PSY 6305 Assignment Construct a Literature Review Paper

PSY 6305 Assignment Construct a Literature Review Paper

PSY 6305 Assignment Construct a Literature Review Paper

Over the years, the nursing profession has used various strategies to improve patient outcomes. Patient outcomes are impacted by various events, such as nurse burnout. Burnout is a common problem experienced by many professionals at their places of work, including nurses. Burnout is usually characterized by lower personal achievements and accomplishments, depersonalization, and emotional exhaustion (Suleiman‐Martos et al., 2020). This problem is caused by various issues such as heavy workload, insufficient resources, administrative burden, and emotional stress. The implication is that there is always a need to use effective strategies that can help to either eliminate or reduce burnout rates. Therefore, the purpose of this assignment is to write a literature review regarding nurse burnout, which is the capstone topic. As part of the literature review, this assignment will also explore a thematic synthesis of research related to the topic and the solutions or best practices recommended for the issue.

Description of the Issue

            As earlier highlighted, the chosen topic for the capstone project is nurse burnout. Nurse burnout has been shown to be a complicated phenomenon usually characterized by mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion and mainly caused by consistent experiences of enhanced stress levels and the demands that come with the nursing profession as a job. Nurse burnout negatively impacts nurses as well as the quality of care. Nurses facing burnout may experience emotional exhaustion as they feel overwhelmed by the work they have to do, which consequently depletes their emotional energy (Chemali et al., 2019). The implication is that they may feel a sense of detachment from colleagues and patients, hence lowering the quality of care.

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            Nurse burnout can also come with various physical symptoms, including sleep disturbances, fatigue, muscle tension, and headaches; since an individual’s immune system can be weakened, they become more susceptible to various forms of illness. Burnout has also been shown to lead to various cognitive impairments, which then negatively impact the nurses’ ability to solve problems, make decisions, and adequately concentrate. One aspect that nurse burnout significantly contributes to is high turnover rates. Nurses who face burnout may decide to look for opportunities elsewhere and quit the profession. Such an aspect leads to a significant loss of experienced healthcare professionals. Nurse burnout also has various impacts on the individual’s mental health since such nurses face the risk of various mental complications, such as anxiety and depression (Chemali et al.,2019). Therefore, it is evident that effective strategies should be used to help manage or reduce nurse burnout rates.

PSY 6305 Assignment Construct a Literature Review Paper
PSY 6305 Assignment Construct a Literature Review Paper

A Thematic Synthesis of Research Related to the Issue

            A comprehensive literature search was conducted regarding nurse burnout, and various themes were noted across the literature information. Therefore, this section will present a thematic synthesis of the research done concerning nurse burnout. As such, the following themes will be used to analyze the information obtained: causes and contributing factors, impacts of nurse burnout, and evidence-based strategies for addressing and preventing nurse burnout.

Causes, Risk, and Contributing Factors

             A recent study by Shah et al.(2021) sought to explore the prevalence and factors associated with nurse burnout. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to measure the rates of nurse burnout and explore various factors connected to leaving or considering leaving employment due to burnout. These researchers embarked on a secondary analysis of cross-sectional survey data where over fifty thousand registered nurses in the US were considered. Based on this analysis, the researchers found out that out of the nurses who reported leaving their employment, up to 31.5% reported leaving their respective posts due to burnout. The participants also reported that the working conditions, such as having to work for more than twenty hours per week and in the hospital setting, led to greater rates of burnout. In addition, the analysis of the data also showed that those who considered leaving their posts or reported leaving their posts or jobs due to burnout considered such actions mainly due to inadequate staffing and stressful work environments.

            Another study was recently conducted by Ramírez-Elvira et al. (2021). This study focused on exploring the prevalence, risk factors, and burnout levels, especially among nurses working in the intensive care units. This was a systematic review with meta-analysis, which considered a total of fifteen research articles. The researchers found out that in terms of nurse burnout, the prevalence of low personal accomplishment was 46%, the prevalence of high depersonalization was 18%, and the prevalence of high emotional exhaustion was 31%. The analysis also showed that various sociodemographic factors and working conditions are key to burnout. For example, less professional experience, single marital status, being younger, and working conditions such as working for longer hours and high workload all influenced the risk of nurse burnout.

            The recent Covid-19 outbreak led to increased nurse burnout. Therefore, various researchers explored nurse burnout during such times. An example is a report by Galanis et al. (2021), which explored the nurses’ burnout and connected risk factors during the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, the aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to examine the nurses’ burnout and the factors associated with this phenomenon during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. The analysis of the data showed that the prevalence of emotional exhaustion was highest at 34.1%, followed by lack of personal accomplishment, which was recorded to be 15.2%. The final aspect was depersonalization, which had a prevalence of 12.6%. This research also explored various risk factors connected to enhanced burnout rates.  The factors include lower specialized training levels concerning COVID-19, higher workload, working in settings with inadequate human resources and material, longer working time in the quarantine areas, and increased perceived threat of COVID-19. The other factors included low readiness among colleagues and family to cope with the outbreak, lower social support, and younger age.

Impacts of Nurse Burnout

            Literature exploration also led to another theme: the impacts of nurse burnout. As part of the theme, various aspects were considered, such as the financial impacts on healthcare organizations, professional and personal impacts on nurses, and impacts on patient care and the organization’s reputation. A recent study on the financial impacts of nurse burnout was conducted by Muir et al. (2022). According to this study, nurse burnout is a serious problem and impacts one in every three nurses in the USA, hence negatively impacting the efficiency and safety of care. The analysis of the data obtained in this research showed that a hospital could spend up to over $16,500 per nurse every year employed on nurse burnout-associated turnover costs. This cost was significantly lower among facilities or hospitals with burnout programs in place. Therefore, hospitals should take a proactive approach to support programs that would help reduce nurse burnout rates and connected costs.

            Burnout also has various personal and professional impacts on nurses. For example, according to a study done by Chen and  Meier (2021), there is a relationship between burnout and depression. The stressful and demanding environments or settings that lead to nurse burnout eventually lead to mental health complications such as depression among nurses. The researchers indicate that there is a need for professionals to understand that there is a clear distinction between nurse burnout and depression and that the burnout phenomenon can easily lead to depression if not carefully handled. These aspects are supported by a recent study conducted by Hsieh et al.(2021), who found that reducing the incidences of nurse burnout plays a critical role in reducing depressive symptoms among nurses.

            Nurse burnout can also have various impacts on an organization’s reputation. As such, various research efforts have also been carried out to explore such impacts with the major aim of formulating effective strategies to mitigate such effects. An example of such a research effort is a research recently published by Jun et al. (2021), which focused on the relationship between nurse burnout and patient and organizational outcomes. According to this study, nurse burnout is characterized by various undesirable factors, such as a burden on mental well-being, decreased personal accomplishments, depersonalization, and emotional exhaustion. According to this study, nurse burnout negatively impacts nurses’ organizational commitment, which impacts the organization’s image or reputation negatively. When nurses have a reduced commitment, there are higher chances that the quality of care offered would be low, which lowers the organization’s overall rating and reputation.

            Nurse burnout is also known to put patient safety at risk; as such, nurses may be prone to medical mistakes and the provision of below-par patient care services. The implication is that the patient’s lives are placed in great danger. A study was recently done by Garcia et al.(2019), which explored the impacts of nurse burnout on patient safety. This was a systematic review and meta-analysis of various research articles that focused on how burnout impacts patient safety. The analysis of data showed that there is a substantial relationship between nurse burnout and patient safety, as higher levels of nurse burnout significantly led to diminishing or worsening patient safety.

The Solutions or Best Practices Recommended For the Issue

            The negative impacts of nurse burnout imply the need to use best practices to help reduce the rates of burnout for better patient outcomes and higher retention rates. One of the best practice recommendations is the use of interventions that focus on nurses. According to Aryankhesal et al. (2019),  various approaches can be used to reduce nurse burnout. The approaches include the use of team-based approaches, communication skill training, and training nurses to use various coping mechanisms. These approaches can help nurses to prevent and better manage burnout. Another approach is the use of mindfulness techniques. According to a study done by Xie et al.(2020), the use of mindfulness techniques significantly led to the reduction of occupational burnout by improving the professionals’ mindfulness levels. These findings also agree with the research done by Suleiman‐Martos et al. (2020). This is a study that was conducted with the major aim of exploring the effect of mindfulness techniques on lowering the rates of nurse burnout. The analysis of the data obtained showed the use of mindfulness techniques led to a significant reduction in burnout, as shown in lower emotional exhaustion and depersonalization scores.


            Burnout is a major problem in healthcare, and it affects nurses, which consequently impacts the quality and safety of services offered to patients. The implication is that patient safety is put at risk. Therefore, this literature review has focused on analyzing evidence regarding nurse burnout following various themes. The themes discussed include causes, risk factors, and prevalence of nurse burnout, impacts of nurse burnout, and some of the recommendations that can be used to reduce nurse burnout.


Aryankhesal, A., Mohammadibakhsh, R., Hamidi, Y., Alidoost, S., Behzadifar, M., Sohrabi, R., & Farhadi, Z. (2019). Interventions on reducing burnout in physicians and nurses: A systematic review. Medical Journal of the Islamic Republic of Iran33, 77.

Chemali, Z., Ezzeddine, F. L., Gelaye, B., Dossett, M. L., Salameh, J., Bizri, M., … & Fricchione, G. (2019). Burnout among healthcare providers in the complex environment of the Middle East: a systematic review. BMC Public Health19(1), 1-21. Doi: 10.1186/s12889-019-7713-1

Chen, C., & Meier, S. T. (2021). Burnout and depression in nurses: A systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Nursing Studies124, 104099.

Galanis, P., Vraka, I., Fragkou, D., Bilali, A., & Kaitelidou, D. (2021). Nurses’ burnout and associated risk factors during the COVID‐19 pandemic: A systematic review and meta‐analysis. Journal of Advanced Nursing77(8), 3286-3302.

Garcia, C. D. L., Abreu, L. C. D., Ramos, J. L. S., Castro, C. F. D. D., Smiderle, F. R. N., Santos, J. A. D., & Bezerra, I. M. P. (2019). Influence of burnout on patient safety: systematic review and meta-analysis. Medicina55(9), 553.

Hsieh, H. F., Liu, Y., Hsu, H. T., Ma, S. C., Wang, H. H., & Ko, C. H. (2021). Relations between stress and depressive symptoms in psychiatric nurses: the mediating effects of sleep quality and occupational burnout. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health18(14), 7327.

Jun, J., Ojemeni, M. M., Kalamani, R., Tong, J., & Crecelius, M. L. (2021). Relationship between nurse burnout, patient and organizational outcomes: Systematic review. International Journal of Nursing Studies119, 103933.

Muir, K. J., Wanchek, T. N., Lobo, J. M., & Keim-Malpass, J. (2022). Evaluating the costs of nurse burnout-attributed turnover: a Markov modeling approach. Journal of Patient Safety18(4), 351-357. Doi: 10.1097/PTS.0000000000000920

Ramírez-Elvira, S., Romero-Béjar, J. L., Suleiman-Martos, N., Gómez-Urquiza, J. L., Monsalve-Reyes, C., Cañadas-De la Fuente, G. A., & Albendín-García, L. (2021). Prevalence, risk factors and burnout levels in intensive care unit nurses: a systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health18(21), 11432.

Shah, M. K., Gandrakota, N., Cimiotti, J. P., Ghose, N., Moore, M., & Ali, M. K. (2021). Prevalence of and factors associated with nurse burnout in the US. JAMA Network Open4(2), e2036469-e2036469. Doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.36469

Suleiman‐Martos, N., Gomez‐Urquiza, J. L., Aguayo‐Estremera, R., Cañadas‐De La Fuente, G. A., De La Fuente‐Solana, E. I., & Albendín‐García, L. (2020). The effect of mindfulness training on burnout syndrome in nursing: a systematic review and meta‐analysis. Journal of Advanced Nursing76(5), 1124-1140.

Xie, C., Zeng, Y., Lv, Y., Li, X., Xiao, J., & Hu, X. (2020). Educational intervention versus mindfulness-based intervention for ICU nurses with occupational burnout: A parallel, controlled trial. Complementary Therapies in Medicine52, 102485.