NR 351 Week 6: Assignment: Professional Paper (Graded)

Professional Paper

This paper aims to summarize the assigned article that discusses how gratitude journals can enhance nurses’ mental well-being. The article’s content will impact my future professional practice as it enlightens nurses on self-care interventions, they can adopt to improve their stress management and emotional health when facing stressors like burnout. The contents will enable me to identify measures to improve mental well-being, which impacts output.

Assigned Article Summary

Burnout is a major nursing issue linked with nursing turnover and a decline in patient outcomes. It negatively impacts the nursing team morale, patient satisfaction, patient outcomes, and mortality rates (Cumella, 2022, p.59). Consequently, effective measures are vital to help support nurses’ mental health and alleviate the high levels of burnout. With the increase in nursing burnout, effective self-care interventions have been proposed to enable nurses to cope with the impact of burnout. Implementing measures to mitigate burnout has been linked to improved nursing retention, decreased turnover rates, and increased patient satisfaction.

Gratitude journals are one of the self-care interventions established to promote nurses’ emotional health as they improve stress management and enable them to self-reflect. Cumella (2022) asserts that gratitude journals are a valuable intervention to assist nurses in learning and improving stress management mechanisms, increasing their overall happiness, and providing a channel to convey their feelings. Nurses can implement various journaling methods, including guided questions or electronic journal formats (Cumella, 2022, p.60). Professional organizations can support nurses in implementing gratitude journals by availing tools, programs, and resources to help them and their healthcare facilities develop self-care programs.      

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Impact of Assigned Article Content on Future Practice

The content from Cumella (2022) will significantly impact my professional nursing practice as I have gained knowledge on the self-care interventions that my colleague and I can use s to improve our mental well-being. Burnout is one of the adversities I will likely encounter due to the nursing shortage. This may significantly affect our mental health due to fatigue and increased stress levels. Thus, I will encourage myself and my colleagues to use gratitude journals, providing an opportunity for self-reflection. Furthermore, I will apply the article’s content in guiding my colleagues on how to write the journals since it can be challenging at the beginning. For example, I will encourage my colleagues to reflect on simple daily pleasures, the people in their lives, strengths and talents, and experiences of kindness and write them in their gratitude journals.


Gratitude journals effectively allow nurses to reflect on their experiences and express their feelings. They help increase coping mechanisms and happiness and improve emotional and mental well-being. With the increasing nursing shortage contributing to burnout, journaling can be a great self-care measure to help nurses encounter this challenge and manage associated stress. The article can be applied in future practice to help nurses care for their mental health and well-being. Nurses can use guided questions or electronic journal formats to journal their experiences.


Cumella, K. (2022). Gratitude journals can improve nurses’ mental well-being. Nursing, 52 (12), 58-61. doi: 10.1097/01.NURSE.0000884760.97338.8b.

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