This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Cultivating resilience as a nurse

Written by: | Published:

Building resilience in challenging circumstances Building resilience in challenging circumstances can improve quality of life for nurses

Recent coverage of the crisis in nursing has not made for comfortable reading. Research suggests that the NHS is short of 42,855 nurses, with those leaving the workforce citing a range of reasons, including pay cuts, low morale, understaffing, uncertainty over Brexit, and poor work-life balance. Could resilience help nurses weather the storm?

What the figures say

More than 17,000 nurses under the age of 40 left the NHS in 2016/17. The RCN has claimed that the NHS is ‘haemorrhaging’ nurses at a time of unparalleled demand for health and social care services, describing the situation as a ‘perfect storm’ that is engulfing nursing in the UK.1 On an even darker note, a 24% increased risk of suicide amongst female health professionals has been recorded by the Office of National Statistic (ONS),largely explained by a high suicide risk among female nurses.2

Workplace stress, exacerbated by staffing shortfalls, is likely to be playing a major role. The NMC provides evidence that working conditions are a major factor in nurses leaving the profession.3 In short, there is a multitude of stressors in nursing practice, ranging from the emotional labour of the need to be compassionate to work overload and a lack of resources.

Is developing resilience the answer?

Please login or register to read the rest of the article and to have access to downloads and comments.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.


Why is it the nurse that needs to attain resilience if the underlying cause is the system that they work in.
Shouldn't the solution be to improve the environment that they work in, correct the staffing ratios, improve time-off, increase pay? If you want me to feel 'better' about what I do and be more resilient at the end of my day how about addressing those concerns FIRST!

I'm open for discussion
Posted by: ,
Firstly thankyou for casting a light on resilience, i truly believe that it has always been an issue in healthcare,there is an expectation that you ( a nurse) will just get on with it. The article highlights for me the importance of integrating practical facilitation of resilience , not simply using buzzwords but supporting eachother to develop strategies to manage the challenges we all face in the healthcare setting.
Posted by: ,
At a time of unparalleled staffing deficits and associated increasing demands across the entire NHS it is vital that our existing and future workforce be adequately supported to fulfil their clinical responsibilities. It is my view that meaningful resilience education should be a component of all under graduate health studies and continued thereafter in regular practice. Organisational failure to invest in the support and welfare of our clinical teams will result in increased staff sickness/absence, loss of productivity and the early retirement of our seasoned and experienced clinicians. Failure to look after the resilience of our students and new graduates will hasten the depletion of the workforce at the opposite end of the age spectrum.

Mike Paynter
Consultant Nurse
Posted by: ,

Read a free issue from Practice Nursing

Register to read a free issue from our sister publication, Practice Nursing.

Including articles on asthma, diabetes and more. Read your copy.


Sign up to the newsletter


Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.


Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.


Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team


Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.