1. Section Editor(s): Donnelly, Gloria F. PhD, RN, FAAN, FCPP
  2. Editor in Chief

Article Content

It is more than 2 years since COVID-19 struck, and barring the emergence of another variant, the transition from pandemic to endemic seems to be underway. Because of the focus of this journal and my professional efforts in assisting nurses to manage stress and build resilience, I communicate frequently with institutional leaders focused on building healthier work environments. I recently conferred with a system director (K. Oliphant, DNP, RN, CNL, NEA-BC, System Director, Ambulatory Nursing/Continuum of Care, Bon Secours Mercy Health, Cincinnati, Ohio, e-mail communication, February 7, 2022) at Bon Secours Mercy Health,* who has worked with a "nurse well-being committee" to design a system-wide strategy, to create a healthier work environment for the nursing staff. The Bon Secours Mercy Health approach reflects its faith-based mission and includes (1) a "blessing initiative" where spiritual care team members visit nursing units to provide blessings during preshift huddles, (2) a compassion response initiative that provides support and fosters a healing environment, and finally, (3) a focus on self-care that encourages nurses to utilize the robust resources provided to develop an individual plan.1 The Nurse Well-Being Committee believes that this tripartite approach will "...inspire a culture that is wellness focused and encourages nurses to speak up when they feel overwhelmed" (K. Oliphant, DNP, RN, CNL, NEA-BC, System Director, Ambulatory Nursing/Continuum of Care, Bon Secours Mercy Health, Cincinnati, Ohio, e-mail communication, February 7, 2022).

Figure. No caption a... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. No caption available.

The Bon Secours Mercy Health approach is likely to succeed since it focuses not only on specific and regular exercises but also on the nurse's use of self-assessment tools and strategies that reflect individual needs and styles. Responses to stress always reflect a person's individuality and so self-care management, driven by self-knowledge, is pivotal in designing a self-care protocol and promoting healthy work environments. In the absence of commitment by the individual nurse to engage in knowing self through introspective strategies, efforts at building healthy work environments often fall short.


Direct care providers, particularly nurses, have borne the brunt of the pandemic-running on automatic pilot, experiencing burnout, anxiety, and depression, often prelude to leaving not only their current positions but also the nursing profession. Fortunately, some health care systems, such as Bon Secours Mercy Health, are mining the lessons of the pandemic and building healthy practice environments where direct care providers, especially nurses, can learn from themselves and others and build environments where growth and healing are the norms.


-Gloria F. Donnelly, PhD, RN, FAAN, FCPP


Editor in Chief




1. Wicks R, Donnelly G. Overcoming Secondary Stress in Medical and Nursing Practice. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 2021. [Context Link]


* Bon Secours Mercy Health is the fifth largest Catholic health system and among the 20 largest health systems in the United States. Bon Secours Mercy Health is known for its compassionate care provided by more than 60 000 associates serving communities in Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, and Virginia, and throughout Ireland. [Context Link]