Resilience: The Answer to Motivation in Nursing Student Success

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Debra Sue Facello, PhD
Franciscan University of Steubenville Graduate Department of Nursing, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Steubenville, OH, USA

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between resiliency and student success in undergraduate nursing students. Resiliency is the ability to adapt to adversity and remains an important concept for the nursing profession. Nursing student resiliency is defined as a process of development through the use of personal protective factors to successfully navigate perceived stress and adversity. Resiliency has been documented as one of the primary factors that contribute to student success and transition to practice. Resiliency is a protective factor in dealing with perceived stress and adversity. It is fostered through increasing positive emotions, humor, self-efficacy, social support, faith, perseverance, coping strategies, and self-knowledge. Research demonstrates that young adults are particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of stress and conflict. Many young people are unprepared to deal with the demands of nursing. Ineffective coping skills to adapt to stress may be perceived by faculty as a lack of motivation. Resiliency skills can be learned and developed through purposeful selfreflection and interaction with faculty, nurses, and patients.

Design: A descriptive-correlational design was used. An intervention using a self-paced spiritual success journal based on the protective factors was offered to students to increase resilience.

Setting: The setting for this project was a Baccalaureate Nursing Program in a Catholic University located in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States of America.

Methods: The Wagnild & Young Resilience Scale (RS 14) was used to survey nursing students in their first clinical course. A convenience sample of 50 sophomore nursing students was surveyed to evaluate resilience. The resilience score was then used to investigate if a relationship existed between resilience scores, midterm deficiencies, and final grades. A self-paced spiritual success journal was also created using the concepts of resilience and offered to the students as a means to increase resilience. Students who used the journal were interviewed about the journal and whether or not they felt that it had helped them with their resiliency.

Results/Outcomes: Research Question #1: Is there a relationship between resiliency and student success? Using the statistical program SPSS 23, the Pearson Correlation revealed positive correlations (p>.01) between resilience scores, midterm deficiencies, and final grades in sophomore nursing courses. Research Question #2: Does employing a self-paced spiritual success journal improve resilience and student success? Thirty students volunteered to complete the journal. Eleven completed portions of the journal. Of those eleven students, responses to the journal were consistently positive.