connor Davidson Resilience Scale to evaluate resilience (Bonamer & Aquino-Russell, 2019). Because there were no risks to participants, the study was granted an expedited approval and ethical clearance. The results of this research suggest that transcendental meditation is an effective strategy for decreasing compassion fatigue and increasing resilience (Bonamer & Aquino-Russell, 2019). This technique should be considered as a proven approach to reducing workplace burnout.

Dev et al

Dev et al. (2018) attempted to provide a different perspective on workplace burnout among nurses. In their quantitative study, they tried to identify any associations between burnout, self-compassion, and barriers to compassion. The researchers suggest that barriers to compassion lead to burnout, and self-compassion has the potential to mitigate these unfavorable consequences (Dev et al., 2018). The study included 799 registered nurses working in New Zealand. Ethical approval was received from a number of human ethics committees, including the University of Auckland Human Participants Ethics Committee (Dev et al., 2018). To reduce bias, a combination of methods, including anonymous participation, the use of proven scales and measures, and consultation with senior academic nurses, was employed.

Workplace burnout was assessed with the Copenhagen Burnout Inventory, which a popular self-report tool for evaluating professional exhaustion. The Barriers to Physician Compassion Questionnaire was used to determine barriers to compassion. Although it is not targeted for nurses, the questionnaire remains as the only tool for measuring barriers to compassion in healthcare (Dev et al., 2018). The last item of the survey was the Self-Compassion Scale-Short Form to measure how likely were the nurses to have a positive response to themselves in times of stress and failure.

The results of the study suggest that self-compassion is effective in reducing the number of barriers to compassion and mitigating the consequences of professional burnout (Dev et al., 2018). The implications for the nursing practice include the fact that nurse managers should pay more attention to how nurses handle stressful situations. Nurses should be encouraged to keep a positive attitude toward themselves and practice self-compassion. This approach can be combined with other techniques to deliver a comprehensive strategy for addressing burnout and compassion issues.

The PICOT question proposes that anxiety and stress management strategies have the capacity to reduce stress levels and professional burnout within six months. A meta-analysis conducted by Lee et al. (2016) is a valuable study in the context of evaluating the overall efficacy of coping strategies. The researchers discovered that it generally takes from six months to one year for a stress management strategy to have a considerable impact on the well-being of nurses. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that the PICOT question suggests a feasible goal. However, most of the interventions provide results after six months and require continuous participation from nurses (Nantsupawat et al., 2017). When nurses work 12-hour shifts and have no energy left after work, it is not always possible to conduct training sessions (Chen & Chen, 2018). Furthermore, offering a wrong strategy that takes additional time of nurses may significantly deteriorate their condition and contribute to burnout.

However, the transcendental meditation may be used with no side-effects. Bonamer and Aquino-Russell provided a unique study and discovered that burnout could be reduced in less than six months. The researchers conducted training for four months and evidenced significant improvement in how nurses were feeling (Bonamer & Aquino-Russell, 2019). They also clarified how much money was spent to implement their project – 950 dollars were expended to train a certified transcendental meditation practitioner, who, in turn, coached the nurses (Bonamer & Aquino-Russell, 2019). This type of meditation improves self-compassion and should be used in healthcare institutions across the country. As mentioned before, self-compassion is associated with a decrease in compassionate fatigue and burnout. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities should consider the transcendental meditation when developing a stress management strategy.


  1. Bonamer, J. R., & Aquino-Russell, C. (2019). Self-care strategies for professional development: Transcendental meditation reduces compassion fatigue and improves resilience for nurses. Journal for Nurses in Professional Development, 35(2), 93-97.
  2. Chen, S. C., & Chen, C. F. (2018). Antecedents and consequences of nurses’ burnout. Management Decision, 56(4), 777-792.
  3. Dev, V., Fernando III, A. T., Lim, A. G., & Consedine, N. S. (2018). Does self-compassion mitigate the relationship between burnout and barriers to compassion? A cross-sectional quantitative study of 799 nurses. International Journal of Nursing studies, 81, 81-88.
  4. Lee, H. F., Kuo, C. C., Chien, T. W., & Wang, Y. R. (2016). A meta-analysis of the effects of coping strategies on reducing nurse burnout. Applied Nursing Research, 1, 100-110.
  5. Nantsupawat, A., Kunaviktikul, W., Nantsupawat, R., Wichaikhum, O. A., Thienthong, H., & Poghosyan, L. (2017). Effects of nurse work environment on job dissatisfaction, burnout, intention to leave. International nursing review, 64(1), 91-98.

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