Date of Award


Document Type



College of Nursing

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Project Mentor

Heather DePuydt


Malia Alexander


Background and Problem Statement

Compassion fatigue and burnout are commonly experienced by healthcare professionals due to working in stressful situations while utilizing their sense of self in the provision of care (Baguley et al., 2020; Lee et al., 2019; Zhang et al., 2018). Compassion fatigue and burnout are attributed to high turnover rates seen in the nursing field, estimated to reach 400,000 by 2025 (Brown et al., 2018). In addition to the financial burden incurred by healthcare systems, burnout can have detrimental health consequences for the nurses (Ameli et al., 2020; Lee et al., 2019; Pospos et al., 2018). Although most employers provide access to employee assistance programs and promote self-care, accessible and effective stress reduction strategies are rarely used in real-time. Addressing these issues through the implementation of strategies and supportive programs rooted in mindfulness has the potential to decrease burnout and improve retention (Brown et al., 2018). The need to address these issues inspires the following question: Does implementation of a mindfulness-based intervention in the workplace reduce the development of compassion fatigue and burnout among nurses and other healthcare professionals?

Purpose and Aims

The purpose of this project was to implement and evaluate a mindfulness-based intervention for high-risk providers in a long-term healthcare facility. The aims of this project were: (a) to assess a baseline level of compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue, which includes burnout and secondary traumatic stress, among the healthcare staff members; (b) to implement an effective and accessible mindfulness-based intervention; and (c) reduce the negative implications related to compassion fatigue and burnout.


Project design and setting. Quality improvement with a quasi-experimental pre and post-test design in a long-term care skilled nursing facility in King County.

Participants and recruitment. Participants included certified nursing assistants, registered nurses, and other allied health professionals. The project was introduced to prospective participants during daily team huddles. Invitations to participate along with informed consent were conducted via work email.

Intervention. A mindfulness intervention was delivered via the mobile application Headspace, which introduces techniques that could be utilized in real time during work hours.

Data collection and Results. Data was collected via a combination of qualitative and quantitative questions and the use of a pre and post-intervention administration of the Professional Quality of Life Scale (ProQOL) Version 5 to measure compassion satisfaction, burnout, and secondary traumatic stress. Data was analyzed following the completion of the interviews and surveys. Trends in the pre- to post-intervention ProQOL scores indicated increased compassion satisfaction and decreased burnout and secondary traumatic stress among project participants.

Implications for Practice

This project provided findings regarding the current levels of burnout and compassion fatigue experienced by patient-facing staff members and provided effective mindfulness-based strategies that can be utilized to actively mitigate stress and promote resiliency in the workplace. These findings should prompt future allocation of resources toward the reduction of burnout and compassion fatigue at the organizational level.