Date of Graduation

Summer 8-12-2021

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


School of Nursing and Health Professions

First Advisor

Liesel Buchner


Problem: Critical care nurses are at higher risk for developing burnout than nurses from other areas of clinical practice. If not addressed promptly, the problem of burnout can worsen, negatively affecting the healthcare provider, organization, and patient outcomes.

Context: Increased stress and burnout observed in the microsystem with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic prompted consideration of ways to address the well-being of critical care nursing staff with targeted interventions that could be implemented quickly with readily available resources.

Interventions: The project aim was to reduce critical care nurse burnout scores through implementation of evidence-based strategies addressing participative management, camaraderie and teamwork, and wellness and resilience. The interventions were guided by a constructed conceptual framework based on the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Framework for Improving Joy in Work, Unitary Caring Science Resilience Model, and the Model for Improvement.

Measures: The outcome measure was the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Human Services Survey for Medical Personnel (MBI-HSS MP), for which data was collected pre- and post-intervention. Process measures were weekly tracking of the single-item burnout measure and staff completion of the Well-Being Index. The balancing measure was the annual Healthy Work Environment Assessment.

Results: Post MBI-HSS MP results improved from baseline results by at least 0.1 point on all three MBI burnout scales. Self-reported burnout levels fluctuated over time, and between shifts despite interventions.

Conclusions: Many factors were associated with and contribute to burnout. Preventing and mitigating burnout requires coordination, collaboration, and a systems-based approach. Strong leadership support is essential, and leaders should continue to prioritize burnout assessment, awareness, education, and support for critical care nurses.