Date of Award

Fall 12-11-2015

Degree Type

Doctoral Nursing Capstone Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



Committee Chair

Dr. Vickie Stuart

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Dr. Lachel Story

Committee Member 2 Department


Committee Member 3

Dr. Les Wallace


Nurse anesthesia programs throughout the nation are extremely competitive with strict admissions criteria and demanding curriculum. Students enrolled in these programs, termed Student Registered Nurse Anesthetists (SRNAs), experience high average daily stress levels throughout their enrollment in a nurse anesthesia program (NAP). This quantitative study examined whether there is a decrease in SRNA average daily perceived stress when peer mentoring is employed. Inclusion criterion was all SRNAs enrolled in a single 3 year, post-baccalaureate Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) NAP at a comprehensive Carnegie research university with Southern Regional Education Board-Level 1 designation. Fifty-six SRNAs were surveyed using a modified version of Dr. Anthony Chipas’ tool for measuring SRNA stress. Thirty-seven surveys were returned for a response rate of 66.1%. The sample group (n=26) consisted of participants who had a peer mentor. These results were compared with the control group (n=11) who did not have a peer mentor. Independent sample t-tests, a Kruskal-Wallis test, and descriptive analysis were performed. An independent sample t-test revealed a statistically significant difference between the mean daily stress levels of the mentored group (M=5.46, SD +1.48) and non-mentored group (M=6.73, SD+1.56), t(35)=2.35, p=0.025. This finding would imply that mentoring is effective at decreasing stress in SRNAs. However, this study lacked an adequate sample size to retain confidence in the result. Although the researcher cannot be confident in the statistical significance of the data, the data supports the hypothesis that peer mentoring may decrease stress levels in SRNAs.