Burnout affects approximately one-third of all critical care nurses and has long been known to contribute to poor mental health and adversely affect patient care. The impact of workplace climate on burnout has been studied but not in a comprehensive manner that includes objective organizational characteristics.

Swamy and colleagues combined survey data with site characteristics to examine risk factors for burnout in VA intensive care unit nurses. They found that

  • One-third of the VA nurses met the criteria for burnout.

  • Risk factors significantly associated with nurse burnout included low rating of workplace climate, low star rating of site’s quality of care, urban location, and employment at the VA for 1 to 20 years.

The authors acknowledge that workplace climate is a complex concept, with various aspects such as perceptions of teamwork, patient experience, workload, supervisors, and senior leadership all affecting burnout. They suggest...

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