Nurse Well-Being in Practice

Author(s) Information

Kimberly PawlowskiFollow


Nurses experience many mental health challenges such as stress, burnout, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and secondary traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety, with an increased rate of burnout. Both the ANA and the AACN promote initiatives to enhance nurse well-being. A literature review is needed to identify gaps.


To conduct a literature review exploring nurse well-being in practice.

Search strategy

A literature review was conducted in PubMed and Psych Info from the last five years (as of May 2022) using “nurse” and “well-being” search terms.

Results of literature search

Of the 166 results, 28 articles were selected. An additional three articles were added as seminal articles.

Synthesis of evidence

The research that related to well-being fell into three conceptual themes: Ryff’s Psychological Well-Being, Hochschild’s theory of emotional labour, and the job demands resource model. Ryff’s psychological well-being was most associated with measurements used to assess well-being in practice for nurses. Hochschild’s theory was commonly related to the emotional burden and responses that nurses encounter while at work. The job demands resource model was often referred to in the literature when assessing and implementing coping mechanisms for nurses while at work. Various aspects of well-being are present in the literature, these include: psychological, physical, spiritual, social, environmental, and resilience. Some gaps in the literature include that there is no theory specific to nurse well-being and many of the instruments used to assess well-being assess other elements that are believed to make up well-being. This also highlights that well-being is often viewed as a part of other concepts.

Implications for practice

Nurse well-being is complex and multifaceted. Many elements make up and contribute to nurse well-being, and nurse well-being does not stand alone; it is a part of other concepts as well.



Nurse Well-Being in Practice