Nurse Burnout: Finding a Work-Life Balance

Janeane Walker, MSN, RN, CPN, CCRN is a Clinical Practice Specialist at Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton


Since 2007, I have been a part of nursing education.  It has been exhilarating watching nurse residents grow, preceptors develop, experienced nurses expand their knowledge base, and nurse educators master their craft of education.  Over the years, I’ve seen great nurse preceptors become nurse educators and eventually return to the bedside as a staff nurse or move into management.  At first, I began to wonder why an educator would not want to stay and be a part of nursing education.  It was clear to me that there were issues that needed to be further explored. 


One main issue is support.  Are these professionals receiving adequate support to be successful?  There is a great deal of stress associated with the role of a nurse educator, especially if they are juggling multiple projects.  This is where work-life balance can play a significant role in maintaining a healthy base line for our nurse educators. Work-life balance is a concept of properly prioritizing between one's work and lifestyle. 


It is imperative to successfully introduce work-life balance into one's daily practice.  Once a balance is achieved, this will aid the nurse educator from experiencing burnout.  Educator burnout really goes beyond just having a bad day. Chronic stress or emotional and physical exhaustion exacerbates burnout.


There are some questions we should ask ourselves as professional development specialists.  First, how do we not fall victim to an imbalance in our work and personal lives? Second, when you know you are feeling overwhelmed or overworked, how do you rebalance yourself?  Some of my thoughts are:


  1. Recognize that you feel imbalanced. 
  2. Find time for yourself! Do things that bring you personal enjoyment.  If you like tennis, for example, go play a game with a friend.  Sounds basic, but you will be surprised to know that neglecting yourself leads to stress. 
  3. Get rid of the negative talk and speak positive dialogue daily. 
  4. Find a trusted mentor that you can share your experiences with. 


 Let’s hear some of your thoughts on how you can achieve the ultimate balance!  

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