Nursing researchers have been investigating social support in the nursing profession with increasing interest, and the present manuscript reviews the state of the literature: methods, theories, and research findings related to social support in nursing. The aims of the existing research have focused primarily on understanding how the types, amount, and quality of social support received by nurses is associated with lower rates of professional stress, burnout, and intent to leave the profession. There is evidence that nurses in clinical settings value and are benefited by various forms of support from their supervisors. They also report lower distress when they have supportive personal relationships outside of work, although support from managers remains key. Support needs have been examined in different cultures and findings indicate that nursing in some parts of the world can be fraught because of cultural beliefs about the profession and about appropriate ways of enacting support. Less research has addressed the social support that nurses provide to patients and families. An agenda for advancing the literature is offered, with an emphasis on studying support from a communication perspective and learning more about what makes messages more or less supportive in nursing contexts.
Donovan, E. E., & Greenwell, M. R. (2021). Social Support in Nursing: A Review of the Literature. Nursing Communication, 1 (1). Retrieved from https://repository.usfca.edu/nursingcommunication/vol1/iss1/2