Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Tanya Cohn


Stressors affecting healthcare providers have accelerated in recent years, causing increasing rates of burnout and emotional exhaustion. Evidence suggests that improving general mental well-being of nurses could enhance their resilience and ability to cope in stressful situations. Psychiatric nurses are at risk by caring for involuntary and manipulative patients who can be violent and abusive. The purpose of this project was to improve psychiatric nurses' mental well-being through the implementation of a gratitude practice and examined the effect of this brief gratitude intervention on their mental well-being. Models informing this project were human caring theory, resilience theory, and positive psychology models of gratitude benefits. Thirty psychiatric nurses participated; they were told to privately note 3 things they were grateful for in a gratitude journal each day. The Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale was administered pre- and postintervention, and chi-square analysis was performed, converting sum scores into categories (low-moderate-high); statistical significance was not demonstrated (Pearson chi-square = .1.176, Crarmer's V of .183). Nonparametric Wilcoxin Signed Rank Test and Mann-Whitney U also compared scores of pr-e and posttests. The Wilcoxin Signed Rank revealed significant differences (Z = -1.402, p = .027) but only had 6 matched pairs. Mann-Whitney U showed no significant differences between the pre- and posttest scores (U = 108, p = .161). Limitations were the inability to match identification numbers except for 6. Recommendations are gratitude education and repeat the study. This could begin to affect positive social change by promoting self-care of the nurses via incorporating principles of positive psychology into daily practice.