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Resilience in nurses: an integrative review

Authors

  • Patricia L. Hart PhD, RN,

    Assistant Professor of Nursing, Corresponding author
    1. Kennesaw State University, WellStar School of Nursing, Kennesaw, GA, USA
    • Correspondence

      Patricia L. Hart

      Kennesaw State University

      WellStar School of Nursing

      1000 Chastain Road

      Kennesaw

      GA 30144

      USA

      E-mail: phart@kennesaw.edu

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  • Jane D. Brannan EdD, RN,

    Professor of Nursing
    1. Kennesaw State University, WellStar School of Nursing, Kennesaw, GA, USA
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  • Mary De Chesnay DSN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN

    Professor of Nursing
    1. Kennesaw State University, WellStar School of Nursing, Kennesaw, GA, USA
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Abstract

Aim

To describe nursing research that has been conducted to understand the phenomenon of resilience in nurses.

Background

Resilience is the ability to bounce back or cope successfully despite adverse circumstances. Nurses deal with modern-day problems that affect their abilities to remain resilient. Nursing administrators/managers need to look for solutions not only to recruit nurses, but to become knowledgeable about how to support and retain nurses.

Evaluation

A comprehensive search was undertaken for nursing research conducted between 1990 and 2011. Key search terms were nurse, resilience, resiliency and resilient. Whittemore and Knafl's integrative approach was used to conduct the methodological review.

Key issues

Challenging workplaces, psychological emptiness, diminishing inner balance and a sense of dissonance are contributing factors for resilience. Examples of intrapersonal characteristics include hope, self-efficacy and coping. Cognitive reframing, toughening up, grounding connections, work-life balance and reconciliation are resilience building strategies.

Conclusion

This review provides information about the concept of resilience. Becoming aware of contributing factors to the need for resilience and successful strategies to build resilience can help in recruiting and retaining nurses.

Implications for nursing management

Understanding the concept of resilience can assist in providing support and developing programmes to help nurses become and stay resilient.

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