JMIR Res Protoc. 2023 Sep 8;12:e49020. doi: 10.2196/49020.
BACKGROUND: The United States faces a nursing shortage driven by a burnout epidemic among nurses and nursing students. Nursing students are an integral population to fuel the nursing workforce at high risk of burnout and increased rates of perceived stress.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this paper is to describe WellNurse, a holistic, interdisciplinary, multidimensional longitudinal research study that examines evidence-based interventions intended to reduce burnout and increase resilience among graduate and undergraduate nursing students.
METHODS: Graduate and undergraduate nursing students matriculated at a large public university in the northeastern United States are eligible to enroll in this ongoing, longitudinal cohort study beginning in March 2021. Participants complete a battery of health measurements twice each semester during the fourth week and the week before final examinations. The measures include the Perceived Stress Scale, the Satisfaction with Life Scale, the Oldenburg Burnout Inventory, the Brief Resilience Scale, and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Participants are eligible to enroll in a variety of interventions, including mindfulness-based stress reduction, mindful eating, fitness training, and massage therapy. Those who enroll in specific, targeted interventions complete additional measures designed to target the aim of the intervention. All participants receive a free Fitbit device. Additional environmental changes are being implemented to further promote a culture that supports academic well-being, including recruiting a diverse student population through evidence-based holistic admissions, inclusive teaching design, targeted resilience and stress reduction workshops, and cultural shifts within classrooms and curricula. The study design protocol is registered at Open Science Framework (DOI 10.17605/OSF.IO/NCBPE).
RESULTS: The project was funded on January 1, 2022. Data collection started in March 2022. A total of 267 participants have been recruited. Results will be published after each semester starting in December 2023. WellNurse evaluation follows the Rapid Cycle Quality Improvement framework to continuously monitor ongoing project processes, activity outcomes, and progress toward reducing burnout and increasing resilience. Rapid Cycle Quality Improvement promotes the ability to alter WellNurse interventions, examine multiple interventions, and test their effectiveness among the nursing education population to identify the most effective interventions.
CONCLUSIONS: Academic nursing organizations must address student burnout risk and increase resilience to produce a future workforce that provides high-quality patient care to a diverse population. Findings from WellNurse will support evidence-based implementations for public baccalaureate and master’s nursing programs in the United States.
INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): DERR1-10.2196/49020.