Nurses' resilience and nurturance of the self

Int J Palliat Nurs. 2015 Oct;21(10):504-10. doi: 10.12968/ijpn.2015.21.10.504.


Background: Despite the losses experienced by nurses in their role in palliative care, they wish to continue working in this environment. This is described as resilience, which enhances coping in dealing with death and grief.

Aim: To explore the nature of nurses' resilience and the way it is developed.

Design: A qualitative research design using grounded theory methods was employed. With theoretical sampling, 18 interviews were conducted and theoretical saturation was achieved.

Results: Self-nurturing was evident as the way nurses developed resilience, which included knowledge of self, coping adaptively, valuing care and accepting limitations.

Discussion: All participants spoke of the characteristics of resilience from the blend of individual responsibility for self and the support provided by others. However, none had educational pathways to build greater resilience.

Conclusion: Integrating support and education to foster nurses' resilience is important to enable self-protection, as well as the provision of high quality care.

Keywords: Accepting role limits; Resilience; Self-awareness; Self-nurturing; Valuing care-provision.