Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Health Services


Deborah Lewis


Nurses are exposed to traumatic patients and high stress regularly; this repeated exposure can increase rates of compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma. When nurses are not properly educated about compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma, it can impact their ability to provide effective patient care and result in harmful effects including insecurity, altered cognitive functioning, loss of empathy and diminished self-esteem. This project focused on educating psychiatric nurses regarding compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma. The theory guiding the project was the Neuman's system model. Fifty-six psychiatric nurses were administered a pretest consisting of 10 multiple choice test questions. They were educated on the concepts of vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue using a presentation and handouts. After the education was completed, participants were administered a posttest with the same 10 multiple choice questions. An evaluation tool consisting of Likert-scale questions to evaluate the presentation was also completed after the posttest. The pretest and posttest scores were analyzed using a learning-scores-gained formula. The results showed that the mean pretest score was 89.2% while the posttest score was 97.1%. The aggregate score difference was 7.9, indicating a group knowledge gain of 7.3 %. The majority scores for the educational presentation evaluation were outstanding and all feedback was positive. This project would benefit nurses by increasing their knowledge on compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma leading to positive social change by improving their workplace environment and reducing nursing turnover.

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Nursing Commons