United Health Foundation Launches $3.1 Million Partnership with American Nurses Foundation to Fight Nurse Burnout and Attrition
Three-year commitment will focus on nurses of
color and those under age 35 at a time when data shows 50% of
nurses are considering leaving the profession.
The United Health Foundation, the philanthropic foundation of
UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), today announced a three-year, $3.1
million grant partnership with the American Nurses Foundation to
fight nurse burnout with the Stress & Burnout Prevention Pilot
program. The program is designed to transform organizational
culture, remove the stigma associated with seeking mental health
support and offer nurses a new burnout prevention model to help
them use mental health resources earlier and more effectively. It
stands out from other programs because it will emphasize and
validate the voices and needs of millennial and Generation Z
nurses, as well as nurses of color to ensure their unique
experiences are recognized and addressed.
“Given the complexity, intensity and intimacy of what nurses do
every day, nurses’ need for mental health support has always
existed. This has been exacerbated tenfold by the COVID-19
pandemic,” said Kate Judge, executive director of the American
Nurses Foundation. “Burnout cannot just be addressed one nurse at a
time. This new partnership addresses burnout at the systems level,
especially for those most impacted including younger nurses and
nurses of color.”
Nurses are facing mental, emotional and physical burdens from
the demands of health care during the persistent and unpredictable
COVID-19 pandemic. The American Nurses Foundation will pilot the
program, implemented as a train-the-trainer model, in four health
care organizations representing over 15,000 nurses in rural and
urban locations in acute, primary, and long-term care settings.
Participating health systems include BayCare Health in Tampa Bay,
Fla.; Indiana University Health in locations throughout Indiana;
University of South Alabama Health Hospital in Mobile, Ala.; and
Wayne Health Care in Newark, N.Y. Learnings from these pilot sites
will be used to iterate and evolve into a national awareness
campaign reaching over 50,000 nurses nationwide.
“Few could have predicted how unprecedented and demanding the
past two and a half years have been for all of us, let alone our
country’s nursing staff,” said Mary Jo Jerde, RN and senior vice
president of the UnitedHealth Group Center for Clinician
Advancement. “Nurses have played a vital role throughout this
critical period and we’re committed to ensuring they have the
resources they need to deliver care across the country.”
The pilot program is based on a framework originally developed
for the military and since deployed in other demanding professions.
It is designed to identify and reduce stress reactions before they
develop into lasting issues. It goes beyond identification of
burnout to intervention by helping nurses speak about their
stress/burnout using a common language, normalize talking about it,
and provide support to their peers. Program learnings will also be
incorporated into a national awareness and education campaign,
providing free anti-burnout resources for frontline nurses and
The new partnership addresses findings from the most recent
Pulse on the Nation’s Nurses Survey, indicating the impact of the
- Nurses reported high levels of feeling stressed (71%),
frustrated (69%), exhausted (65%), burned out (49%), and
- Millennial and Generation Z nurses (age 34 and under) conveyed
these feelings more than their older counterparts: stressed (81%),
frustrated (76%), exhausted (77%) , burned out (69%) and
- Nurses of color echoed these feelings. They report feeling
stressed (73%) and burned out (55%).
Additionally, an American Nurses Foundation survey in August
2021 found that 34% of nurses do not feel emotionally healthy and
42% report experiencing trauma because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fifty percent of nurse respondents said they are considering
leaving the profession.
This commitment is one of the many ways UnitedHealth Group is
working to advance health equity by ensuring every person,
regardless of race, place, or circumstance, has the opportunity to
live their healthiest life. In 2020, the United Health Foundation
also teamed with the American Academy of Family Physicians on a
program to address burnout among our nation’s family physicians.
Since the start of the pandemic, the American Nurses Foundation has
invested in resources and programs focused specifically on
addressing nurses’ mental health as well as examining their unique
experiences responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
About the American Nurses Foundation
The American Nurses Foundation is the charitable and
philanthropic arm of the American Nurses Association (ANA), with
the mission to transform the nation’s health through the power of
nursing. The Foundation supports research, education, and
scholarships, which improve health, wellness and patient care. For
more information visit www.nursingworld.org/foundation.
About the United Health Foundation
Through collaboration with community partners, grants and
outreach efforts, the United Health Foundation works to improve the
health system, build a diverse and dynamic health workforce and
enhance the well-being of local communities. The United Health
Foundation was established by UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) in
1999 as a not-for-profit, private foundation dedicated to improving
health and health care. To date, the United Health Foundation has
committed more than $700 million to programs and communities around
the world. To learn more, visit www.UnitedHealthFoundation.org.
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Caroline Landree UnitedHealth Group 651-308-2481
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