Date of Award

Spring 2022

Project Type

Clinical Doctorate

College or School




Program or Major

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Degree Name


First Advisor

A. Lynne Wagner

Second Advisor

Gayle Novack

Third Advisor

Cathleen Colleran


BACKGROUND: Threats to nurses’ well-being from chronic workplace stress often leads to burnout. Lack of self-care contributes to nursing faculty burnout due to the inability to maintain well-being. Emerging evidence points to theory guided self-caring practices as effective coping strategies to manage the negative effects of workplace environments on well-being.

METHODS: This quality improvement project aimed to provide nursing faculty and staff in the academic workplace with opportunities to cultivate and enhance self-care practices to promote overall health and well-being following principles of Caring Science and Jean Watson’s 10 Caritas Processes®. A multifaceted set of interventions were provided: develop an on-line learning community, provide an experiential opportunity to explore and practice self-care, and design a healing space within the department to support self-care practices.

RESULTS: The Watson Caritas Self-Rating Score © was used to measure perceptions of self- caring. Participants’ lower scores were associated with statements pertaining to self-care practices and treating oneself with loving kindness. Higher scores were noted in two statements: having helping and trusting relationships with others” and “valuing beliefs and faith, allowing for personal success”. Narrative analysis revealed participants feelings about experiencing uncaring behaviors, the work environment being unsupportive, experiencing caring behaviors, and wanting opportunities to create a more positive workplace environment that values discussion and sharing. Other findings were the need to prioritize self-care, commitment to take action to integrate self-care practices into their daily lives, and engagement in reflective practice to enhance self-care.

CONCLUSIONS: Participant responses demonstrate the need among Department of Nursing (DON) faculty and staff to better prioritize self-care. Findings indicate that self-reflection and prioritizing caring for self may enhance an individual’s coping mechanisms and be an effective intervention to managing workplace stress and maintaining well-being. Moreover, engaging in self-caring practices to overcome workplace stress allows all faculty and staff to contribute to building a supportive healing work environment and culture of caring.

Included in

Nursing Commons