Bright Horizons SVP Patrick Donovan on Nursing Burnout: “Education Might Be the Best Medicine”

Two nurses looking burnt out

“Burnout is rearing its ugly head in the healthcare industry.”

So writes our own SVP Patrick Donovan on Real Clear Education.  

The effect on nursing is profound. Despite being among the most mission-strong professionals out there, half of nurses are overwhelmingly stressed, he writes. The same number is thinking of quitting. Worse yet, turnover among nurses is higher than ever. 

“With the country already facing a nursing shortage,” writes Patrick, “medical providers cannot afford to lose the talented and capable nurses they already have.” Everyone’s looking for solutions. 

Finding the Answer in Education

What’s the answer? Research, he says, points to education, what he calls “one of the most effective ways” to recruit and retain. 

Just look at what stresses nurses. Schedules are one issue; pay is another. Education and growth opportunities can take on both, leading to higher clinical levels, and so more predictable schedules and better salaries, he says. 

“Higher levels of nurse education are associated with better patient outcomes, including lower mortality rates,” he writes. That more than 80% of nurses say they want these benefits – and in fact would prefer or only accept a job that offered them – is yet more fuel. 

“These real-world impacts provide powerful incentives for nurses to keep learning and employers to keep encouraging them.”

Read about the research and Patrick’s entire article, here.

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Written by: Lisa Oppenheimer

March 3, 2020

About the Author

Lisa Oppenheimer at Bright Horizons

As Director, Brand Storytelling at Bright Horizons, Lisa writes “from the trenches” about the real life challenges of people in today’s workplaces: from the tensions of being a working mother, to working with millennials in the digital age, and everything in between. With a career ranging from freelance to full-time, Lisa brings a diverse employment background to her perspective.