Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Debra Hampton

Clinical Mentor

Dr. Kimberly Blanton

Committee Member

Dr. Jean Edward


Background: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is significant burnout among front-line nursing staff. Little literature has been published about the measurement of burnout among front-line nursing leaders, such as nurse managers and directors, nor the interventions used to help with this ever-growing issue among this group. Since the pandemic began, there have been many resources identified to help front-line staff members with burnout, but none specifically looking at what has worked or been utilized by front-line nursing leaders.

Purpose: The purpose of this project was to describe what well-being resources were identified as being effective in decreasing moral distress and burnout in front-line nurse leaders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Conceptual Framework: The conceptual framework used to guide this research project was Dorothea E. Orem’s Self Care Deficit nursing theory. This theory supports not only nurses teaching and creating an environment for patients to care for one’s self, but also for nurses to be prepared to care for themselves as a professional nurse.

Methods: This study employed a mixed method design. Phase I applied a quasi-experimental pre-test/post-test design using The Professional Quality of Life Scale version 5 (ProQOL) scale. Phase II used a qualitative design in which front-line leaders were asked two open ended questions focused on well-being resources and interventions used by front-line nursing leaders to decrease burnout.

Results: The results of phase I showed high burnout rates in assistant nurse managers (pre-intervention M=50.11 vs. post-intervention M=50.44) and nurse managers (pre-intervention M=52.49 vs. post-intervention M=52.30) prior to and after the intervention. The phase II results demonstrated that themes such as exercise, mental distraction, and clinical interventions, such as meeting with a licensed healthcare professional, may be useful to reduce burnout in front-line nursing leaders.

Conclusion: The findings from this study suggest that there is significant burnout in front-line nursing leaders. Specific interventions need to be evaluated further, and if found to be effective, these interventions should be reinforced in an effort to reduce burnout in nursing leaders.