Document Type



Doctor of Nursing Practice



Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Dr. Anne L. Thatcher, DNP, MSW, BSN, APRN, RN, LMSW, PMHNP-BC


Dr. Anne Thatcher, DNP, MSW, BSN, APRN, RN, LMSW, PMHNP-BC

Dr. Brittania Philips, DNP, PMHNP

Gena Hodapp, MSN, RN



Background: Inpatient, staff nurse burnout negatively impacts nurses’ mental and physical health, hospital nurse retention and turnover, and patient care. The Stress First Aid for Health Workers program attempts to bolster resilience and subsequently reduce burnout among mental health nurses in this project.

Method: This quality improvement (QI) project was an observational pre-post survey design and was conducted on a cohort sample of inpatient, behavioral health nurses at an urban, mid-sized, Midwestern hospital psychiatric unit to assess personal, work-related, client-related, and overall burnout utilizing the Copenhagen Burnout Inventory (CBI) tool to quantitatively measure burnout pre- and three months post-implementation of the Stress First Aid education.

Results: Due to the small sample size, with an n = 7, and the ordinal nature of the CBI data, the exact sign test was utilized did not indicate a statistically significant difference between pre/post survey median results for personal burnout (p = 1.00), work-related burnout (p = .453), client-related burnout (p = 1.00), and overall burnout (p = .219) However, percentage reduction indicated clinical significance with a pre/post-intervention reduction of 23.5% for personal burnout, 8.7% reduction for work-related burnout, 17.6% reduction for client-related burnout, and 13% reduction for burnout overall.

Conclusion: This QI project accomplished the aim of reducing burnout by 13% post SFA intervention after three months. Limitations of this project include small sample size, poor pairing of pre- and post-intervention data and strengths were the adaptability and cost-effectiveness of the intervention. Implications for future practice include assessing SFA’s impact on nurse retention and turnover rates and recommendations for the future include a more robust sample size, more careful pairing of data, and a follow up session among participants.