Identifying Stressors at Work

Proactive Care

Practice self-awareness and assertiveness: Assess your emotional and physical state. Being assertive and advocating for yourself (the same way you would for your patient) will keep you well and your patients safe.

Engage in self-improvement: In addition to adequate exercise and sleep, intentionally develop a habit of mindfulness, meditation, or another reflective practice.

Be aware of determinants for workplace success: Factors that indicate a supportive professional environment include clinical residency, present educators, adequate resources, and union-approved schedules.

Take the longview: Nursing is a lifelong profession. Becoming an expert in several specialties is not only possible, but common. Critical thinking is an in-demand skill in several subspecialties, meaning new opportunities are all but certain.


1“Vicarious Trauma,” American Counseling Association, October, 2011, Accessed March 1, 2018.

2Christodoulou-Fella M, Middleton N, Papathanassoglou EDE, Karanikola MNK. “Exploration of the Association between Nurses’ Moral Distress and Secondary Traumatic Stress Syndrome: Implications for Patient Safety in Mental Health Services,” BioMed Research International, October 25, 2017, Accessed March 2, 2018.

3Wolf LA, Perhats C, Delao AM, et al. “It’s a burden you carry: Describing moral distress in emergency nursing,” Journal of Emergency Nursing, September 28, 2015. Accessed February 10, 2018. DOI: 10.1016/j.jen.2015.08.008

4Lombardo, Barbara and Eyre, Carol. “Compassion fatigue: a nurses’ primer,” ANA, January, 2011. Accessed February 10, 2018.

5Johnson, Oretha. “What is nurse burnout?” American Nurses’ Association, January 17, 2013. Accessed February 10, 2018.

6 Mayo Clinic Staff. “Being assertive: reduce stress, communicate better,” Mayo Clinic Online, May 9, 2017, accessed February 27, 2018.

7 Slatyer, Susan, Craigie, Mark,, Heritage, Brody, Davis, Sue, Reese, Clare. “Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Brief Mindful Self-Care and Resiliency (MSCR) Intervention for Nurses: a Controlled Trial,” Mindfulness, August 26, 2017, accessed March 2, 2018.

8 Fontaine, Dorrie, Bauer-Wu, Susan, Germano, David. “The Architecture of Resilience,” Huffington Post, January , 2014, accessed February 27, 2018.

9 Gerardo, Pete. “Should I work for a Magnet hospital?”, June 2, 2017, accessed February 27, 2018.


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