SILVER SPRING, MD – The American Nurses Association (ANA) applauds the recommendations laid out in the Surgeon General’s Advisory Addressing Health Worker Burnout to provide accessible mental health resources, adequate staffing, and safer work environments for health care professionals, including nurses. We hope this action will improve systems, structures, and cultures to help strengthen the nation’s public health infrastructure. ANA further appreciates the acknowledgement that health care worker burnout is not a new phenomenon, but rather a decades-long issue intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The nursing profession faces a long recovery period from the perpetual negative impact of the pandemic on their mental health and well-being. Results from a survey of nearly 12,000 nurses conducted by the American Nurses Foundation between January 8 – January 29, 2022 show that younger nurses, the future of the nursing profession, are feeling more of the stress and strain of the pandemic. Over half (69%) of nurse respondents under age 25 say they have been suffering from burnout, which is more than double those nurses older than 25 (30%). Nurse respondents under age 25 (47%) as well as those between ages 25- 34 (46%) also consider themselves as being not or not at all emotionally healthy due to challenges such as insufficient staffing, burnout, and unsafe work environments.
Among many work environment stressors exacerbated by COVID-19, appropriate nurse staffing remains a top issue. ANA recently collaborated with a diverse group of front-line nurses, nursing leaders and other key stakeholders, to publish recommendations that provide immediate strategies to address the nurse staffing crisis. These actionable strategies can be feasibly implemented in the short term (12-18 months) across acute and critical care practice settings.
ANA will not cease decades-long advocacy efforts and work calling for transformational change that demonstrates the value of nursing. All individuals and the nation’s entire health care delivery system require a nursing workforce at peak health and wellness now, and for the future.
About the American Nurses Association
The American Nurses Association (ANA) is the premier organization representing the interests of the nation's 4.3 million registered nurses. ANA advances the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting a safe and ethical work environment, bolstering the health and wellness of nurses, and advocating on health care issues that affect nurses and the public. ANA is at the forefront of improving the quality of health care for all. For more information, visit www.nursingworld.org