Critical Resilience for Nurses: An Evidence-Based Guide to Survival and Change in the Modern NHS, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Critical Resilience for Nurses

An Evidence-Based Guide to Survival and Change in the Modern NHS, 1st Edition

By Michael Traynor


164 pages

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pub: 2017-03-16
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The nursing profession is under pressure. Financial demands, student debt, the target culture, political scrutiny in the wake of major care scandals and increasing workloads are all taking their toll on professional morale and performance. This timely book considers the meaning of resilience in this adverse context and explains why measures to preserve individual nurses’ and students’ well-being are flawed if they don’t take into account wider political and organizational perspectives.

Arguing that healthcare can be thought about and experienced differently, this book:


  • provides a summary of the latest research on resilience, explaining its relevance and also limitations for nurses;
  • considers debates about compassion and highlights the effects of policy agendas on nurse education and nursing work;
  • re-evaluates nursing’s professional identity, including where nursing has come from and the effects of class, gender and race on its powerbase;
  • assesses the role of politics and social media, both in driving change and feeding resistance; and
  • introduces the idea of critical resilience as a complete framework for resisting bullying and fostering survival and change in the nursing workforce.


Direct, upbeat, at times provocative and witty, this agenda-setting book enables nurses to understand why they feel the way they do. It also lists what opportunities are available to them to change, resist and survive in what has become a complex, challenging – if still deeply rewarding – line of work.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Resilience: where did it come from? Research on resilience and its use in nursing Chapter 2. The limits of resilience: introducing ‘critical resilience’ Chapter 3. How compassionate are you? Chapter 4. Nursing work is difficult work and what to do about it Chapter 5. Nursing: whose idea was it anyway? Chapter 6. Politicians—part of the solution and part of the problem Chapter 7. Being a student, being a worker Chapter 8. Critical resilience and critical theory Chapter 9.Nursing solidarity, organising and resistance

About the Author

Michael Traynor is Professor of Nursing Policy at Middlesex University, London, UK, where he works in the Centre for Critical Research in Nursing and Midwifery.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MEDICAL / Health Care Delivery