Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Nursing students' perception of spiritual awareness after participating in a spirituality project
by Barber, Jacklyn R., Ed.D., College of Saint Mary, 2008, 270; 3315149
Abstract (Summary)

The approach to holistic care is often fragmented due to the complexity of providing spiritual care for patients. Research indicated that significant number of patients have a desire to have their spiritual needs met. Nurses often indicated feelings of being unprepared and uncomfortable addressing spiritual issues with patients. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was designed to explore nursing students' perceived spiritual meaning as a result of participating in a spirituality project. The rationale for this study stems from the researcher's desire to explore valuable teaching strategies to provide students better understanding of one's own spirituality and understanding on how it can impact the holistic care they give to patients. It was the researcher's assumptions that by understanding one's own spirituality provides an awareness of others' spirituality.

The purposefully selected sample was composed of N=11 baccalaureate senior nursing students who completed a spirituality workshop and conducted an oral history on a patient. The primary data collection method was in-depth interviews. The data were analyzed using NVivo7 computer program for qualitative data. The analysis and interpretation of findings were organized by the four interpretive categories: (a) nursing students' perception of listening to someone tell their life story, (b) patients' perception of telling someone their life story, (c) the impact of the spirituality workshop that included an oral history project had on the nursing students, and (d) the impact the project had on the care nursing students provide.

This research discovered that nursing students did become aware of their own spirituality and that by participating in a spirituality workshop and oral history project increased their comfort and understanding of the importance of providing spiritual care. Students made a unique connection with their patients by engaging in mutual self awareness, self reflection, and sharing. The experience was meaningful in that it promoted personal awareness, professional awareness, and spiritual awareness. The patients also described the experience as meaningful by offering a means to leaving their legacy and promoted spiritual awareness.

Recommendations for further study include exploring nursing students' meaning of spirituality and evaluating the effectiveness of innovated teaching strategies for nursing faculty.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hawkins, Peggy
Commitee: Morin, Patrica, Stoecklin, Carol
School: College of Saint Mary
Department: Health Professions
School Location: United States -- Nebraska
Source: DAI-B 69/07, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Nursing
Keywords: Nursing, Nursing education, Nursing students, Spiritual awareness, Spirituality
Publication Number: 3315149
ISBN: 978-0-549-64244-2
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