Nurse Well-Being Learning Library

Oncology Nursing Society Well-Being Library

Our lives and nursing careers have been anything but ordinary since the COVID-19 pandemic started. Drastically changing lifestyles provides an opportunity and in some cases a necessity to rethink your mental wellbeing strategies and add some well-being activities to your toolbox.

Take some time to assess your own well-being and identify those areas in your life that you would like to mend or prioritize activities that you already know bring you joy and promote healing. If you are not quite sure what those areas are, try a variety of these methods to see what works best for you. Use the list below to help you with ideas.

Featured Resource

Facilitating Intentional Conversations

Intentional, facilitated conversations are opportunities for healthcare staff to gather outside of patient care, meetings with agendas, or formal conferences. The ability, time, and space to connect in a way that allows speaking with intention and listening with attention supports individual and team resilience. The aims of intentional, facilitated conversations are to engage in reflection as a means to take knowledge to action and to identify resilience as a professional skill of self and teams.

Course Topics

Part I

  • Facilitating Intentional Conversations Guidelines
  • Review of the Intentional Conversation Process
  • Sustaining Purpose Reflection Questions
  • Intentional Conversations Planning

Part 2

  • Intentional Conversation Debrief

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Nurses’ Stories of Spirit and Practice - NEW!

eBook and Audiobook

Reflections on Covid 19 and Cancer Care: Stories by Oncology Nurses, Volume 2

Reflections on COVID-19 and Cancer Care: Stories by Oncology Nurses

ONS Voice Articles

The ONS Voice dedicates a column to stories written by nurses. Take a look at the great stories that were published Stories: Our Spirit. Our Practice

ONS Podcasts

Episode 101: Why We Love Oncology 

"Take a Minute for You" Resources

Download one or more of the following images to help you find a relaxing moment as you work through your day. Some ideas on how to utilize these posters are to hang in a central place on your unit, use them as a screensaver for your computer, or as a digital background for virtual meetings. We have included a post-it size (3x3) option if you would like to add it after your email signature or print and affix to a notebook or next to your computer screen.

Joy poster sample
Breathe poster sample
Happy Place poster sample
Grateful poster sample

Immersive Wellness Breaks

Do you need a minute to refresh your mind and spirit?  Take an immersive wellness break.  These wellness breaks are short snippets of either breathing exercises or mindful escapes to help you refocus and recharge. Constant stimulation can cause our brains to lose focus.  Taking a mindful break periodically will help your brain relax and start your new task with renewed energy.   Take a minute to enjoy a break and return as often as you like!

Well-Being Activities

Well-Being Activity

Learn how to practice by reading this article

Practice storytelling

Using Storytelling to Hear Your Patient’s Voice

Get organized

Clear the Clutter With This Chinese Discipline

Spring cleaning Spring Clean Your Home and Heart

Listen to music

How Music Can Soothe Your Savage Beast-Stress


Writing for Wellness

Share a smile

The Amazing Power of a Smile


Be Honest: Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

Rest & unwind Rest, Unwind and Reflect

Plan a vacation

Why You Need to Use Your Vacation Benefits

Taking a vacation Checklist For a Stress-Free Vacation



Get creative

Coloring Page

Recognize your humanness

Take These Healthy Steps to Come Back From an Unexpected Event

Set boundaries

Establish Healthy Boundaries by Using Your Inner Compass

Prioritize your time

Prioritize Your Time Amid Today’s Attention Seekers

Take care of your feet

Self-Care for the Soles


Laugh Every Day for the Health of It

Other well-being ideas:


How to Meditate   

10 minute meditation video

5 minute meditation video

Read/Write Poetry

Share a Laugh

Watch a Funny Video

Guided Imagery

Positive Affirmations

Breathing Exercises




Tai Chi


Make a Social Connection

Intuitive Eating

Use a Self-Care Mantra

Look at pictures of places that bring you joy

Write down 3 things that you are grateful for

Talk to a Loved One

Practice Mindfulness

Unit-based Approaches for Staff Well-Being:

Recognize a coworker

Unit pause after a difficult event

Dose of resilience

Make vision boards

Random acts of kindness

Themed lunches

Staff birthday calendar

Neck/shoulder massages

Team time with the Chaplain

Welcome bags for new grads

Bulletin boards with positive and well-being activities

Share kudos at staff meetings

Self-care champions

Start and end day with a team huddle

Gratitude tree

Take one and leave one – positive message sticky notes

Mindfulness corner

Book club

Tea for the soul

Team Building


Institutional Approaches for Staff Well-Being

  1. Oncology Nurse Retreat: A Strength-Based Approach To Self-Care and Personal Resilience
  2. Self-Care Environment
  3. The Thrive Program: Building Oncology Nurse Resilience Through Self-Care Strategies
  4. Bolster Your Team for Better Well-Being


ONS Voice articles:

ONS Voice has a column dedicated to nurse well-being.  For additional articles, you may search ONS Voice, by typing well-being in the search bar.

Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing articles:

You may search for additional articles in CJON at

Resources from the Oncology Nursing Foundation

The Oncology Nursing Foundation has developed resources to support oncology nurses in developing healthy routines, learn stress management techniques, and practice self-care. This curated content includes a Wellness Wisdom video series, breathing exercises, calming yoga offerings, and much more.

For a full list of resources, you can visit their Resiliency Resources page.

External Resources

American Nurses Foundation

University of California, Berkeley

American Psychiatric Nurses Association

American Organization for Nursing Leadership

American Nurses Association

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The Emotional PPE Project