Mental Health and Wellness - Alabama Board of Nursing Research

Health of Practitioner, Research,

Guest post by Abby Migliore, Administrative Director for Discipline/Compliance Monitoring, Alabama Board of Nursing

The COVID-19 pandemic changed lives worldwide.  COVID-19 forced many of us to rapidly change how we thought or went about our daily lives. Such radical change can cause increased stress, and feelings of being overwhelmed or isolation. Suddenly people found themselves in unprecedented situations that required them to identify treatments for a new illness, management of higher levels of acuity, an increase in number of patients, and having to employ new infection prevention strategies for the workers themselves.

This resulted in extraordinary levels of burnout, depression, and anxiety. Mental health can change as circumstances change and this was poignantly illustrated for many, not only at work but also in our private lives.  People who normally were able to cope and flourish found themselves overwhelmed, over stressed, frightened for their own health, frustrated, exhausted; many reported that they considered leaving their jobs.  It is extremely important to come together as a community to address workforce issues or burnout.  The World Health Organization classifies burnout as an occupational phenomenon, rather than an individual crisis. 

To address the mental health crisis among health professions, the Alabama Board of Nursing (ABN) developed a presentation titled Mental Health and Wellness in Nurses and Healthcare Workers to educate, speak to healthcare workers, and obtain feedback on their experiences since the beginning of COVID-19.  Through this program, the ABN has compiled data from more than 370 participants related to, among other things, stress, workplace dread, and feelings of being appreciated as a healthcare worker.  Though the full data set findings will be discussed during the presentation the following are just a few items that were revealed:

  • 76% reported experienced increase stress
  • 51% reported they have felt increase workplace dread
  • 87% reported they considered leaving their job

ABN has presented this educational program at conferences, facilities, and to groups across the United States and internationally.  The ideas and stories of attendees have been incorporated in the program to help address issues such as Burnout, Compassion Fatigue, Pandemic Fatigue, and more.  Please join us in Savanah, Georgia at CLEAR’s 2023 Winter Symposium where the ABN will be participating with regulators from across the world in a presentation titled Facing the “Wicked Problem”- The global crisis in wellbeing and the role of regulators.