The effect of a mindfulness based stress reduction intervention on the perceived stress and burnout of RN students completing a doctor of nursing practice degree

Melissa Turkal, Luann G. Richardson, Thomas Cline, Mary Elizabeth Guimond


Background and objective: There is a vast amount of literature documenting the epidemic of stress and burnout within the nursing profession. It is well established that chronic stress contributes to burnout among nursing staff and students.  Research suggests that organizational change, curriculum adjustment, and mindfulness interventions can contribute to decreased stress and better outcomes for nurses. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) intervention on the perceived stress and burnout of students in a cohort of Registered Nurses (RNs) completing a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree.

Methods: This study utilized pre and post data collection to explore the effect of a MBSR intervention on self-reported perceived stress and burnout using the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and Copenhagen Burnout Inventory (CBI). Study participants (n = 24) received a general orientation to the study followed by a brief intervention using the body scan meditation, a component of the MBSR-model. Students registered with the Remind mobile app to supplement the live instruction and to encourage the students to engage in daily mindfulness practice.

Results: The repeated measures ANOVAs for all three CBI factors showed that personal, work, and client burnout means were statistically lower at four weeks post-intervention than they were at baseline. Perceived stress measures four weeks post-intervention were also statistically lower than baseline. There were no demographic interactions, and only one main effect for gender, in that males reported lower perceived stress. 

Conclusions: The MBSR intervention was successful in reducing the self-reported perceived stress and burnout of RN students completing their DNP Degree.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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