Date of Conferral





Health Services


Kimberly Dixon-Lawson


In Ontario, Canada, practical nurses (PN) are educated through a 2-year diploma program. A review of PN program curricula in Ontario suggested that emotional intelligence (EI) and the core concept of emotional self-management are not specified in curriculum outcomes or courses. The study explored PN students' lived experiences with emotional self-management in the clinical settings where they are exposed to stress related situations using van Manen's orientation to hermeneutic phenomenology. The original four-branch ability model of EI by Mayer and Salovey was used as the theoretical framework to guide the explorative and interpretative processes of the study. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with a purposive convenience sample of 10 PN students at a southern Ontario community college in Canada. Van Manen's selective reading thematic analysis approach was used to analyze the data. Findings of this study suggested that the participants perceived themselves to have basic EI knowledge and are usually aware of their own and others' emotions, and indicated the notion of professionalism, ability to reflect, and empathy were meaningful in relation to EI. Participants expressed that their first knowing of EI provided them with more confidence and awareness and they would like to learn more about EI. An increased understanding of emotional self-management could enhance teaching and learning approaches, particularly with PN students who are exposed to high-stress clinical environments, thereby contributing to positive social change.