DOI: 10.1111/inm.13218 ISSN:

Organizational factors to optimize mental health nurses' wellbeing in the workplace: An integrative literature review

Emily O'Connor, Kate Prebble, Susan Waterworth
  • Pshychiatric Mental Health


Mental health nursing is a privilege and a rewarding profession. There has been a call for transformational change in mental health services to improve outcomes for the people of New Zealand, with mental health nurses integral to this. However, with predicted nursing shortages, high levels of burnout, and increasing demands in the workplace, an organizational focus on wellbeing for mental health nurses is needed to sustain the workforce, implement change and improve outcomes for people using mental health services. An integrative review of the literature was undertaken to explore how organizations can optimize mental health nurses' wellbeing in the workplace and to identify measures for organizations to support mental health nurses' wellbeing with a focus on New Zealand. Seven articles were included in this review after a search, data extraction and evaluation. Data were synthesized and categorized using thematic analysis. The findings indicate organizations can invest in several initiatives to enhance mental health nurses' wellbeing in the workplace. These include professional development, skills to build resilience, enabling time to reflect on practice, enhancing professional supervision, having the right managerial support and focusing on individual's strengths. Organizations need to prioritize mental health nurses' wellbeing by embedding the practical strategies this review identified and by addressing organizational barriers to wellbeing. Organizations should consider implementing multileveled organizational wellbeing initiatives to nurture and grow the New Zealand mental health nursing workforce which in turn will contribute to quality care and enable mental health nurses to have long meaningful careers. Time, investment and resources are essential for these initiatives to be effective.

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