Poster Presentation

Monday, November 5, 2007
10:30 AM - 11:45 AM

Monday, November 5, 2007
1:30 PM - 2:45 PM
This presentation is part of : Scientific Posters
Caring and Burnout in Registered Nurses: What's the Connection?
Annette I. Peery, EdD, RN, CDE, School of Nursing, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, USA
Learning Objective #1: discuss the connection between a nurse's level of caring and how that impacts their level of burnout.
Learning Objective #2: discuss limitations to instruments and quantitative studies involved with measuring concepts considered "abstract" or qualitatitive in nature, such as caring.

To prevent burnout among nurses, key causes of burnout must be identified and targeted for direct intervention.   The literature discusses burnout among nurses, focusing on task-related variables and not patient-related (caring) variables.  Two major problems exist with research on burnout and caring in registered nurses (RNs) --  the lack of robust research methods utilized to study caring, and the lack of research on the link between caring and burnout in RNs. 

This study examined the relationship between caring and burnout in a sample of RNs.  The major hypothesis was that as RNs report increased levels of caring, they also report higher levels of burnout.  Four research questions are addressed in this project.

The population consisted of all RNs within North Carolina.  Mailed surveys were sent to a random sample of 3,500 subjects.   The revised Caring Behaviors Inventory (CBI) was used to measure the five dimensions of caring and the Maslach Burnout Inventory to measure the three dimensions of burnout.  A multiple regression analysis was conducted between each dimension of burnout and four carative factors.  Findings revealed that the four carative factors identified do impact a nurse’s level of burnout and had the greatest impact on the burnout dimension of reduced personal accomplishment.  The carative factor of respectful deference for the other contributed the greatest variance in reduced personal accomplishment.  Overall, increases in caring led to decreased burnout for this sample. Perhaps identifying nurses predisposed to burnout due to their caring attitudes and behaviors, interventions might be developed and implemented to assist in identifying predisposing factors and, in turn, reduce or prevent burnout.  A reduction in burnout may lead to a higher retention for nurses, thereby easing the nursing shortage.  Issues and limitations related to the CBI and quantitative research related to the concept of caring were also examined and discussed.