Emergency Department Nursing Burnout and Resilience

Adv Emerg Nurs J. 2022 Jan-Mar;44(1):54-62. doi: 10.1097/TME.0000000000000391.


Burnout is a significant problem in emergency nursing, and it is associated with higher turnover rates than other disciplines of health care. Emergency nurses are highly susceptible to burnout due to continual exposure to traumatic events, varying work schedules, violence directed at staff, and, in recent times, due to the stressors of the COVID-19 pandemic. This literature review will (1) expose the causes of emergency department (ED) nurse burnout and (2) discuss strategies to build resilience in ED nurses. A systematic review of studies published in academic journals discussing burnout and resilience, specifically related to ED nurses, published in English between 2015 and 2019. The databases MEDLINE, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Education Source, Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition, APA PsycArticles, Military and Government Collection, Gender Studies Database, SocINDEX, and PsycINFO were searched. Sixteen studies were included in this review. Work schedules and shift work, violence toward staff, and lack of management support were factors linked to burnout. Self-discipline, optimism, and goal-oriented behaviors evolved as characteristics of resilient ED nurses. Burnout rates among ED nurses are steep. Shift work, traumatic events, violence, and management support are determinants of burnout. Specialized actions can combat burnout and increase resilience. Nursing management can provide specific education to nurses to assist in this effort.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Burnout, Professional* / epidemiology
  • COVID-19*
  • Emergency Nursing*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • SARS-CoV-2