Date of Award

8-2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Dianne Cooney-Miner

Second Supervisor

Susan Schultz

Abstract

The aim of this study is to explore the resiliency characteristics of expert Emergency Department nurses. Emergency Departments (ED) are highly acute patient care environments which are often unpredictable. Nurses are one of the key components to understanding the criticality and breadth of patient care needs while addressing them in the most efficient way. Thus, nursing turnover poses a significant stumbling block to ED leaders who desire to preserve a seasoned and competent nursing workforce. Resiliency theory has evolved over the years, identifying individual characteristics that allow people to overcome stressful events. The emergency nursing profession includes nurses who have successfully remained in this specialty for a long period of time despite the daily stressful challenges the environment fosters. This study investigates whether emergency nurses harbor resiliency characteristics. In this qualitative directed content analysis study, we have explored the resiliency characteristics of ED nurses guided by the theory of the seven characteristics of highly resilient people as described by Everly, McCormack, and Strouse (2012). In this research study, resiliency characteristics were found among the sixteen expert ED nurses. Resiliency may be adapted and fostered in ED nurses to combat turnover. Promoting resiliency programs not only in Emergency Departments, but across entire acute care organizations can be an effective intervention for the future.

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