Got Stress? A Wellness Neuman Model Approach: Teambuilding between Upper and Underclassmen

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Amy Jo Barnes
Whitney Beiswanger
Zoey Dressel
Mariah McMillen-Feasel
Abigail Pfaff
Allissa Smith
Nursing Department, Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne, IN, USA

Stress is commonly experienced by college students; the pressure to maintain good grades while balancing family, work, and social responsibilities can either hinder or aid in a student’s academic success. The challenge students often face is in obtaining adequate resources that will aid in maintaining a balance between the beneficial and the excessive and often debilitating amounts of stress. Nursing students have reported that stress is associated with a fear of making mistakes in clinical experiences that may result in patient harm, committing medication errors, feelings of inadequacy when interacting with nurses and other members of the healthcare team, meeting high testing standards, the loss of leisure time, and the pressures of paying for school (Alzayyat & Al-Gamal, 2014).

During a 400 level Bachelor of Science Program leadership course, six pre licensure nursing students were assigned with clinical faculty preceptors for a 90 hour clinical. The clinical faculty were in charge of 100, 200, and 300 level students in clinical settings.  Nursing student stressors reported in a literature review informed the project. The Neuman Systems Model (Neuman & Fawcett, 2011) provided the framework and guided the nursing process. Stressors identified by current underclassmen were similar to those reported in the literature; therefore stressors were prioritized with student input leading to six prioritized stressors.  

During phase one of this project, each leadership student targeted their small group of seven to nine students to develop learner-centered (Weimer, 2013) teaching and learning resources under the guidance of clinical preceptors and course professor. A resource board was constructed that contains resource cards for the identified stressors: APA, Medication Math, Surviving Nursing School, Reducing Stress, Your Health, and Test Taking Skills. A resource book, three ring binder with sleeves, was developed and served as a hardcopy presentation method which can be easily transported to the clinical setting as needed. The resource board and book were placed in the student nurses lounge for easy student access. Targeting millennial students, informatics skills were applied creatively to construct a Facebook page, Blackboard discussion groups, and webpage. These social media resources contained tutorials, videos and additional resources offering online asynchronous access to the information anytime, or anyplace with a computer or mobile device.  Phase two of the project intentionally united the six leadership students into a “group” to develop the Little/Big project. The leadership students advanced the project beyond the teaching and learning resources to include opportunities to build collegial relationships between under and upperclassmen. Underclassmen (Littles) can seek assistance from upperclassmen (Bigs) regarding topics such as class assignments, class schedules, specific study tips, emotional support, etc. Phase three involved a report to the faculty, intended to secure buy-in for future application of the teaching learning resources within courses as faculty deemed appropriate. Following the presentation, success was experienced as permission was granted for the student created resources to be made accessible for faculty use. Phase four, here at the STTI convention, allows for professional networking of the project for application and replication beyond our university. Outcomes of the Little/Big program, student testimonials, and handoff strategies for sustainability will be reported.