Study shows increased mental health risk in nurses


Illustration by Brian Stauffer

Illustration by Brian Stauffer

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses have experienced higher levels of burnout and associated mental health risks.

That was the conclusion of a study conducted by Department of Psychology graduate students Francisco Canonicco, Fatima Akhtar, and Heidi Lin. The trio measured burnout in local and traveling nurses through a standardized assessment with three subcomponents: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a lack of personal accomplishment.

Results showed that 64% of participants reported higher or significantly higher perceived levels of burnout than they had experienced prior to the pandemic. Those feelings were correlated with levels of anxiety, depression, and anger.

“Nurses need mental health support to thrive in the vital role they play in the health of their communities,” says Tracy Greer, professor of psychology and the students’ adviser. “When nurses are cared for, everyone benefits.”


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