Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Projects

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Degree Program

Doctor of Nursing Practice

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Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

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resilience intervention program, psychological distress, stress, nursing students, COVID-19


Dr. Genevieve Chandler

DNP Project Chair

Dr. Karen Kalmakis


Background: Nursing students suffer from high levels of stress and psychological distress, especially those with histories of childhood adversity. The COVID-19 pandemic has been an additional source of stress on students. Students who suffer from psychological distress are at greater risk of engaging in maladaptive behaviors that may lead to physical and psychological conditions. Despite this data, college campuses lack resilience intervention programs, which have been shown to reduce psychological distress, perceived stress, and increase resilience. Purpose: The purpose of this Quality Improvement project was to implement a well-established evidence-based resilience program for nursing students, and to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of the program. Methods: A 10-week in-person resilience program was implemented with 6 undergraduate nursing students. The program included active coping exercises, psychoeducational presentations, writing, and peer support. A post-survey was used to assess the feasibility and acceptability of the program. Results: Six undergraduate nursing students completed the resilience program. After completing the program, one hundred percent of the students thought that their ability to use coping skills, use personal strengths, feel belonged, and supported increased significantly. Participants also described an increased ability to recognize their emotions, and healthily manage stress. One hundred percent indicated that they would recommend this program to incoming nursing students. Conclusion: The results of this QI project support the effectiveness, acceptability, and feasibility of the educational resilience program.

Keywords: resilience intervention program, psychological distress, stress, nursing students, COVID-19

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