Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Document Type

Major Paper


School of Nursing



Date of Original Version



Stress in the nursing professional and in nursing students is well documented in the literature. However, the extent to which it occurs and the means of coping with stress vary. Family responsibilities, finances, and academia have been identified as main stressors for graduate school nurses. It is important to establish coping mechanisms that address the two hemispheres of stress, due to the physiological and psychological effects on the body. The purpose of this study was to develop a stress management education session for Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) students enrolled in their initial clinical rotation at Rhode Island College (RIC). The education session consisted of a review of stress and coping methods, followed by the instruction of two stress management techniques: paced-breathing meditation (PBM) and relaxation/diaphragmatic breathing. A pre and post survey researcher developed method was utilized to evaluate the effects of the intervention on perceived stress levels. A convenience sample of six students participated in the intervention, course evaluation and pre-survey, and five students responded to the post-survey. The intervention did result in an overall mean reduction of PSS-10 scores of 2.2 points, indicating a decrease in perceived stress.

Included in

Nursing Commons