Nurse Suicide: Prevention and Grief Management

Judy E. Davidson, DNP, RN, MCCM, FAAN; Rachael Accardi, MA, LMFT; Courtney Sanchez, LCSW; Sidney Zisook, MD


Am Nurs Journal. 2020;15(1) 

In This Article

Organization Response to Death by Suicide

After a death by suicide, we recommend actively—with warmth, compassion, nonjudgment, and acceptance—offering support and informing staff and faculty of resources. Colleagues especially touched by the loss may need relief from assigned duties. Support activities provided after nurse deaths by causes other than suicide include open communication, debriefings, memorial services, and schedule changes (discussed in "Grief management after a nurse's death"). When a nurse dies by suicide, we also recommend a high-level debriefing with organizational leadership (including risk management and the chief nursing officer) to specifically address the suicide itself. (See Leadership reflection.)