Student Theses, Dissertations and Capstones

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing Education

Copyright Statement

All rights reserved. This publication is intended for use solely by faculty, students, and staff of Nova Southeastern University. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, now known or later developed, including but not limited to photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author or the publisher.


College of Nursing

First Advisor

Lynne Bryant

Publication Date / Copyright Date



Nova Southeastern University


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



Download Full Text (1.0 MB)

  Link to NovaCat

Included in

Nursing Commons