Document Type



Doctor of Nursing Practice



Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

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


Keri Jupka, MPH

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


Problem: Doctoral nursing students are often faced with stressors on top of their schooling, one of which is continuing to work while pursuing their education. This in combination with normal life stressors can be challenging. The purpose of this project was to survey doctoral nursing students on what their current self-care practices.

Methods: An exploratory needs assessment project was created to gather data from Doctor of Nursing practice (DNP) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) nursing students in an urban, mid-sized, Midwestern, public university to identify current self-care practices, barriers to self-care, preference of self-care practices, and the impact these practices have on their educational experiences.

Results: 50 completed surveys were completed by the doctoral nursing students. Household income as a variable is statistically significant predictive of a higher category of number of times self-care is performed a week, χ2(4) = 14.352, p = .006. The odds of male vs female student having a higher number of times self-care practiced each week was 9.828, a statistically significant effect. The odds of a student who works in nursing education, compared to other nursing professions, having a higher number of self-care practices each week was -20.148, a statistically significant effect.

Implications for Practice: There is a need for additional data of the self-care practices of doctoral nursing students. Implementation of an MBSR type program during the transitional years two and three of a traditional four-year doctoral nursing program is needed due to the drastic decrease in self-care between these years.