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Document Type

DNP - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Linda Burdette


Rural, Burnout, Healthcare, Nursing


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine if education on maintaining provider wellness and preventing burnout would have positive effects on self-assessed burnout scores for rural healthcare providers. The goal of this project was to improve provider sense of personal accomplishment, while decreasing emotional exhaustion and depersonalization.
Review of the Literature: A thorough review of the literature was conducted. The research revealed that mindfulness-based interventions have consistently improved burnout symptoms across a variety of professions (Lamothe, Rondeua, Malboeuf-Hurtubise, Duval, & Sultan, 2016). Mindfulness is defined as “intentional present-moment awareness without judgment” (Goodman & Schorling, 2012, pp. 120). Mindfulness-based interventions were developed to guide practitioners in the practices of meditation to be more present and reteach reactions that are more productive to managing stress (Fortney, Luchterhand, Zakletskaia, Zgierska, & Rakel, 2013). Mackenzie, Poulin, & Seidman-Calrson (2006) and Poulin, Mackenzie, Soloway, & Karayolas (2008) found positive results using a brief, 4-week mindfulness intervention. Summary of the Project: The project was carried out in a rural community health center system in a Midwest state. 41 MDs, PAs, and NPs completed baseline demographic, Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) and Applied Mindfulness Process Scale (AMPS) surveys. The MBI measures burnout in terms of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment (Maslach, Jackson, & Leiter, 1996). The AMPS measures utilization of mindfulness techniques (Li, Black, & Garland, 2015). Upon completion of the baseline surveys, participants were emailed handouts on mindfulness and recorded guided activities every week for 4 weeks. Topics included awareness, barriers, and coping strategies as well as exercises on body scans, mindful stretching, and mindful breathing. At the end of the 4 weeks, the MBI and AMPS were re-administered.
Findings: Pre- and post-test data were evaluated using the general linear model. Clinically significant results were obtained for emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and applied mindfulness. Statistically significant results were not obtained.
Implications for NPs: The need for primary care providers continues to increase, especially in rural areas, and NPs are filling these crucial roles. Practicing in rural areas is filled with challenges. High burnout rates are often seen in rural providers as a result of these difficulties (Haggerty, Fields, Selby-Nelson, Foley, & Shrader, 2013). NPs not only need to have the tools to take care of themselves, but they also need the knowledge to help improve wellbeing for the entire rural workforce.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Burn out (Psychology) -- Prevention
Rural Health services
Medical personnel -- Job stress


Includes bibliographical references (pages 40-47)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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