Nurse Educator M.S.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Missal, Bernita


Background: Burnout is a phenomenon that affects many nurses working in different nursing specialties. Research has shown that nurses working in psychiatry suffer from burnout. Burnout can have serious consequences to the individual nurse, to the patients they are responsible for, and the organization as a whole. Purpose: The purpose of this critical review of the literature is to explore the impact nursing leadership can have on burnout among mental health nurses Conceptual Framework: The Modeling and Role-Modeling theory will be adapted to guide the review and to explain the human relationship of nurse leaders and mental health nurses in the context of reducing and preventing burnout. Methods: Twenty qualitative and quantitative studies were reviewed. The Johns Hopkins Research Evidence Appraisal Tool as well as the Johns Hopkins Non-Research Evidence Appraisal Tool (Dearholt & Dang, 2012), were used to evaluate the strength of the research evidence. Results: The literature reviewed identified that nursing leadership involvement in the inpatient psychiatry units has a positive impact on nurse burnout. The presence of nurse leaders protects nurses against depersonalization, increases job satisfaction, provides clinical supervision, enhances effective communication, and ensures nurses have the resources they need to succeed. Conclusion: The presence of nursing leadership on inpatient psychiatry units is important as it protects mental health nurses from burnout. When leaders are visible, nurses feel supported and valued. Nursing leadership ought to work collaboratively with mental health nurses, and include the nurses’ input in departmental decisions that affect them. Implications: Nurse leaders in psychiatry need to be trained in interpersonal communication as well as in clinical supervision. Education and interventions to both staff and leaders about the effects of burnout is necessary to protect against burnout. More research is needed to explore the unique leadership qualities that are needed for leaders who work in inpatient psychiatry. Also, more research is needed to explore unique leadership needs for psychiatric care environments. Key words: Nurse burnout, nursing leadership, psychiatric nurses, mental health nurses, Nursing management, stress, and coping.

Degree Name

M.S. Nurse Educator

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis

Included in

Nursing Commons