Date of Award

Spring 5-2024

Document Type

DNP Project

Project Team Faculty Member

Linda Sharpless

Project Team Faculty Member

Kevin Stein

Project Team Faculty Member

Jenna Tebbenkamp


emotional intelligence, nurse anesthesia, simulation, high-fidelity, graduate students


Student registered nurse anesthetists (SRNAs) face many challenges in meeting the rigorous demands of their doctoral-level training. Research demonstrates that high levels of emotional intelligence (EI) contribute to SRNAs’ academic and clinical success and improve patient safety and quality of care. Simulation is emerging as an educational tool to enhance the EI skills of students training in highly stressful professions and demonstrates promising benefits for SRNAs, such as improved decision-making, critical thinking, self-awareness, and self-regulation (Moriber & Beauvais, 2017; Dix et al., 2021). This doctoral project aimed to determine the efficacy of a high-fidelity simulation for strengthening the EI skills of first-year SRNAs at a mid-sized university in the Midwestern United States in preparation for their first clinical rotation. The students completed an introductory session presented by an EI expert and four active learning sessions presented by two second-year SRNAs. The students then divided into groups and participated in a clinically relevant high-fidelity simulation designed to elicit authentic emotions, followed by debriefing. EI levels were evaluated by comparing pre- and post-intervention Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) scores, and surveys collecting subjective data were distributed after the students completed the simulation and their first clinical rotation. MSCEIT results did not reveal any measurable, statistically significant increases in EI abilities; however, survey feedback was positive overall and indicated that the simulation improved students' self-perceived abilities to respond to challenging clinical situations.

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