A Quantitative Study to Investigate How Traditional Nursing Programs Incorporate Self-Care Practices Into the Student Nurse Experience

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Abstract Introduction: Undergraduate nursing students often find the academic rigor of a nursing program challenging. Students may experience feelings of stress, feel overwhelmed, and have difficulty coping, while some also struggle with mental health issues such as depression. Nursing students may also feel stressed about their ability to be academically successful in a nursing program and perform satisfactorily in the clinical setting. Difficulty coping with the demands of nursing education, and anxiety related to tests are also challenges nursing students encounter. The struggles faced by nursing students are well known, however, great variability exists regarding ways to engage nursing students in self-care practices to support their holistic well-being. Methods: A survey was designed for this quantitative descriptive study to discover how self-care practices are incorporated into traditional undergraduate nursing programs. An Invitation to Participate was emailed to 189 nursing program administrators of traditional undergraduate nursing programs in eight Midwestern states. A link to the survey was embedded within the invitation. Results: Sixty-eight surveys were returned. Statistically significant findings were related to the presence of having a policy in place to assist nursing students who request professional advice, the likelihood of assessing stress and emotional health of the program administrators nursing students, and how nursing program administrators of ADN and BSN programs felt about the importance of incorporating self-care practices into their nursing program. Discussion: Although the challenges nursing students face while completing their nursing education are well known, a systematic means of incorporating self-care practices into nursing programs to promote nursing students’ holistic well-being has yet to be realized. Therefore, future research should focus on developing methods to incorporate self-care practices into nursing programs to support the holistic well-being of nursing students. The incorporation of self-care practices into nursing education may assist nursing students to better manage the rigor of their nursing programs and graduate better prepared to handle the demands of nursing practice. The goal should be to make self-care a habit – a way of being that begins during nursing school and continues as a new way of life. Keywords:self-care, nursing students, nursing education, stress, psychological well-being
Nursing, Health education, Mental health
Hanke-Tierney, C. (2021). A quantitative study to investigate how traditional nursing programs incorporate self-care practices into the student nurse experience. [Doctoral dissertation, Bryan College of Health Sciences].