Date of Award


Degree Type

Evidence-Based Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Julie A. Koch


Historically, nursing has been perceived as a highly rewarding profession. Yet, due to the increasing complexity of today’s healthcare, nurses are faced with greater challenges in their work environments. Registered nurses who work in tertiary care settings are exposed to disturbing patient situations including trauma, death, abuse, or chronic disease. Joinson (1992) described this experience as compassion fatigue and symptoms include headaches, short attention span, or fatigue. A review of literature has identified that nurses should be educated about risk factors and coping strategies to combat compassion fatigue. Guided by the Model for Evidence-Based Practice Change and Jean Watson’s Theory of Transpersonal Caring, the purpose of this EBP project was to increase awareness about compassion fatigue risks, symptoms, and coping mechanisms through educational training for registered nurses in an effort to decrease levels of compassion fatigue. Educational training was designed to take place face-toface with participants and incorporated a PowerPoint presentation developed by the project manager, which was presented to medical-surgical staff nurses at a 526-bed level II trauma center in Northern Indiana. Project evaluation included the use of the Professional Quality of Life Scale (ProQOL-V), which measured secondary traumatic stress (i.e., compassion fatigue), burnout, and compassion satisfaction. Results were analyzed utilizing one-way repeated measures ANOVA, which demonstrated no statistical significance in reduction of compassion fatigue. However, a reduction in compassion fatigue scores was noted overtime: pre-intervention M = 20.7, immediate post-intervention M = 20.6, 1-month post-intervention M = 18.8, and 3-month postintervention M = 17.9. The small sample size of this EBP project potentially impacted the ability to achieve statistical significance. It is recommended that future research and EBP projects focus on CF education within larger, more diverse nursing populations.