Student Theses, Dissertations and Capstones

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

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

Marcia J Derby-Davis

Second Advisor

Kelly Henson-Evertz

Third Advisor

Linda Evans

Publication Date / Copyright Date



Nova Southeastern University


Background: Emergency Room (ER) nurses are challenged both physically and emotionally, and are repeatedly exposed to severe occupational stress (d'Ettorre & Greco, 2016; Duffy et al., 2015). For example, some stressors are demands from patients and physicians, long hours, complex diagnoses, and a fast pace (Hunsaker et al., 2015). A considerable number of nurses experience work-related interpersonal conflict, secondary traumatic stress, and other stress disorders, which negatively affects the quality of patient care they deliver (Westphal et al., 2015). Purpose: The purpose of this evidence-based practice project was to implement a mindfulness meditation intervention to decrease emergency room nurses’ stress. Theoretical Framework: Watson’s theory of human caring (J. Watson, 2008) was utilized as the theoretical framework for this project, focusing on the nurse’s self-care regarding stress. Methods: This project used a pre-test post-test design to evaluate the effect of an evidence-based mindfulness meditation intervention by obtaining blood pressure and pulse measures as well as the Profile of Mood States Second Edition-Short Form (POMS2-SF) questionnaire. Results: Using mindfulness meditation participants experienced a statistically significant lowering in stress levels: the mean post-POMS (M = 39.4) was statistically significantly lower (p <0.001) than the mean pre-POMS (M = 47.2). The results also indicated that means of the post-systolic BP (M = 115.7) and the post-diastolic BP (M = 69.4) were statistically significantly lower (p < 0.001) than the means of pre-systolic BP (M=126.7) and the pre-diastolic BP (75.6). The mean of post-intervention pulse (M = 65) was statistically significantly lower (p = 0.005) than the mean of pre-pulse (M = 68.7). Conclusions: Mindfulness meditation should be considered as a modality to reduce nurses’ stress levels in clinical settings. During the DNP project, 18 ER nurses, who are employed at the implementation site, listened to a 15-minute mindfulness meditation CD by Dr. Jean Watson. Before and after the intervention, the DNP student measured the blood pressure and heart rate and completed the POMS2-SF questionnaire to record the stress indicators of participants. Findings indicated that mindfulness meditation intervention reduced blood pressure, heart rate, and POMS2-SF stress indicators.




Burnout, Emergency, Exhaustion, Mindfulness, Stress



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