Resilience Toolkit for Nurse Leaders … For the Joy of It

This image is pure joy.  I figure that you have to have some level of resilience to reach this level of laughter.  I do enjoy seeing people laugh.

I have been poring over one particular article about resilience on and off since February. It is loaded with information. It’s by Noreen Bernard at Emory Healthcare in Nurse Leader. It is a comprehensive compilation of resilience strategies for leaders.  It is one impressive toolkit!

To start, here are the Categories of Resilience Tools for different situations: 

[I’m going to focus on just a portion of the toolkit, but here are all the categories with more than 50 additional tools … if you want more.]

  • Leading Self/ Individuals
  • Leading Teams
  • Leading Leaders
  • Leading Organizations
  • Leading Students

3 Resilience Challenges Specific to Nurses

  1. Sleep.  Nurses notoriously have poor sleep patterns.  Quality sleep requires 7 or more hours, uninterrupted sleep, full stop.
  2. Decompression.  Nurses’ work requires full out physical, mental and emotional engagement.  Decompression practices are required to avoid stress accumulation and long term negative impact.
  3. Moral resilience. Nurses are confronted with moral, ethical, clinical and emotional dilemmas daily. Moral resilience enables nurses to navigate through difficult situations that lead to growth, improved health and professional joy.

Leading Self/Individuals- One Category of Resilience Tools that impacts all others: 

  • Healthy eating habits
  • Exercise/physical activity
  • Good sleep hygiene
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Meditate
  • Reflective practice
  • Daily gratitude
  • Journaling
  • Know your core values
  • Identify your purpose/your “why”
  • Create healthy social networks/relationships
  • Increase emotional intelligence
  • Improve brain health
  • Get/give mentorship
  • Practice healthy decompression activities
  • Balance schedules and commitments
  • Receive/give coaching
  • Learn/grow through professional development
  • Practice cognitive reframing/rehearsal
  • WOW!


For the Joy of it, go through the list and assign one of these:

  1. You love and do it regularly
  2. You are committed to it, don’t do regularly, and need to _______ to do it regularly
  3. You plan to do it when/if ________ happens
  4. Nope, never

Use this as a self-awareness tool, not a competition with yourself or others.  Enjoy thinking about the possibilities.

Good Job!  And keep laughing!

image courtesy of art burk @ stocksy(?)

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