Pressures in the Ivory Tower: An Empirical Study of Burnout Scores among Nursing Faculty

Sheila A. Boamah, Michael Kalu, Rosain Stennett, Emily Belita, Jasmine Travers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


(1) Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated incidents of burnout among academics in various fields and disciplines. Although burnout has been the subject of extensive research, few studies have focused on nursing faculty. This study aimed to investigate the differences in burnout scores among nursing faculty members in Canada. (2) Method: Using a descriptive cross-sectional design, data were collected via an online survey in summer 2021 using the Maslach Burnout Inventory general survey and analyzed using the Kruskal-Wallis test. (3) Result: Faculty members (n = 645) with full-time employment status, worked more than 45 h, and taught 3–4 courses reported high burnout (score ≥ 3) compared to those teaching 1–2 courses. Although education levels, tenure status or rank, being on a graduate committee, or the percentage of hours dedicated to research and services were considered important personal and contextual factors, they were not associated with burnout. (4) Conclusions: Findings suggest that burnout manifests differently among faculty and at varying degrees. As such, targeted approaches based on individual and workload characteristics should be employed to address burnout and build resilience among faculty to improve retention and sustain the workforce.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4398
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • burnout
  • emotional exhaustion
  • nursing faculty
  • resilience
  • retention
  • workload

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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