AIM:This is the first two-phase Australian study to explore the factors impacting upon compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue, anxiety, depression and stress and to describe the strategies nurses use to build compassion satisfaction into their working lives. BACKGROUND:Compassion fatigue has been found to impact on job satisfaction, the quality of patient care and retention within nursing. This study provides new knowledge on the influences of anxiety, stress and depression and how they relate to compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue. METHOD:In Phase 2 of the study, 10 nurses from Phase 1 of the study participated in individual interviews and a focus group. A semi-structured interview schedule guided the conversations with the participants. RESULT:Data analysis resulted in seven main themes: social networks and support;infrastructure and support; environment and lifestyle; learning; leadership; stress; and suggestions to build psychological wellness in nurses. CONCLUSION:Findings suggest that a nurse’s capacity to cope is enhanced through strong social and collegial support, infrastructure that supports the provision of quality nursing care and positive affirmation. These concepts are strongly linked to personal resilience. IMPLICATIONS:for nursing management These findings support the need for management to develop appropriate interventions to build resilience in nurses.