The Nurse Practitioner Burnout Mini-Series

Stress Burnout Man Person Dates  - geralt / Pixabay

Greetings to my nurse practitioner sisters and brothers! This is the first of hopefully many articles that are from other nurse practitioners across the country. As The Elite Nurse Practitioner continues to grow and more nurse practitioners are finally understanding their true worth and breaking free, I will be publishing articles from other likeminded nurse practitioners who want to have their voices heard. If you or someone you know would be interested in submitting articles to be published on Elite NP, please feel free to email at! I would love to share others knowledge and experience amongst the Elite NP community!

The first contributed article is actually a series of articles on nurse practitioner burnout from Erica Dorn, MSN, APRN. She is a recovering burned out nurse practitioner herself and is the author of a website on nurse practitioner burnout at For additional tips and support, check out her Facebook page as well: The Burned-Out Nurse Practitioner.

There will be 4 parts to this mini-series. I will publish them over the next week and I hope many of you who are on the verge of burnout or who are already burned out, find some comfort in knowing that you are not alone. I also hope that the tips in the articles help you get out of the burnout “funk” and move toward building that professionally fulfilled life!

I was there myself many years ago and it is one of the reasons why I decided to start my own practice and build a life on my terms. Well, here I am today teaching thousands of nurse practitioners on how to start their own practice and break free. Sometimes, it just takes a little “burnout” to kick your butt into gear to make a change. Now, I am happy to present the Nurse Practitioner Burnout Series by Erica Dorn:

Are you struggling with Nurse Practitioner Burnout or Work-life Balance?

Healthcare burnout. Compassion fatigue. Prolonged stress. Call it what you want, it all looks the same.

You dread going to work every morning. You see 30+ patients a day and there is push from administration to see even more. You work late to “catch up” on charts. You’ve missed holidays, children’s school events, and valued time with your friends/family.

You are sick and tired of the constant sacrifices…

Webster’s Dictionary defines burnout as the depletion of physical, mental, and emotional durability that is caused by long-term stress. In other words, you have reached your limit.

Day after day, we care for our patients, our coworkers, and our families. We are expected to produce enormous amounts of compassion and energy in our daily lives. If we do not do anything to replace that energy we are left with burnout

If you are a burned-out Nurse Practitioner, know you are not alone! NPs are facing burnout now more than ever. The workload is never ending. The demanding/needy patients never go away. The constant stress and overwhelm leave you exhausted. You have sacrificed so much and there is no end in sight! 

Healthcare burnout is a critical issue that is not getting the attention it deserves. I wish we could change the entire healthcare system. A system that cared more about practitioners instead of making money. I wish we could change the entire academic system to teach providers to care for themselves first. I wish we could teach every single healthcare provider to prevent burnout.

But for today, we will start with this article. I hope you find something useful while reading this article and the rest to come. I hope you take one tip and make a positive change. I hope you commit to overcome burnout.  

This four-part article series will take a deep dive into one of the major components of burnout: work-life balance. Everyone has their own definition of work-life balance. My story of inadequate work-life balance led me to burnout. I was giving more time, energy, emotion at work than I was giving to myself. Not to mention my family. My life was so imbalanced I didn’t know what to do.

I realize that burnout can happen in any line of work, but I feel healthcare providers are most susceptible. Other healthcare providers understand what we are going through. When I was working as an RN, my husband could not grasp the idea of me getting off work “late”, every day. “You work 6a-6p, why are you not done with work until after 7p?” I don’t even need to explain this concept, you get it.

Work-life imbalance is a significant cause of burnout. What about you? Is your work and life out of balance?

Work-life balance is such an interesting concept. Does anyone have a perfectly balanced life? The answer is no. Because we are human. Your work and life will never be balanced.

Instead of striving for this so-called “balance”, strive for imbalance. Acknowledge that some days you will have to give more of yourself to work. And other days, you need to give 100% of your attention to your family, friends, and life outside of work. If we permit ourselves to live “imbalanced”, we will not continuously set ourselves up for failure

Think of an old-fashioned scale, the kind you add more weight on one side to become balanced. Let us pretend our scale has two sides: work and life. The weight that we add is the energy, emotion, and activities we complete daily. What does your scale look like right now? Are you pretty heavy on the work side? Do you wish you had more weight on your life’s side? Does it seem impossible to shift the load?

What we can control is the direction the imbalance leans towards. Are you working more than 40 hours a week but not getting compensated fairly? Are you spending evenings finishing up on charts instead of relaxing with your spouse? Are you thinking about work even when you are not in the office? If so, maybe you need to reevaluate your “imbalance.” Maybe you need to make some changes, so you don’t feel so burned out.

Well, follow along during this mini-series, because we are going to discuss 3 topics on how to manage the work-life imbalance: prioritizing time, self-care, and setting boundaries. Even if you commit to just one of these and make a change, you can have a significant improvement in your overall happiness. So, let us dig in!……

Stay tuned for the next article tomorrow!

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