Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Committee Chair

Cindy Miller


Student nurses often experience anxiety prior to their psychiatric clinical experience and this anxiety can adversely affect their learning experience and ability to provide optimal nursing care to clients who have psychiatric illnesses. A formal Orientation Program for the Psychiatric Clinical Experience (OP-PCE) was developed to reduce student nurses’ anxiety prior to their psychiatric clinical experience. The OP-PCE was implemented as a component of the routine psychiatric curriculum in a pre-licensure registered nursing program at a university in Southeastern United States of America. Thirty-four student nurses participated in the OP-PCE. The content of the OP-PCE included general orientation information such as confidentiality, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), professional boundaries, therapeutic milieu/relationship/communication, safety issues, overview of psychiatric disorders, self-awareness, and correction of misconceptions and stigma related to psychiatric illnesses. A mirrored pre and post Mental Health Nursing Education (MHNE) Survey was utilized to collect data from participants of the OP-PCE. The MHNE Survey utilized a seven-point Likert-type scale that ranged from (1) = Strongly Disagree to (7) = Strongly Agree. Data analysis revealed that following the intervention of OP-PCE student nurses had significantly less anxiety related to the psychiatric clinical experience. Based upon results from the initial implementation it is recommended that the OP-PCE become a routine component of the psychiatric nursing curriculum.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.