We cannot ignore nurses' health anymore: a synthesis of the literature on evidence-based strategies to improve nurse health

Nurs Adm Q. 2013 Oct-Dec;37(4):295-308. doi: 10.1097/NAQ.0b013e3182a2f99a.


Nurses are known to suffer from health problems because of the physical and stressful nature of nurses' work. With the advent of health care reform and the increasing importance of nurses to quality and cost-effective health care, the health of nurses can no longer be ignored. The purpose of this synthesis of the literature is to determine what interventions and evidence-based practices have been found that support and improve the health of nurses. Whittemore and Knafl's integrative review methodology was chosen to guide the synthesis. Eighteen studies, all conducted in clinical settings, were identified. Interventions included on-site wellness, ergonomic and exercise programs; holistic practices, including Tai Chi and massage; the use of clinical supervision; mental health programs; and the use of minimal, no lift and lift-team programs. There is a critical need for more research specifically designed to improve the health and safety of the nursing workforce.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Evidence-Based Practice* / education
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Nurses*
  • Occupational Health*
  • Workplace / psychology