Background: Although student nurses are expected to demonstrate and show understanding of compassion in their learning and practice, literature suggests that this is not always the case. To address this, nursing students need to be introduced to the value and behaviours of compassion during their education.
Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of an online course to help nursing students develop their strengths and further validate the Bolton Compassion Strengths Indicators.
Design: A pre-and post-mixed methods non-randomised pilot study. Setting: A university in the north west of England. Participants: A sample of first year undergraduate nursing students (67), in two groups, with 33 in the online control and 34 in the on-site group.
Methods: Both groups took part in the Short Compassion Strengths Course (SCSC). The online group took the course in their own time over a 3-week period, while the on-site group completed the course during their time at University. In both groups baseline assessments were carried out using the Bolton Compassion Strengths Indicator (BCSI). Post-test data were collected 3 weeks after in the online group and immediately after in the on-site group, for the BCSI and reflective accounts. Data were analysed using ANOVA in SPSS27. Results: The online group did not complete the course but filled out the questionnaires. The on-site group had significantly higher scores on all indicators but self-care and engagement.
Conclusions: The SCSC is an effective course for teaching and developing compassion strengths when delivered on-site. This paper adds further validity for the BCSI.
- Comparison group
- Compassion strengths
- Student nurse