Barriers to work-life balance for hospital nurses

Workplace Health Saf. 2015 Mar;63(3):96-9. doi: 10.1177/2165079914565355.


Nurses are loyal to their patients and coworkers. They often put the needs of others before their own and sometimes even before the needs of their families. This concern for others can cause conflicts that manifest as stress. Of the more than 2 million nurses in the United States, more than 62% work in hospitals. Hospitals are known to be both rewarding and stressful places to work. Like most workers, nurses face the challenge of balancing demands and achievements of work with those in their private lives. Hospital leaders can facilitate improved work-life balance (WLB) for hospital nurses by using tools already in place. Equally important, nurses can use their knowledge and resources to nurse the nurse within, which can greatly improve their experience of WLB, independent of the demands of their work environment.

Keywords: employee assistance program; employee health; hospital nurses; work–life balance.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Life Style*
  • Motivation
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology*
  • Occupational Health*
  • Organizational Culture
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control
  • United States
  • United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration
  • Workplace / psychology*