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Topics About 'Faculty Burnout'.

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  1. Previous articles have garnered comments regarding graduate nurse proclivity toward advanced degrees and not remaining at the patient bedside. Graduate nurses self-describe as wanting to be the best, excel, and achieve the greatest compensation. In addition, there are those encouragements left from the Magnet programs (A new model, 2010; Drenkard, 2013; Stimpfel, Rosen & McHugh, 2014; Wolf & Reid-Pointe, 2008) for graduates to achieve degrees. The patient bedside care is comparable to primary health care. Primary health care is described as essential health care much like bedside nursing. Calma, Halcomb, and Stephens (2019) discuss curriculum, nursing student attitude, and perceptions, preparing them for primary health care workers. They discovered a focus on acute care in curricula that color the nursing student perception. Acute care curricula content and the encouragement to pursue advanced degrees is that having a greater impact? Is it truly a lack of awareness of essential healthcare career possibilities, therefore desire and confidence are lacking as suggested by Calma, Halcomb, and Stephens (2019)? Or could it be the student nurse experience that affects a nurse? When I was a student driver in a car with my driver education instructor (yes it was a long time ago), he pointed out to myself and the two other bored high school student drivers in the car that watching pedestrian reaction at seeing the student driver sign on the top of the car was indicative of their student driver experience. A smile indicated a positive experience a frown a negative one. Interestingly I noticed a reaction was universal despite age and gender. It has me thinking is it the same for nurses? Does their student nursing experience color their nursing practice or just their reaction when reminded of it? Or is it burnout? Burnout is defined in the ICD-11 as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions: 1) feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; 2) increased mental distance from one’s job or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and 3) reduced professional efficacy” (WHO, 2019). As discussed in previous articles by this author, burnout was first researched and identified in educators and healthcare providers primarily nurses in the 1980s. Since burnout has been extensively researched and led to the identification of it in many work settings and roles. Additionally, the research has continued for those in education and healthcare. More recently, nursing students have been included. My own study is of nursing faculty burnout. The research survey will be available soon. I began this article with thoughts of nursing graduates, many of which who have expressed intentions of not remaining at the bedside but to continue their education. This author has previously posted articles on allnurses.com which have garnered anecdotal lamentation commentary of educating graduates to advanced degree levels taking them away from the bedside resulting in leaving future patient bedside unattended. Interestingly, research and data that established the advantageous use of bachelor prepared nurses at the bedside for the patient also gave impetus to the Magnet programs (A new model, 2010; Drenkard, 2013; Stimpfel, Rosen & McHugh, 2014; Wolf & Reid-Pointe, 2008). There is the research conducted by Calma, Halcomb, and Stephens (2019) that offers the possibility of nurse graduates simply unaware of primary health care or bedside nursing as a viable opportunity. Another thought offered is the student nurse experience affecting the nurse as a graduate and beyond. There is current research of the nursing student and burnout that begins during the nursing education experience. Also, research has linked burnout in nurses and nursing faculty to nursing shortages. Is burnout leading the graduates to seek further education to leave the bedside? Will future bedside nursing experience shortages to the extent that patients will go untended? Given we have experienced nursing shortages in the past and are currently experiencing nursing shortages, is this happening now? Your thoughts? 
  2. Preventative Measures Burnout has been a topic well researched starting with Maslach, Jackson, Leiter, Schaufeli, and Schwab (1986). As someone who has been reading literature and spending a tremendous amount of time over the past few years thinking about burnout, I have often been asked what is the cure or the preventative actions. The research is consistent in establishing the existence of burnout and the all too commonality of it. In my reading, I found articles reporting nursing student burnout. Recent research is attempting to pinpoint where it begins for nurses, before graduation during the educative process? Or as a graduate nurse? The article I wrote recently and published here in allnurses.com titled "Are Nursing Students Burned Out Before or After They Graduate?" (2020) does delve into the topic with much greater depth. Currently, there are many more questions about student nurses and burnout than answers. Change in Mindset? Another nurse posted a question in allnurses.com (Destin293, March 17, 2019) "Burnout...what to do about it" had a respondent that stated “There is nothing wrong with YOU or your very reasonable feelings about this. Burnout is not the appropriate label for it. Chin up. Put your confidence and self-worth back in order, as this weight is not yours to bear. You have no professional duty to imposed nonsense. Instead be impowered. Formulate plan B and put it into action” (JKL33, March 17, 2019). A response that is well-meaning but not helpful. If burnout is the perceived experience, it is the individual’s state of being. And the description of burnout as put forth by Maslach et al. (1986) is one the encompasses an individual incapable of self-directed action as described by the respondent above. However, the respondent that posted the above comment is not alone, many believe that burnout can be defeated with a positive attitude or thinking, pulling oneself up by bootstraps or change of outlook. Maslach et al.’s (1986) beginning and subsequent work along with a plethora of other researchers have established the construct of burnout as valid with many different mediating factors. Little research has found burnout to be mediated simply by a change in mindset. Self-Care and Mindfulness Some recent study, however, has explored the impact of preventative measures for nursing students e.g. self-care (Nevins et al., 2019) and mindfulness for nurses Montanari, Bowe, Chesak & Cutshall, 2019). Nevins et al. (2019) reported that an increase in exercise and hydration in baccalaureate nursing students did increase students’ described levels of wellness. Montantari et al. (2019) found that nurses’ use of mindfulness “positive implications for the well-being of nurses” to stress and burnout (p. 175). Increased resilience in nurses mediated burnout (Guo et al., 2019). All increase my hopefulness that research is on track to illuminate a burnout preventative pathway. Faculty Burnout Additionally, my literature reading has included the topic I plan to research, nursing faculty member burnout. Aquino, Young-Me, Spawn, and Bishop-Royse (2018) found in their descriptive survey study of doctorate nursing faculty members’ intent to leave their academic position that degree type, age, and burnout were significant predictors. Their recommendations in addressing the nursing faculty member shortage as “critical to creat[ing] supportive and positive work environments to promote the well-being of nursing faculty” (p. 35). I have found the reading and contemplating burnout and nursing faculty members’ possible experience of it as interesting. The plethora of burnout research mentioned previously consists primarily of educators and healthcare providers as subjects. Little burnout research is of nursing faculty members despite the “great demands placed on many nursing faculty” (Aquino, Young-Me, Spawn & Bishop-Royse, 2018, p. 35). My doctorate topic is nursing faculty member burnout. I plan to offer qualifying allnurse.com members access to a survey. The qualifications include current full-time employment and one year of experience as a nursing faculty member. Interested? It is coming soon.
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