Nursing’s Mental Health Pandemic, and How We Can Stop It

The nursing and healthcare workforce is currently experiencing a mental health pandemic, with high rates of burnout, stress, anxiety, depression, and suicide. This is linked to turnover, worsening the nursing shortage, and preventable medical errors. System issues such as short staffing, long shifts, and bureaucratic tasks contribute to this crisis. Nurses in organizations with supportive cultures have better mental health outcomes. The stigma around mental health prevents nurses from seeking help, as intrusive questions about mental health and substance use on licensure applications discourage them from seeking treatment. The nursing profession needs to modernize and humanize licensure applications to address this crisis and save lives.

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