My name is Dr. Lorre Laws, and I’m a nurse, author and trauma & burnout expert.

My purpose is to help those of you who may be feeling stressed, overwhelmed, depleted, utterly exhausted, burned out, or traumatized.  I’m also here to help anyone who is considering leaving their current role or the profession altogether. I’ll offer some resources to consider and share some of the healing and recovery framework that I’ve developed in recent years. 

But let me share my own story first.

My first job, at the age of fourteen years, was cleaning toilets at a skilled nursing facility. It was the first time I really saw the effects of aging, physical limitations, and mental health conditions. As a teenager, I earned a Certified Nursing Assistant license, and provided direct patient care for the next six years. By the time I graduated from my undergraduate studies, I had cared for and facilitated many people in their end-of-life transitions – holding their hand while they breathed their last breath. I’ve been caring for people ever since.

Now, I facilitate healing with nurses who are experiencing traumatization and/or burnout — often secondary to health system inadequacies.  The world will soon have just half of the nurses it needs.  There isn’t time for us to wait for the system to fix itself.  Nurses can and must do what we do best – facilitate our own recovery and healing first and then work from our healed scars instead of our open wounds to lead the changes we need to see in our profession and health care settings.

In 2010, I returned to school and completed my master’s and doctoral degrees in nursing, with the intention to make a difference however possible.  Little did I know then that nurses, my colleagues, my heart, and my tribe, were  suffering in profound and unimaginable ways – usually secondary to healthcare system inadequacies.

I began to question if there was more to the nurse burnout story.  Is burnout just the tip of the nurse traumatization iceberg?  After conducting exhaustive research on burnout, presenteeism, compassion fatigue, moral injury, and nurse traumatization it became clear that there was more to the story.  This isn’t about nurses needing to take better care of themselves.  It isn’t about us needing resilience training, free pizza, lavender lounges, or wellness rooms.  It’s about avoidable nurse traumatization.  Nurses are being traumatized, gaslighted, marginalized, and oppressed in their practices.  Nurses do not feel safe in their practices because all too often, they are not safe.

Diving deeper down the research rabbit hole, I drew upon my neuroscience background and started exploring what was happening to nurses through the lens of Porges’ Polyvagal Theory and Badenoch’s relational neuroscience scientific advances.  The more I researched, the clearer the impact of often avoidable nurse traumatization and its impact on professional wellbeing . . . which is directly connected to patient safety, outcomes, and quality of care.  

As it turns out, nurse-specific traumatization is a global nursing workforce problem that adversely affects millions of nurses.

Here’s just a few examples to ponder:

~96% of nurses have one or more PTSD symptoms.

~1 in 4 nurses meet PTSD diagnostic criteria (higher percentage  for ICU, ED, and behavioral health specialties). 

~81% of nurses are burned out (or traumatized?) and don’t feel supported at work.

~80% of nurses work in understaffed units (a sub-category of nurse-specific traumatization).

~32% of nurses are likely to leave their roles, along with 75% of other health professionals.

~50% of first-year nurses are seriously considering leaving the profession

I spent over five years researching and writing Nursing Our Healer’s Heart:  A Recovery Guide for Nurse Trauma and Burnout.  This is my gift to you, our colleagues, and the global nursing community.  It is written from my healer’s heart, to yours, as though we were sharing a cup of tea in your living space.

I invite you to join our worldwide community through The Haelan Academy, a nonprofit organization where we will work from our healing scars instead of our open wounds to shift the current nursing paradigm to Nursing 2.0 The Nurse Safety and Professional Wellness Edition.  

Together, we can usher in a new era of nursing.  The time is now.  We can do this.

How to get started
1. Preorder the book and receive a free, heartfelt gift.
2. Subscribe to my YouTube channel for free content.
3. Join, follow and engage with other nurses in my social media communities @drlorrelaws.


Berlin, G., Lapoint, M., & Murphy, M. (2022). Surveyed nurses consider leaving direct patient care at elevated rates. McKinsey & Company.

Elsevier Health. (2022). Clinician of the future:  A 2022 report. https://www.elsevier.com/connect/clinician-of-the-future

Schuster, M., & Dwyer, P. A. (2020). Post-traumatic stress disorder in nurses: An integrative review. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 29(15-16), 2769-2787. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1111/jocn.15288