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Resilience is the ability of people to ‘spring back’ in the face of adversity. It is and important concept for nurses as we endeavour to assist individuals to meet the challenges of living with illness and ageing. Researchers form many disciplines in both the social and health sciences have investigated resilience of individuals throughout the life cycle in a variety of situations related to health as well as other life events. Some researchers have investigated resilience as a trait of individuals while other view resilience as a process. This article reviews the current literature on resilience from many disciplines and discusses implications for nursing practice and research.