• The Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Supporting Nurse Well-being

    By Catherine Horvath, DNP, CRNA

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    On May 11, 2021, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine released a consensus report entitled:  The Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity.  Highlighted within the report was the critical aspect of supporting the health and professional well-being of nurses.

    Ensuring nurse well-being necessitates an investment in individual strategies and a systems approach that addresses the structures and policies responsible for the workplace hazards and stresses that lead to poor health.  Ultimately, the health and well-being of nurses influence the quality, safety, and cost of the care they provide.

    The report outlines the following:

    • Impact of nurse well-being
    • Technological factors impacting nurse well-being
    • The state of nurses’ health and well-being
    • Physical health
    • Occupational safety and health
    • Mental and behavioral health, including burnout, compassion fatigue, suicide
    • Moral well-being
    • Social health and well-being, including bullying and incivility, workplace violence, racism and discrimination
    • A framework for well-being
    • Individual-level interventions, including physical activity, diet, and sleep
    • Substance use
    • Developing resiliency skills (self-awareness, coping skills, and communication skills)
    • Mental health skills (mindfulness and cognitive behavior therapy)
    • Ethical competence skills
    • Systems-level approaches

    You can use this information for individual level change, or to initiate conversations in your networks or at your institution that can catalyze change in the systems, structures, and policies that affect the health and well-being of nurses.  One example is depicted in the graphic below:

    IHI (Institute for Healthcare Improvement). 2020. Psychological PPE: Promote health care workforce mental health and well-being. http://www.ihi.org/resources/Pages/Tools/psychological-PPE-promote-health-care-workforce-mental-health-and-well-being.aspx (accessed April 9, 2021).

    Lastly, to help further these conversations, the National Academy of Medicine is providing a communication toolkit.  The toolkit contains social media messages and graphics conveying the report’s key messages and action items for helping nurses avoid burnout.  A podcast, from STAT News, features committee members discussing the report’s findings and recommendations, particularly those related to expanding scope of practice for nurses.  All of these resources are available free.


    National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. The Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/25982.