Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing Education
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College of Nursing
Publication Date / Copyright Date
Nova Southeastern University
Michelle L. Finch. 2016. Emotional intelligence and empathy of nursing students in an immersive capstone clinical course. Doctoral dissertation. Nova Southeastern University. Retrieved from NSUWorks, College of Nursing. (39)
Background. Today’s baccalaureate nursing students need to be prepared to care for patients in an ever-changing, high acuity environment. Many programs offer a capstone immersive clinical experience. However, the benefits of this experience have not been fully explored, and the effect on patient care is unknown. Purpose. The purpose of the study was to determine if there was a change in levels of Emotional Intelligence (EI) and empathy in senior students who completed a capstone immersive clinical experience in the final semester of a baccalaureate nursing program. Theoretical Framework. The theoretical framework for this study was the Mayer and Salovey’s (1997) four-branch model of EI which evaluated EI and empathy of the senior nursing student. Methods. This quasi-experimental study was conducted at a baccalaureate degree program in the Mid-South. A convenience sample was utilized to examine the means of EI and empathy before and after a capstone immersive clinical experience. Results. Significance was found in students’ EI levels after the immersive experience. No significance was found in students’ empathy levels. Significance was not found in students’ EI or empathy with regards to gender and prior health care experience. In students with prior health care experience, empathy declined with increased exposure to clinical experience. Conclusions. EI and empathy along with caring and compassion need to be recognized as important concepts in nursing education. Implementation of EI and empathy in educational activities and evaluation of their effectiveness in nursing curricula will improve students’ preparedness as they complete their education and enter practice.
Health and environmental sciences, Education, Emotional intelligence, Empathy, Immersive capstone clinical
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