Nursing has never been easy but rising demand and staffing shortages have put many more nurses under pressure and stretched some to breaking point. With the increase in stress has come a renewed interest in resilience.

In this collection of articles, we look at what employers can and should be doing to reduce the pressure on staff and boost resilience. We also look at what individual nurses can do to help themselves. But the overarching message is clear:  a focus on resilience should never be about asking individuals to cope with unbearable pressure.       

Picture: iStock

We’ll be building on this resource throughout 2018. Let us know what you think – your ideas are welcome.  

Heroes and angels

COVID-19: angel/hero tropes can be psychologically damaging

Heroic characterisations can magnify nurses’ stress, warns psychology expert

I was diagnosed with depression caused by stress and compassion fatigue

Nurse Aly Foyle appeared to have it all, but then she started to fear going to work

Picture is an image of a magnet drawing small figures towards it. A programme being rolled out across England aims to convince nurses to stay in the NHS.

Want to quit your job? Here’s how the NHS is trying to change your mind

Retention programme has 800 success stories so far, but can it make a real difference?

A nurse asks another about their well-being

Tell us about your well-being at work – and what can be done to improve it

Our Nursing Standard survey will be used to influence policymakers

Demands to show ‘resilience’ put greater pressure on nurses, congress told

Nurses struggling to cope in stressful workplaces are pressured by demands to show resilience

Cerebral palsy

Developing resilience and self-efficacy in parents of children with complex health needs

The effectiveness of an intervention to engage parents in guided support with nurses

middle-aged woman helps older women with breakfast

Nurses shouldering informal carer duties need your support, charity tells NHS

One in five health service workers in England faces carer responsibilities at home

illustration of pay difference between men and women

RCN calls on health secretary to dismantle notion of nursing as ‘low-paid, women’s work’

Matt Hancock used RCP speech to promise action on gender pay gap in the NHS

Schwartz Round

New guidance offers advice on alleviating staff stress and improving mental well-being

Health Education England aims to help nurses ‘deal with the pressures they often face’


Create robust post-trauma and mental health support for staff, report advises

Health Education England commission recommends 33 improvements

Collaborate with families

Mental health support framework: developing a collective voice for nursing in Wales

Nurses in Wales have produced a set of ambitions as a basis for a future action plan

An ABC of becoming a nurse

Some rules to guide you through training and the early days as a registered nurse

What I learned about nursing care after developing sepsis myself

Nurses who looked after me while I was a nursing student were role models for patient-...

Don’t let upsetting remarks affect your focus

How to stay focused and avoid becoming upset by chance remarks or disagreements at work

Tips for nursing students who are starting their studies

Nursing professor Jan Draper welcomes this year's cohort of nursing students

How my simple sticker system improved steroid management

Serious illness led one student to devise a way to help nurses administer steroids on time

It is an honour to give someone the ‘right’ death

Caring for a dying patient and providing last offices helped nursing student Tristan Crombie...

Solution-oriented learning to build resilience in mental health nursing students and...

Increasing concerns about nursing students’ mental health and the retention crisis facing...