Date of Award

Summer 8-2010

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Nursing

Committee Chair

Dr. Patsy Anderson

Committee Chair Department

Nursing

Committee Member 2

Dr. Janie Butts

Committee Member 2 Department

Nursing

Committee Member 3

Dr. Chet Rakocinski

Committee Member 3 Department

Coastal Sciences, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory

Committee Member 4

Dr. Sherry Hartman

Committee Member 5

Dr. Stephen Bushardt

Abstract

This study proposed to examine the problem of burnout in the nursing profession and ways to ameliorate burnout. Many burnout studies in the past focused on the problem and possible solutions that managers and/or hospital administrators could incorporate into their organization. The focus of this study is to evaluate ways that nurses can decrease their own propensity to burnout through the use of mindfulness. Therefore, this study examined burnout in a non-traditional manner. It is not assumed that others must assist nurses with decreasing their levels of burnout. Mindfulness is a means by which nurses can empower themselves to combat various stressors and provide a means of comforting themselves through mindfulness meditation. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between mindfulness, comfort, work satisfaction, and burnout in nurses. Specifically, the study was designed to test a proposed model for mindfulness to determine if the variable mindfulness has any effect on comfort, work satisfaction, and burnout. It was anticipated that this study will add to existing literature addressing enhanced comfort of nurses resulting in higher work satisfaction, decreased burnout and subsequent decrease in nurse turnover. The sample for this study was a convenience sample of registered nurses in four South Mississippi hospitals. A total of 1 186 nurses completed a survey packet that contained a demographic information form, the Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scale, the Langer Mindfulness scale, the Mindfulness-Based Self Efficacy Scale, the Maslach Burnout Inventory, the Index of Work Satisfaction, and the Nurse Comfort Questionnaire. Based on the statistical analysis, the proposed model is not an accurate depiction of the path of mindfulness and its effect on the other variables in the study. On average, nurses in this study had moderate levels of mindfulness, average propensity to burnout, and average levels of nurse comfort and work satisfaction. Correlations of the variables revealed results that were expected with the exception of correlations with nurse comfort. Possible explanations for these unexpected results are discussed as well as recommendations for further research to test a model for mindfulness among practicing nurses.

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