Objective: to obtain data about the situation of research on burnout in nursing professionals since 1952 and until 2011.
Methodology: electronic bibliography search for relevant literature published on nurse burnout until December, 2011. The following databases were searched: PubMed (Medline), BVSalud (Virtual Library on Health), Complutense University Library, Madrid; Trip Database, DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals), ENFISPO, BioMed, Cochrane, Dialnet, Gopubmed; Psyke: catalog of Psychology articles in Spanish; Highwire Standford University, Science Direct, SciELO, Cinahl, Cuiden, Cuidatge and Wylley-Blackwell.
Results and Conclusions: 4,506 articles were obtained. The median annual production during those 60 years analyzed was 75.1; there were low levels during the first years, and the production did not show a major increase until 1981. The analysis of productivity by authors shows that the majority of them have only published one article during this period, and only 2.2% of them have published over ten articles during said period. The group of the ten most productive journals represents 21.4% of the total production of articles included in the study. 68.1% of these articles have appeared in Nursing Journals.