The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH) Impact Wellbeing™ campaign gives hospital leaders evidence-informed solutions to reduce healthcare worker burnout, sustain wellbeing, and build a system where healthcare workers thrive.
Burnout doesn’t discriminate—it exists across every hospital department and job title. Even before the pandemic, the National Academy of Medicine found that burnout had reached “crisis levels” among U.S. healthcare workers, with between 35% to 45% of nurses and physicians and 40% to 60% of medical students reporting signs of burnout.1
Healthcare workers have historically faced challenging working conditions, including high patient loads, staff shortages, harassment, and violence, which drive burnout and other poor mental health outcomes.2 While individual support resources offer a strong starting point, it is critical to go beyond encouraging self-care to address the underlying factors that impact healthcare worker wellbeing.3 Addressing workplace policies and practices is the best way to reduce burnout and strengthen professional wellbeing.1
Although some causes of burnout may take time to address, there are many feasible ways to champion a healthy workforce and hospital system. Hospital leaders can take the following actions to improve healthcare worker wellbeing:
Use the Toolkit from the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation to help remove intrusive mental health questions from your hospital’s credentialing applications and make it safe for staff to seek the mental health care they may need.
Explore NIOSH’s Fundamentals of Total Worker Health® to help improve the safety, health, and wellbeing of your workforce by developing new Total Worker Health (TWH) initiatives or better aligning existing workplace interventions with the TWH approach.
Foster a safe work environment by promoting a culture of safety and ensuring adequate staffing. Strategies from the Workplace Change Collaborative can help you make safety a core value at your workplace.
About the Impact Wellbeing Campaign
Visit the Impact Wellbeing: Prioritizing Professional Wellbeing in Your Hospital page for more information on how to implement these efforts at your hospital.
Learn more about findings that informed the development of the Impact Wellbeing campaign.
Hear from an expert panel about how the Impact Wellbeing campaign can help hospital leaders overcome burnout and build a health system where health workers thrive.
The Role of NIOSH in Improving Worker Wellbeing
Through its Total Worker Health® program, NIOSH knows how to provide employers with the resources they need to protect their workforce. Learn more about NIOSH’s Total Worker Health (“TWH”) approach.
Impact Wellbeing was developed by NIOSH in collaboration with the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation to support hospital leaders, and in turn their healthcare workforce, to improve professional wellbeing.
Total Worker Health® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
- National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine . Taking action against clinician burnout: A systems approach to professional well-being. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
- Nigam JA, Barker RM, Cunningham TR, Swanson NG, Chosewood LC . Vital Signs: Health Worker–Perceived Working Conditions and Symptoms of Poor Mental Health — Quality of Worklife Survey, United States, 2018–2022. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2023;72:1197–1205.
- NIOSH . Understanding and preventing burnout among public health workers: Guidance for public health leaders. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.