Document Type



Doctor of Nursing Practice



Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

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


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

Dr. Brittania Phillips, DNP, APRN, PMHNP-BC

Dr. Amanda Finley, PhD, RN



Problem: In the United States, one in three nurses experience symptoms of burnout, and doctoral nursing students are additionally challenged to juggle multiple school, work, and life demands (Reith, 2018; Woo et al., 2020). The purpose of this project was to explore the current self-care practices of doctoral nursing students to understand how self-care relates to resilience and burnout.

Methods: This exploratory needs assessment utilized a convenience sample of Doctor of Nursing practice (DNP) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) nursing students at a medium sized midwestern university. An electronic data collection survey was constructed to assess student self-care practices, resilience, level of burnout, support, and demographic information.

Results: A total of 50 surveys were completed, and a moderate positive correlation was found between self-care and resilience, and personal, work, and patient burnout while a negative correlation was found between personal burnout and resilience (p < .01). A positive correlation existed between self-care and family, friend, coworker, and student support (p < .05). Linear regression analyses demonstrate that self-care positively predicts resilience and negatively predicts personal burnout (p < .01). Personal burnout also significantly predicts resilience (p < .01). Hierarchical regression found that personal burnout improves the prediction of resilience over self-care alone (p < .001).

Implications for practice: It is crucial for doctoral nursing programs to help facilitate self-care and reduce personal burnout to foster increased resilience in doctoral nursing students. In addition, social support may also be beneficial as both a form of self-care and a buffer to burnout.

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