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Authors

  1. Choflet, Amanda DNP, RN, NEA-BC
  2. Barnes, Arianna BSN, RN, CCRN, PHN
  3. Zisook, Sidney MD
  4. Lee, Kelly C. PharmD, MAS, BCPP
  5. Ayers, Cadie MSN, BA
  6. Koivula, Deborah BSN, RN, CARN
  7. Ye, Gordon
  8. Davidson, Judy DNP, RN, MCCM, FAAN

Abstract

Nurses are known to be at an increased risk of death by suicide, and recent studies have found links between nurse suicide, substance use, mental health issues, and job problems. Because of stigma, inaccessibility of resources, and regulatory and legal issues, nurses are unlikely to seek help unless a crisis forces them into treatment. The purpose of this article is to review the current understanding of nurse suicide, the psychological impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the strategic planning approach to identify the needs of nurses, and promising interventions and practices. Evidence-based strategies to intervene at the personal, institutional, and regulatory levels should be employed to reduce nurse suicide by focusing not only on suicide but also on treatment of substance and mental health issues, as well as a renewed focus on disciplinary procedures that may place nurses in immediate danger of death by suicide. Nurse leaders have a moral obligation to provide proactive, meaningful interventions to reduce the risk of death by suicide among nurses.