RNs are a critically important component of the U.S. healthcare system. RN burnout – the feeling of exhaustion from working long hours without rest – is a real concern, having been reported in many hospitals. We examine the background, causes and consequences of burnout among RNs in U.S. hospitals, in order to identify solutions to this problem. Findings indicate that Burnout Syndrome in RNs can be analyzed in terms of four clusters of characteristics: individual, management, organizational, and work. The consequences of burnout include increased RN turnover rates, poor job performance, and threats to patient safety. RN burnout in hospitals negatively impacts the quality of care, patient safety, and the functioning of staff workers in the healthcare industry.