Stress and Burnout in Forensic Mental Health Nursing: A Review of the Literature

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Forensic mental health nurses who work with patients who have severe and
enduring mental health needs have been identified as at risk of suffering from
occupational stress, and even developing burnout syndrome. Therefore, this
article reviews the available literature on stress and burnout in inpatient forensic
mental health nursing to identify the stressors and to highlight recommendations.
From the review, the main stressors placed on forensic nurses are identified as
interprofessional conflicts, workload, and lack of involvement in decision-making. Recommendations to reduce stress and burnout for nurses within this specialty are highlighted. These are identified as follows: staff should have easy access to support systems including clinical supervision; managers should foster an open and honest culture to enable staff members to express their feelings openly or in confidence and learn how to deal with their frustrations; and staff should be encouraged to rotate wards to increase personal and professional development and reduce boredom and apathy. Furthermore, staff should be provided with, and encouraged to undertake, continuing professional development which may include psychosocial interventions training.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-87
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Nursing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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