Compassion Satisfaction, Burnout, and Secondary Traumatic Stress Among Nursing Staff at an Academic Medical Center: A Cross-Sectional Analysis


Although several studies have recently described compassion satisfaction (CS), burnout (BO), and secondary traumatic stress (STS) in nurses, few to date have examined these issues across nursing specialties. Such examination is needed to inform future nursing-subspecialty tailored interventions.


To examine (1) differences in CS, BO, and STS across nursing specialties and (2) differences associated with demographic, work-related, and behavioral factors among nurses.


A secondary analysis of survey responses from nurses (N = 350) at an academic medical center. Demographic, behavioral, work-related, and professional quality of life variables were analyzed using hierarchical regression analyses.


CS, BO, and STS scores significantly varied across specialties with emergency nurses experiencing significantly elevated rates of BO and STS, and lowest rates of CS; scores were also differentially associated with demographic, work-related, behavioral, and workplace violence variables.


Key differences in CS, BO, and STS by nursing specialty suggests the importance of tailoring BO and STS mitigative interventions. BO and STS risk factors should be assessed in nurses (e.g., behavioral health problems and poor sleep quality) and specialty-specific interventions (e.g., reducing workplace violence exposure in emergency settings) may be considered to improve CS while reducing BO and STS among nurses.