Burden of the Bedside: PTSD in Critical Care Nurses

Author(s): Scanlon Shea C

Contact Hours 0.85

CERP C 0.85

Expires May 31, 2026

Topics: Ethics, Moral Distress

Population: Lifespan

Role: Educator, APRN, Staff, Researcher, Manager

Member: Free
NonMember: $10.00

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Activity Summary

Critical care nurses are frequently exposed to life-threatening injuries and illnesses, high morbidity and mortality, confrontation with ethical dilemmas and hectic work environments. What is the cost of caring for these critically ill patients? This foundation session provides an in-depth analysis of the prevalence, etiology, signs and symptoms of PTSD in critical care nurses. Examples of staff support programs and resiliency trainings to mitigate the effects of PTSD are also discussed.


  • Analyze literature on PTSD in critical care nurses and how it contributes to the nurses leaving the bedside.
  • Identify high risk experiences that are more likely to lead to the development of PTSD in critical care.
  • Describe at least 2 changes in your individual practice or in your work environment to reduce stress and promote resilience.

Continuing Education Disclosure Statement

Successful Completion

Learners must attend/view/read the entire activity, read Implicit Bias impacts patient outcomes, and complete the associated evaluation to be awarded the contact hours or CERP. No partial credit will be awarded.


The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider number CEP 1036, for 0.00 contact hours.

Accreditation refers to recognition of continuing education only and does not imply AACN, ANCC, or CBRN approval or endorsement of any commercial products discussed or displayed in conjunction with this educational activity.


Any relevant relationship between an ineligible company and an individual with the ability to influence clinical content will be identified by the Nurse Planner within the activity. Any relevant relationship between an ineligible company and an individual with the ability to influence clinical content has been mitigated.

AACN programming meets the standards for most states that require mandatory continuing education contact hours for license and/or certification renewal. AACN recommends consulting with your state board of nursing or credentialing organization before submitting CE to fulfill continuing education requirements.

Refund Policy

Continuing Education Activities are nonrefundable.