Years of research has shown that depression among registered nurses is extremely common. In fact, RNs suffer from depression at nearly twice the rate of people in other professions.

Now, new research is linking this depression to a significant uptick in medical errors.

The study, published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, analyzed survey responses of 1,790 U.S. nurses and found that 54% reported poor physical and mental health.

About one-third said they had some degree of depression, anxiety, or stress. Less than half said they had a good professional quality of life.

And here’s the even scarier part: researchers found that about half the nurses reported medical errors in the past five years.

When they compared the wellness data to the medical error data, they saw a significant link between poor health, particularly depression, and medical errors.

In fact, nurses in poorer health had a 26% to 71% higher likelihood of reporting medical errors than did their healthier peers.

“Hospital administrators should build a culture of well-being and implement strategies to better support good physical and mental health in their employees,” lead author Bernadette Melnyk, dean of The Ohio State University’s College of Nursing and chief wellness officer for the university, said in a statement. “It’s good for nurses, and it’s good for their patients.”

To learn provide your nurses with tools to be healthier in mind and body, and to reduce errors visit SelfCare for HealthCare™.