Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Department

Nursing

Thesis Committee Chairperson

Lisa Ball, PhD, RN, FNP-BC

Second Reader

Christina Coyle, M.B.A, MS

Abstract

Background: An abundance of current literature supports the importance of the application of emotional intelligence (EI) in critical care nursing. Purpose: The purpose of the study was to explore the EI of critical care nurses to promote the field of study related to trait emotional intelligence.

Method: A quantitative, descriptive survey design was used for this study. The pen-and-paper surveys included Petrides’s Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire-Short Form (TEIQue-SF; Petrides, 2007) and a series of demographic items. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), Version 23 was the program used to analyze the data.

Findings: Sixty-five critical care nurses completed the survey resulting in a 59.6 percent response rate. Participants’ ages ranged from 23 to 62 years old with a mean of 37.5 years. Participants included eight male and 57 female critical care nurses. Over half of the participants held a bachelor degree in nursing (55.4%), and the majority were married (56.9%). Participants’ years of experience in critical care ranged from six months to 40 years with a mean of 8.19 years. There was a relatively large number of participants practicing in critical care for one year or less (n=16, 24.6%). The global trait emotional intelligence scores ranged from 3.73 to 6.70 with a mean score of 5.23. The hypothesis that critical care nurses have high emotional intelligence scores was not supported by the study since a high EI is considered to be greater than 5.44 and only 20% of the sample scored higher than 5.44.

Conclusions: The results of the study revealed moderate level EI scores among critical care nurses. Management needs to impact the environment through investigation, education, and skilled practice in EI to influence critical care nurses’ compassionate and supportive care. Further research related to the correlates of EI is recommended.

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