Attitudes of Nurses and Student Nurses toward Self-Care

Sunday, 8 November 2015: 12:00 AM

Kathleen Cino, PhD, MS, BS, RN, CNE
Department of Nursing, Farmingdale State College, Farmingdale, NY, USA

Study Aim

The purpose of this study is to assess the impact of classroom learning/experiencing of mind-body therapies on the attitudes of nurses and student nurses with regard to mind-body therapies and self-care. 


Stress is expected among student nurses and decreased stress coping is evident in poor academic performance, student attrition, and suboptimal professional identity formation (Galbraith & Brown, 2011; Hensel & Laux, 2014).  For nurses and student nurses learning healthy stress coping is part of the development of self-care.  Self-care promotes health and is a core value in the American Holistic Nurses Association Scope and Standards of Practice (Mariano, 2013).

The mind-body therapies increase self-awareness of body sensations (i.e. muscle tension), all or nothing thinking, and negative emotions as experienced in the stress response.  Examples of mind-body therapies are mindfulness, yoga, journaling, guided imagery and hypnosis, progressive muscle relaxation, and meditation.  Using mind-body therapies is one way of improving healthful stress coping.  The effectiveness of these therapies increases with practice and genuine interest.  Mind-body therapies may even help change self-defeating behaviors.

This study will determine attitudes of study participants to these concepts at the beginning and end of the semester.  The results of this study will contribute to further development/refinement of those mind-body therapies which nurses and nursing students determine support their self-care. 


Participants: RN-BS completion students and preliscensure student nurses enrolled in a baccalaureate program at a college in the northeast Untied States. 


Mind-body Skills Attitudinal Scale (MBSS) (Tractenberg, Chaterji & Haramati, 2007) is 21 item seven point likert scale designed to measure changes in classroom attitude in medical students for mind-body therapy after course work in the subject area.  The scale has also been used with nursing students enrolled in that mind-body medicine course (Karpowicz, Harazduk & Haramati, 2009).


Once the Institutional Review Board at the college approves the study all participants will sign informed consent and complete the MBSS survey. 

The educational activity is focused on self-care for health promotion.  After a self-assessment, a plan for care of self is created.  Course readings and activities on a variety of mind-body experiences including progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, laughter, chair yoga, and touch therapy provide the educational component on mind-body skills.  Throughout the semester, the participants will evaluate progress on self-care behaviors.  At the semester end, a final evaluation of self-care activity earns the project grade.  In addition, all participants will complete the post test MBSS survey. Analysis of data for change in particpant attitude toward Mind Body Skill will be done at study end.


Galbraith, N. D., & Brown, K. E. (2011). Assessing intervention effectiveness for reducing stress in student nurses: quantitative systematic review. Journal Of Advanced Nursing, 67(4), 709-721. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2648.2010.05549.x

Gibbons, C., Dempster, M., & Moutray, M. (2011). Stress, coping and satisfaction in nursing students. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 67(3), 621-632. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2648.2010.05495.x

Hensel, D., & Laux, M. (2014). Longitudinal study of stress, self-care, and professional identity among nursing students. Nurse Educator, 39(5), 227–231. doi: 10.1097/NNE.0000000000000057

Karpowicz, S., Harazduk N.,& Haramati, A.(2009).  Using mind-body medicine for

self-awareness and self-care in medical school.  Journal of Holistic Healthcare 6(2), 19-22.

Mariano, C (2013).  Holisitc nursing: Scope and standards of practice.  In B. Dossey & L. Keegan (Eds.), Holistic Nursing: a Handbook for Practice (pp.59-84). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett.

Tractenberg, R.E., Chaterji, R. & Haramati, A. (2007).  Assessing and analyzing change in attitudes in the classroom. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Ed 32,107-120.