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Nursing Burnout: Review of Literature

Article 1 aimed to determine the prevalence of compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue, and burnout among emergency department nurses in the United States. Subsequently, the study examined the demographic and work-related components that influenced the variables studied. The self-administered questionnaire used was not a valid measurement of the variables because the respondent might have asked anyone to fill in the questionnaire on their behalf or interpret the questions in a manner not commensurate with what was intended. Multiple regression, which was chosen to determine the factors related to the variables of the study, was an ideal analytical approach. Manager support was highlighted as an important factor of influence. These results are imperative to clinical practice because they aid in selecting and implementing feasible interventions (Hunsaker, Chen, Maughan & Heaston, 2015).

Article 2 aimed to identify the prevalence of burnout and establish associated factors to aid the development of a risk profile for the profile. The results were commensurate with previous studies. This is very important in clinical practice to help in the creation of a sound environment where health workers can work optimally. 676 nurses were involved in the study, but the adequacy of the sample used was not determined because there was no indication of statistical power. Valid and reliable instruments to measure the variables were used for this study. In addition, a detailed data analysis was conducted and all the statistical tests employed were relevant in relation to the objectives of the study (Cañadas-De la Fuente et al., 2015).

Article 3 aimed to determine how psychiatric nurse burnout correlated with “leadership style of psychiatric nurse supervisors, work role autonomy, and psychological distress” (Madathil, Heck & Schuldberg, 2014, p. 161). 89 nurses were recruited to represent Montana and New York hospitals, but the suitability of this sample size in relation to the target population was not indicated; hence, it is not known. Valid and reliable measurement approaches of variables were used. The nature of variables and hypotheses to be tested required the use of bivariate correlation and hierarchical regression analyses. Just like the other articles, this article creates a feeling of sympathy and disgust; sympathy for the nursing staff, and disgust for the management. Leadership has been indicated as a pivotal factor in ensuring that staffs have a favorable environment free of burnout.

The validity of the findings in article 4 has been gained as far as measuring the relevant variables is concerned. However, as far as the research design is concerned, it is not guaranteed because the study did not focus on particular studies that adopted a specific research design, for example, randomized controlled/clinical trials. A detailed account of the search process is given in relation to the databases involved and associated search terms, the number of studies included and conflict resolution. The results obtained from this review were not conclusive because different studies based on methodology indicated different results. Unfortunately, the results were not compared with other studies conducted in the past. The interventions such as exercise and effective stress coping strategies can be applied in the meantime, as nurses wait for more studies to be conducted (Westermann, Kozak, Harling & Nienhaus, 2014).

Article 5 aimed to estimate the levels of burnout and quality of life (QOL) among nursing staff in Athens’ hospitals, and later on establish correlations between burnout, QOL, and the social environment (Fradelos et al., 2014). Administration of the instruments (deemed valid) to measure the variables was not done properly; hence, the validity and reliability of results might have been jeopardized. In alignment with other studies, article 5 indicated a significant negative association between burnout and quality of life. The results are relevant in the clinical practice because they create awareness of the effects of burnout if no intervention to alleviate burnout is integrated into the nursing practice.

The validity of the results is not guaranteed as far as the methodology is concerned because article 6 acknowledges that objective experimental designs were not reviewed to determine the efficacy of the interventions. Regardless of the prevailing limitations, the interventions examined should be applied to nursing practice. Some of these interventions are very cheap, for example, equal treatment of staff by the management and commitment to both staff and patients through supporting provision of high-quality patient care. The review does not give a detailed account of the search process; it has only indicated that 2 databases were used. There is no indication of inclusion and exclusion criteria. The derived findings have been compared to other studies (Henry, 2014).

The results of article 7 are informative, but their validity is not determined because it is a mere summary of evidence. The study does not give any details about the manner used to identify literature. Therefore, nothing is known about the nature of research designs used to support hypotheses. The study used some literature to support suggested factors deemed to result in psychological distress among the nurses. The report is relevant to the nursing practice because it highlights the essence of ensuring that psychological and physical protection of the nurses is achieved, their workload is managed appropriately and organizational psychological support is offered to aid in dealing with stress (Berrios, Joffres, & Wang, 2015).

The aim of article 8 is to establish the relationship among nurses and work characteristics, stress, work environment, burnout and job satisfaction. 417 hemodialysis nurses were included in the study, and standard measures of variables were used. Despite the fact that high levels of burnout were identified, the nurses reported acceptable levels of job satisfaction and a positive perception of their work environments. This is a new insight that is contrary to most of the other articles reviewed in this paper. However, age and experience were deemed imperative mediating factors; thus, much as job satisfaction and a positive work environment are imperative, leaders in hospital settings should provide more support to young and inexperienced nurses (Hayes, Douglas & Bonner, 2013).

Article 9 is a review of literature that does not employ a systematic scientific approach. The article’s focus was on two concepts: burnout and work engagement, to use job demand-resources theory to integrate the findings. Job resources, job demand and personality factors have been discussed as antecedent factors of burnout while negative health outcomes and poor job performance are the consequences of burnout. Hospital settings should utilize the jobs demand-resources model to understand their role in creating a suitable working environment to ensure the occupational well-being of the nurses and other healthcare workers. The article illustrates the essence of motivation and associated influential factors. These concepts have been supported by evidence from different research articles, where an article is used to support an idea rather than present its findings and compare it with other research articles (Bakker, Demerouti & Sanz-Vergel, 2014).

Article 10 aimed at testing a model used to link a positive leadership approach and workplace empowerment to workplace incivility, burnout, and job satisfaction. Valid measurements of variables were used. The manner in which the test was carried out seems to be non-scientific because the reader would expect an experimental design. On the other hand, the structural equation modeling analytical approach used is ideal based on the cross-sectional approach employed. In comparison to previous studies, the present article highlighted the transformation that has occurred within nursing leadership. As a result, nurse leaders are expected to create a work-friendly environment for the nurses as they continue to ensure that quality patient care is delivered (Laschinger, Wong, Cummings & Grau, 2013).

Article 11 evaluated the multiple factors associated with job satisfaction. This was a mixed-method study employing both quantitative and qualitative research designs. This study is relevant to clinical practice because it informs the practice about the nature of an ideal work environment to promote job satisfaction. The research process for this study is not articulate. Whereas the reader would expect a detailed account of both the cross-sectional descriptive and qualitative segments comprising the research design, little details have been given. Instruments to guide in the measurement of variables have not been indicated, and only a data analysis approach of the qualitative part of the study has been indicated (Aziz, Kumar, Rathore, & Lal, 2015).

Article 12 aims to determine the most ideal survey instrument sensitive to organizational factors and culture. Diverse research designs were used, and this might have affected the validity of the study results. Nonetheless, a mean quality index score of 85%, which is relatively high, was obtained. Even though the review adequately describes how the review was conducted, the inclusion and exclusion criteria used are not scientifically sound. The study indicated that the Practice Environment Scale-Nurse Work Index and Maslach’s Burnout Inventory were effective tools for evaluating a healthy work environment as that which recognizes the essence of strong nursing foundations, strong engagement in work, empowerment and team building. Using these tools, strong leadership was highlighted as a paramount factor in determining job satisfaction, staff retention, participation levels, and professional status. In this review, there was the consistency of results across studies reviewed in relation to the specific assessment tools under examination (Abbenbroek, Duffield, & Elliott, 2014).

Article 13 is a newspaper article that adopts an exploratory approach. The article highlights the essence of a positive and productive working environment. The article outlines the responsibilities of each individual in the workplace towards ensuring that a conducive working environment is attained. The article highlights the essence of an organization to recognize local skills and adopt a high staff retention culture. If automated systems seem to replace a particular task force, the affected task force should be allotted other duties, rather than sack/dismiss individuals from work (Aghdamimehr, 2011).

Article 14 adopted a quantitative survey approach that sought to explore and establish correlations between nurses’ experiences of burnout and their perceptions of organizational culture and support. Validated standardized measures of variables under study were used, but the method of employing these measures cannot be deemed ideal. The eligibility of nurses participating online was not determined; hence, the process of sample size recruitment might have been biased. The study indicated strong associations between “innovative organizational culture and nurses’ sense of personal accomplishment” (Watts, Robertson, Winter, & Leeson, 2013, p. 27). This is a concept that should be considered in clinical settings to avoid a routine-based kind of environment and create one which appreciates creativity and new ideas without anyone individual deeming his or her counterpart as a threat.

Article 15 is a series that uses literature of no specific nature in terms of research design to support the concepts being discussed. The article aims to give insight into the context of the hospital and the well-being of the healthcare professionals. It has taken an aggregated approach that integrates studies utilizing focus group methodology and individual interviews (in some instances). The article discusses the effect of highly contextualized organizational cultures from eight different European hospitals from different countries. The findings from this article indicated that healthcare professionals and patients comprehend the concept of quality of care differently (Montgomery, Todorova, Baban & Panagopoulou, 2013).


Abbenbroek, B., Duffield, C., & Elliott, D. (2014). Selection of an instrument to evaluate the organizational environment of nurses working in intensive care: an integrative review. Journal of Hospital Administration, 3(6), p143.

Aghdamimehr, F. (2011, March). Are you doing your part to create a positive working environment?. Nova Scotia Business Journal. p. 6.

Aziz, I., Kumar, R., Rathore, A., & Lal, M. (2015). Working environment in job satisfaction among health professional working at a tertiary care hospital of Pakistan. J Ayub Med Coll Abbottabad, 27(1), 201-4.

Bakker, A. B., Demerouti, E., & Sanz-Vergel, A. I. (2014). Burnout and work engagement: The JD–R approach. Annu. Rev. Organ. Psychol. Organ. Behav.,1(1), 389-411.

Berrios, C., Joffres, Y., & Wang, L. (2015). Workplace Psychological Health among Canadian Nurses. Masters of Public Health. Simon Fraser University.

Cañadas-De la Fuente, G. A., Vargas, C., San Luis, C., García, I., Cañadas, G. R., & De la Fuente, E. I. (2015). Risk factors and prevalence of burnout syndrome in the nursing profession. International Journal Of Nursing Studies, 52(1), 240-249.

Fradelos, E., Mpelegrinos, S., Mparo, C., Vassilopoulou, C., Argyrou, P., Tsironi, M., &…Theofilou, P. (2014). Burnout syndrome impacts on quality of life in nursing professionals: The contribution of perceived social support. Progress In Health Sciences, 4(1), 102-109.

Hayes, B., Douglas, C., & Bonner, A. (2013). Work environment, job satisfaction, stress and burnout among haemodialysis nurses. Journal of nursing management.

Henry, B. J. (2014). Nursing Burnout Interventions. Clinical Journal Of Oncology Nursing, 18(2), 211-214.

Hunsaker, S., Chen, H., Maughan, D., & Heaston, S. (2015). Factors That Influence the Development of Compassion Fatigue, Burnout, and Compassion Satisfaction in Emergency Department Nurses. Journal Of Nursing Scholarship, 47(2), 186-194.

Laschinger, H. K., Wong, C. A., Cummings, G. G., & Grau, A. L. (2013). Resonant leadership and workplace empowerment: the value of positive organizational cultures in reducing workplace incivility. Nursing economic$, 32(1), 5-15.

Madathil, R., Heck, N. C., & Schuldberg, D. (2014). Burnout in Psychiatric Nursing: Examining the Interplay of Autonomy, Leadership Style, and Depressive Symptoms. Archives Of Psychiatric Nursing, 28(3), 160-166.

Montgomery, A., Todorova, I., Baban, A., & Panagopoulou, E. (2013). Improving quality and safety in the hospital: The link between organizational culture, burnout, and quality of care. British Journal Of Health Psychology, 18(3), 656-662.

Watts, J., Robertson, N., Winter, R., & Leeson, D. (2013). Evaluation of organisational culture and nurse burnout. Nursing Management – UK, 20(6), 24-29.

Westermann, C., Kozak, A., Harling, M., &Nienhaus, A. (2014). Burnout intervention studies for inpatient elderly care nursing staff: Systematic literature review. International Journal Of Nursing Studies, 51(1), 63-71.

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