Date of Award

Summer 5-10-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Nursing




Bonnie A. Sturm, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Joyce Maglione, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kristi Stinson, Ph.D.


nursing student, burnout, psychological capital, stressors


Nursing students who will successfully transition to practice as registered nurses are a crucial resource, especially now with the current nursing shortage. Using Meleis’ Transition Theory as a framework, the purpose of this descriptive correlational study was to examine specific intrapersonal factors in nursing students enrolled in clinical rotations. The convenience sample consisted of 129 BSN students with a mean age of 24. Their levels of burnout (exhaustion, cynicism and inefficacy) and psychological capital (hope, efficacy, resilience and optimism), also called PsyCap, were measured using the Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey and the Psychological Capital Questionnaire. Findings demonstrated moderate levels of PsyCap (M=98.63, SD=15.21), high levels of exhaustion (M=21.95, SD=6.78), moderate levels of cynicism (M=12.89, SD=7.66) and low levels of inefficacy (M=9.26, SD=5.95) with 38.8% (n=50) exhibiting signs of the overextended burnout profile, considered the first stage in the development of burnout. Participants found academic course load & exams and other testing the most stressful. When asked about satisfaction with the nursing major, 31 (24%) were neutral, and 10 (7.8%) were dissatisfied. When asked if they were considering leaving nursing, 4 (3.1%) answered yes and 17 (13.2%) were unsure. The correlation between PsyCap and inefficacy had the strongest negative correlation (r=-.642, p<.001), followed by cynicism (r=-.450, p<.001), and then exhaustion (r=-.393, p<.001). PsyCap accounted for 41.2% (R2=.412, B=-.251, p<.001) of the variance in inefficacy followed by 20.3% (R2=.203, B=-.227, p<.001) in cynicism, and 15.4% (R2=.154, B=-.175, p<.001) in exhaustion. Considering that early burnout and thoughts about leaving nursing were found, and that PsyCap is protective against burnout, implementation of measures to increase PsyCap and manage stressors in nursing students is imperative.

Included in

Nursing Commons