BMC Med Educ 2018 Jan 12;18(1):13. Epub 2018 Jan 12.
School of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Health and Medicine, The University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.
Background: University nursing students experience higher levels of academic stress than those of other disciplines. Academic stress leads to psychological distress and has detrimental effects on well-being. The ability to overcome such adversity and learn to be stronger from the experience is regarded as resilience. Resilience is found to have an impact on learning experience, academic performance, course completion and, in the longer term, professional practice. Resilience and positive coping strategies can resist stress and improve personal well-being. However, the relationship between resilience and well-being remains unexplored in nursing students, which are significant attributes to their academic success and future career persistence.
Methods: The study was a cross-sectional descriptive correlational design. Inclusion criteria for recruitment was students studying pre-registration nursing programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The 10-item Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC-10) and World Health Organisation-5 Well-Being Index (WHO-5) were used to measure resilience and psychological well-being respectively.
Results: A convenience sample of 678 university nursing students was recruited from a university. The mean score of CD-RISC-10 was 24.0. When comparing the resilience levels of undergraduate and postgraduate students, the total scores were found to be 23.8 and 24.9 respectively. There was a statistically significant difference between the groups (p = .020). With regard to perceived well-being, the mean score of WHO-5 was 15.5. There was no significant difference between undergraduates and postgraduates (p = .131). Bivariate analysis showed that self-reported resilience had a medium, positive correlation with perceived well-being (r = .378, p = .000), and senior students had significantly higher level of perceived well-being than junior students (16.0 vs 15.1, p = .003). Multivariable regression analysis on perceived well-being indicated that self-reported resilience emerged as a significant predictor of perceived well-being (regression coefficient B = 0.259; p < .001).
Conclusions: The results demonstrate that nursing students with a high level of resilience have better perceived well-being, and the level of resilience of postgraduates was significantly higher than that of undergraduates. Therefore, educational strategies should be developed in the nursing curriculum and a supportive learning environment should be created to foster resilience in the students.