Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Document Type

Major Paper


School of Nursing




Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is highly prevalent in the United States, compared to European, Asian, and Latin American countries. Post-traumatic stress can develop through repeated occupational exposure to someone else’s trauma, hearing details of other’s trauma as well as one’s own traumatic events. Nurses are at high risk for developing secondary PTSD due to caring for patients who have suffered life-threatening illnesses or injuries. There is a complex correlation between PTSD and suicide and nurses are also at greater risk of completing suicide versus their non-nursing peers. The Betty Neuman Systems model recommends primary, secondary, and tertiary measures of prevention for health promotion and was used as the theoretical framework to guide this project. There is a paucity of research regarding nurses’ knowledge regarding PTSD, therefore the purpose of this project was to determine if there was a change in nurses’ knowledge regarding primary and secondary PTSD after an educational intervention. Participants consisted of 18 volunteers from a convenience sample of Registered Nurses at Our Lady of Fatima Hospital. A pre-test, post-test educational design was utilized to assess for an increase in nurses’ knowledge. Results indicated there was an overall increase in knowledge by 10.55%. from pre-test to post test; however, a paired t-test was conducted, and the increase was not statistically significant. Literature supports the need to increase the awareness of PTSD in nurses. It can be postulated that there will be an increase in the incidence of PTSD in nurses, post Covid-19. More research is needed to understand resilience factors and preventive treatment. Advance Practice Nurses can focus on prevention and early detection of symptoms, which help alleviate physiological changes and psychological difficulties that may accompany PTSD and mitigate suffering from secondary stress and PTSD.

Included in

Nursing Commons