Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Committee Chair

Brittany Graham


Medical-surgical nurses are consumed by providing care to patients and families and often forget to care for themselves. Compassion fatigue can lead to lack of caring for one’s self in the nurse’s life. The purpose of this thesis was to examine the existence of compassion fatigue among medical-surgical nurses and determine the correlation between the range of years of nursing experience and range of age in years. A review of the literature has identified that nurses should practice self-care to combat compassion fatigue. The theoretical framework was based on Jean Watson’s Theory of Transpersonal Caring. The Professional Quality of Life (ProQol-5) scale was a 30-question survey used to examine the existence of compassion fatigue among a group of medical-surgical nurses working on two medical-surgical units in an urban acute care hospital. The data collected from the Office 365 forms was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS 2018) software. There were 30 out of 76 medical-surgical nurses that completed the 30 question ProQOL-5 survey. While compassion fatigue was not identified in the study results, there was an identified moderate level of burnout and secondary traumatic stress with ages 21-30 and two to five years of experience. Although these correlations were not significant, they identified an area of potential concern for leadership.

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