Compassion fatigue, presenteeism, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES), and resiliency levels of Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) students

Lindsay Bouchard, Jessica Rainbow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) students often experience challenges that can cause poor academic performance and attrition. Known threats to nurses' professional quality of life and patient care include compassion fatigue and presenteeism; it is not known how these phenomena carry over from prior nursing experience to DNP students' academic experiences and subsequent NP practice. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) can also threaten nursing students' coping ability and overall wellbeing. Building resilience can combat the negative effects related to professional quality of life and traumatic experiences and promote nursing student success. Objectives: Measure compassion fatigue, presenteeism, ACEs, and resiliency in DNP students. Design: A cross-sectional survey was conducted with three cohorts of DNP students. Setting: A DNP program at a large public American University. Participants: DNP students (n = 118) from four NP specialty tracks: Family, Pediatric, Psychiatric Mental Health, and Adult-Gerontology Acute Care. Methods: Online surveys were sent to three cohorts of DNP students: one group before beginning the program and two groups, one year apart, before starting clinical rotations in the program. Surveys included measures for compassion fatigue, presenteeism, ACEs, and resiliency. Results: The demographics of this study sample was similar to other published DNP student samples. The students reported moderate levels of compassion fatigue, presenteeism, and resiliency. ACE scores ranged from 0 to 8 out of 10, and 50% reported at least one ACE. Conclusions: Survey results from three DNP student cohorts indicate that many are pursuing advanced practice nursing education with a history of traumatic childhood events, demands of balancing work and school, and moderate resiliency levels. Many have symptoms of negative professional quality of life and presenteeism that could inhibit their job satisfaction and quality of care as an NP. Promoting DNP students' resiliency may improve their ability to thrive amidst academic and professional challenges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104852
JournalNurse Education Today
Volume100
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2021

Keywords

  • Advanced practice nursing
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences
  • Compassion fatigue
  • Presenteeism
  • Resilience
  • Students, nursing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Education

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