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Self-compassion and emotional intelligence in nurses

Authors

  • Mary Heffernan DNP RN,

    Corresponding author
    1. Manager Epidemiology, North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System, North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, New York, USA
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  • Mary T Quinn Griffin PhD RN,

    1. Assistant Professor, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
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  • Sister Rita McNulty DNP RN CNP,

    1. Assistant Professor, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
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  • Joyce J Fitzpatrick PhD RN FAAN

    1. Elizabeth Brooks Ford Professor of Nursing, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
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Mary Heffernan, North Shore University Hospital, 300 Community Drive, Manhasset, NY 11030, USA. Email: mheffern@nshs.edu

Abstract

Heffernan M, Quinn Griffin MT, McNulty SR, Fitzpatrick JJ. International Journal of Nursing Practice 2010; 16: 366–373
Self-compassion and emotional intelligence in nurses

Nurses often provide care for patients and families who are suffering and where emotions are heightened. Compassion is an essential component of the care that nurses provide. Emotions play an important role in the relationship and communication between nurses, patients and families. Self-compassion is the ability to be compassionate to oneself, without this ability nurses might not be prepared to be compassionate to patients. Emotionally intelligent persons perceive themselves as confident, better able to understand, control and manage their emotions. The purpose of this descriptive, correlational study was to examine the relationship between self-compassion and emotional intelligence. Participants were 135 nurses. The setting for this study was a health system with hospitals located in Queens, Nassau and Suffolk counties of New York, USA. Three of the hospitals in the study are located in Queens and/or the Queens/Nassau border. Queens is the most culturally diverse community in the USA. The patients served, as well as the nursing staff, are reflective of this cultural and religious diversity. Results indicated a positive correlation between self-compassion and emotional intelligence (r = 0.55). Recommendations for future research include: exploration of self-compassion and emotional intelligence in nurses, and identification of the benefits of enhancing self-compassion and emotional intelligence in nurses.

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