Increasing Emotional Intelligence in Online RN-BSN Students: Is It Possible?

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Vol: 3, Issue: 1

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Stamer, Karie
emotional intelligence; nursing education; RN-BSN; online learning; Nursing; Online and Distance Education
conference paper description
Emotional intelligence (EI) is an essential component to nursing practice and research suggests it can be increased through targeted teaching strategies (Cherry, Fletcher & O’Sullivan, 2013; Freshwater & Stickley, 2004), yet no research has been done within the setting of online RN-BSN education. The purpose of this non-experimental pretest posttest pilot study utilizing retrospective data was to examine the impact EI education has on the EI levels of online RN-BSN students enrolled in a nursing program in the Midwest. The Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire - Short Form (TEIQue-SF) was used as the pretest and posttest tool. The pretest was completed during an orientation course to the online RN-BSN program and the posttest was completed at the end of the first nursing course. The educational strategies in the first nursing course included a unit on EI, reflective discussions and journaling, and a service project with reflective writing. Data analysis of a consecutive sample (N = 14) demonstrated the difference between the means of the pretest and posttest scores were not statistically significant with a p ≤ .05. Although the mean scores were not statistically significant (p = .218 two-tailed), the majority of the students increased their EI scores between the pretest and posttest. Recommendations for future research and implications for nursing practice and education are discussed.