Health & Wellness

Progress and Pitfalls: The State of Nurse Mental Health in 2023 – Insights from Trusted Health's Annual Survey

The Trusted Team
June 14, 2023
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At Trusted Health, we understand the exceptional courage and resilience that define the nursing community. We also acknowledge the challenging circumstances and stressors you face in your daily roles. Our commitment is to support you – not only in your professional journey, but also when it comes to caring for your own mental health.

One of the ways we uphold this commitment is by completing regular check-ins through our annual nurse mental health survey. This initiative offers a clear and unbiased view of the current state of mental health among nurses. It's a tool that helps us understand your needs better and work towards solutions that can enhance your well-being. This blog post is all about sharing this year's insights with you, chatting about the implications, and revealing how we at Trusted, along with our fabulous partners, are addressing these issues head-on.

Be sure to check out our YouTube Channel to hear more from our team on our Annual Mental Health Survey and how Trusted is supporting our nurses.

Summary of Results

The 2023 survey collected responses from more than 1,900 of our nurses. Our respondents included both male and female nurses across a wide age range, with the majority under the age of 44.  From fresh faces to those with years under their belt, critical care to surgical, our respondents represented the beautiful diversity of our nursing community.

Celebrating Improvements in Nurse Mental Health

Let's start with some good news! Over the last four years, we've seen a hopeful trend – your self-rated mental health scores have been on the upswing! The average rating for 2023 was 6.6 on a scale of 10 – that's an encouraging jump from 5.8 in 2022, 5.7 in 2021, and 5.4 in 2020. Even better, we saw some significant decreases in the instances of moral injury (-28%), compassion fatigue (-27%), and suicidal thoughts (-25%) among nurses. This improvement makes us cautiously optimistic – it shows we're making progress, however slow and steady.

Measures Nurses Take to Manage Mental Health

Our survey reveals that nurses are taking a range of measures to manage their mental health, with a mix of both healthy and not-so-healthy strategies. This underscores the critical need for accessible, effective mental health resources, as well as continued conversation around mental health in nursing.

Many nurses report taking steps that are known to boost mental health, such as spending time in nature, exercising, and practicing mindfulness or meditation. Others lean into spirituality or religion for comfort and guidance, or invest in therapy to navigate their emotions and stress. It's encouraging to see these positive self-care measures being adopted by our community.

Many also reported practical adjustments like reducing work hours or taking time off, which can be essential for maintaining work-life balance and preventing burnout. Time off is there for you- use it to recharge and do something that you love. 

However, our survey also highlights that some nurses are resorting to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as increased alcohol consumption or recreational drug use. This is a stark reminder of the severity of mental health challenges faced by nurses.

Interestingly, a portion of respondents reported not taking any particular measures to manage their mental health. This raises concerns about under-addressed mental health issues, reinforcing the need for mental health awareness, and accessible, reliable resources.

Our graphic below provides a more detailed look at these findings. It's clear we need a two-pronged approach – promoting healthy coping mechanisms and providing support to curb unhealthy habits. Remember, it's okay to ask for help. 

Facing Continued Challenges Together 

While it's encouraging to see the trending improvements over the past three years, we're keenly aware that our journey to a healthier mental space isn't over – it's an uphill climb, and we're in this together. Our survey illuminated the persistence of some stark challenges that are deeply affecting your well-being, and we want to shed light on these.

The lingering issue of staffing shortages still hangs heavy on your shoulders. It's an uphill battle that's been particularly tough to navigate, especially post-pandemic, and it’s shown to have a profound impact on your mental health, significantly more than any other factor. And it’s not just about the numbers; it's about the intensity and emotional toll of the work you’re doing.

We know that you're grappling with substantial responsibilities at an early stage in your careers, and this added pressure can exacerbate the stress you experience every day. Our recent findings suggest that nurses who graduated post-pandemic are 61% more likely to take on the role of a preceptor in their first year compared to those who graduated pre-pandemic. About a quarter of you reported becoming a charge nurse less than one year into your career. When asked about the impact of these roles, 38% of you indicated that these early-career responsibilities negatively affected your mental health.

These numbers speak volumes and bring to the forefront the struggles faced by many of you. These figures aren't meant to discourage, but are important for us to acknowledge and should remind us of the real issues at hand. At Trusted, we're not only here to acknowledge these challenges, but also to arm you with resources and community support to navigate these pressures. Let's continue to push for improvements, because your mental well-being is worth the fight.

Power of Peer Support and Community

One ray of sunshine from this year's survey was the tremendous impact of peer support programs on your mental health. Those of you with these programs at your facilities were twice as likely to report a positive state of mind. This is just a reminder that, as nurses, you're each other's best allies. Supporting each other, offering a listening ear or a comforting word can work wonders. So, let's continue to lift each other up!

In the spirit of helping each other out, we invite you to join our growing Trusted community. We host regular events and provide community groups where you can connect, share, and grow with like-minded healthcare professionalsB. 

One of our favorite recurring events is "Coffee and Connections." This monthly gathering provides a platform for nurses to take a break from their busy schedules and connect with others in the Trusted community. We come together to welcome new members, celebrate our wins, share our struggles, and, most importantly, enjoy some good company and laughter. It's a safe space to express yourself, lend and receive support, and form bonds with people who truly 'get it'. 

So, don't miss out! Join our community today, and let's recharge, share experiences, and draw strength from the collective support of one another. Remember, you're not alone in your journey. We are here, and we are stronger together.

Your Well-being is Our Mission: Trusted's Support for Nurse Self-Care

Here at Trusted, we're not just a voice of support, but an active force behind your wellness. We believe in the power of action, and we're here to ensure you're not just heard, but also cared for. We've forged strong partnerships with Spring Health, Headspace, and Gympass, each offering a unique approach to support the holistic well-being of our travelers. We encourage you to take advantage of these ongoing wellness resources when you travel with us. 

But our commitment doesn't stop there. In our continuous effort to provide the best support, we have an exciting exclusive offer in partnership with BetterHelp! From June 19th - July 19th, if you're on assignment with us, you can access a free month of online therapy. If you're not currently working with us, we've still got your back. Simply create a Trusted profile, and you can enjoy discounted access for your first month with BetterHelp.

At Trusted, we know you pour your heart and soul into caring for your patients. That's why we want to remind you that your well-being is just as important. You're more than a nurse; you're a vital individual deserving of care, so make sure to take advantage of these wellness resources, and prioritize your own health too. 

Together, We Prioritize Mental Health

Nurses, you are the heart and soul of healthcare. Your mental health matters – to us, to your patients, and to the healthcare system as a whole. Trusted stands by you in this journey, committed to promoting well-being, support, and recognition for the vital work you do. After all, taking care of our caregivers is at the heart of a healthy healthcare system. 

Sign up to travel with Trusted today and take the first step towards improved mental health. We're committed to this journey with you. Remember, we're stronger together. Here's to a healthier, happier you!

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