Exploring the effects of break nurses on nursing staff burnout

Danjie Zheng


Objective: Previous studies had found that rest breaks can not only prevent or improve negative reactions to stress in healthcare staff, but also reduce turnover in understaff conditions, improve work performance, and ultimately improve patient outcomes. As a result, many inpatient units had implemented a nursing position called a Break Nurse, whose sole purpose was to provide rest breaks. However, the implementation of a Break Nurse and its effectiveness was not reported in literature. Therefore, this quality improvement QI project proposed to implement Break Nurses on an acute care unit of impatient setting and investigate its effectiveness on nursing staff.
Methods: The selected unit previously utilizing a Break-Buddy model for securing rest breaks was able to start a two 8-hour shift Break Nurse model. The hypothesis is that the Two-Break-Nurse model, when compared with the Break-Buddy model, will better secure rest breaks, reduce burnout symptoms experienced by nursing staff. The validated tool used to measure burnout is the Maslach Burnout Inventory. The study utilized pre- and post-implementation self-report survey statistical analysis to report outcomes.
Results: In the end, 14 individuals had responded to both pre- and post implementation surveys. The results show that there was statistically significant improvement of Emotional Exhaustion. Due to the small sample size, the measurement of Depersonalization and Personal Accomplishment did not show statistically significant improvement.
Conclusions: The Two-Break-Nurse model is effective at reducing emotional exhaustion for nursing staff. Further studies are needed to measure in a larger scale the effectiveness of break nurse model on other aspects of burnout and the improvement of clinical outcomes.

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jha.v12n2p38


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Journal of Hospital Administration

ISSN 1927-6990(Print)   ISSN 1927-7008(Online)

Copyright © Sciedu Press
To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the 'Sciedupress.com' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.