2021 Undergraduate Research Showcase

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Renee Walters, Ph.D., RN, FNP-BC


Purpose/Aims This study evaluates nursing student and faculty levels of self-compassion, resilience, and professional quality of life (ProQOL). We believe the wellness of individual nurses matters, and as we want to better understand the factors that support resilient student nurses and faculty.


In a profession that promotes wellness and preventative health measures for patient populations, nursing schools should also instill such knowledge and strategies for nursing students and faculty to develop their own resilience and well-being (AACN, 2020). The Joint Commission issued a Quick Safety Advisory of Combating Nurse Burnout in 2019 that revealed 15.6% of nurses reported burnout and 5% of healthcare organizations providing relevant assistance (Ross, 2020). Due to COVID-19 and related stressors in the university setting, it is necessary to reexamine the coping strategies of students and faculty. Due to the variety of difficulties presented across the nursing field, nursing student and faculty data will provide unique insights into how nursing programs can better support the well-being of nurses in an ever-evolving work environment. Identifying a baseline of self-compassion among nurses is critical in creating environments and resources that promote longevity and optimal holistic health in a nursing career.

Research Methodology

Design: Descriptive analysis; comprehensive literature review.

Sample: A convenience sample of nursing students and faculty in a public university in the Pacific Northwest.

Procedure: Recruitment by email via the university Learning Management System (LMS) portal.

Consent Process: An informed consent form will be embedded within the survey. Completion of the surveys will serve as confirmation of agreement of participation.

Methods: Recruitment emails will include a link to a Qualtrics survey to be completed by participants. Survey data will be extracted anonymously and stored per university standards on a university-approved designated drive.

Measurement tools: Neff Self-Compassion Scale, Perceived Stress Scale (PCS), Professional Quality of Life Measure (ProQOL), Demographics Sheet.

Significance in Nursing:

Nursing continues to be burdened with alarmingly high burnout rates. The recent impact of COVID-19 has taken a significant toll on nurses. Research has consistently shown that increased resilience is a buffer against burnout. Understanding variables such as self-compassion that have been linked to improved resilience may help support our valuable nursing workforce. Exploring and developing critical resilience-related skills before nurses enter the workforce empowers nurses to reflect on their own wellness. There are significant gaps in the literature regarding evaluating self-compassion in samples of nursing students and faculty. The majority of findings indicate that self-compassion can have positive effects on one's resilience and self-care practices that benefit the wellbeing of nursing students, their transition into the workforce, and facing the challenges of a demanding profession. Limitations included undefined parameters of self-compassion, and ambiguous relationships with empathy, mindfulness, and emotional intelligence. We recommend further investigation into the development of self-compassion as it relates to resiliency. Although there are limitations of current self-compassion measurements in nursing, the positive implications warrant future research and we recommend further investigation into the development of self-compassion and resiliency.



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