Impact of Resiliency and Self-Care Training on Student Nurses

Johanna V. Grimaldi


The nursing workforce is currently facing a predicted shortage which has been further exacerbated by the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Factors such as increased patient load and acuity, poor staffing conditions, violence in the healthcare system, burnout, and poor mental health among nurses contribute to the complex situation. There is immense need to prepare the next generation to prevent high turnover and low retention rates within the nursing profession. The purpose of this project was to create and implement a training program to improve the knowledge and application of resiliency and self-care tactics among nursing students at a community college in Upstate New York. This Doctor of Nursing (DNP) project utilized information gathered from a vast literature review as well as personal reflections from current nurses to construct the ten-week resiliency and self-care training program. This topic was chosen because despite the evidence-based support of resiliency training programs for current nurses, there is minimal research regarding the execution of such programs among the nursing students. The voluntary resiliency and self-care training program was offered to nursing students via virtual format over a ten-week timeframe. This quality initiative was completed by five nursing students from February 2023 to May 2023. Students participated in weekly, twenty minute sessions which included topics such as an overview of stressors, burnout, mental exhaustion, journaling, personal goal setting, coping mechanisms, reflection, self-care methods, mindfulness, and mentoring. Activities included in the sessions included educational lectures, group discussions, meditation, interactive quizzes, videos, and activities such as case studies and personal reflection. ix. To measure outcomes, two evidence-based scales were used to assess levels of resiliency as well as stress utilizing the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC) and Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), respectively. The scales were administered at regular intervals pre- and postintervention. The primary project outcomes were decreased levels of perceived stress and increased levels of resiliency. The clinical significance of this quality improvement initiative was a simple, low-cost intervention to improve the resiliency and perceived stress levels of nursing students to promote self-care and coping mechanisms to not only use while in school, but also to continue to implement throughout their nursing careers.