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Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Background:The current rise in employment is improving forecasts for the future supply of registered nurses; however sizeable shortages are still projected. With the intention of improving academic success in nursing students, related factors need to be better understood.

Objectives: The purpose of the correlational study was to describe the relationship between emotional intelligence, psychological empowerment, resilience, spiritual well-being, and academic success in undergraduate and graduate nursing students.

Design/setting: A descriptive correlational design was utilized. The study was set in a private Catholic university.

Participants: There were 124 participants. There were 59% undergraduate and 41% graduate students.

Methods: Background data, in addition to the Spreitzer Psychological Empowerment Scale, the Wagnild and

Young Resilience Scale, and the Spiritual Well-Being Scale and the Mayer –Salovey–Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test, was collected from students who met study criteria.

Results: In a combined sample, academic success was correlated with overall spiritual well-being, empowerment and resilience. Although academic success was not correlated with overall emotional intelligence, it was correlated with the emotional intelligence branch four (managing emotions) score.When undergraduate and graduate students were considered separately, only one correlation was found to be significantly related to academic success in the undergraduate sample, namely, emotional intelligence branch one (perceiving emotions). When examining the data from just graduate level nurses, significant relationshipswere found between total emotional intelligence with academic success, resilience with academic success, and psychological empowerment with academic success.

Conclusion: The significant relationship between psychological empowerment, resilience, spiritual well-being and academic success in this study supports the statements in the literature that these concepts may play an important role in persistence through the challenges of nursing education. Research is needed to examine if strategies to enhance empowerment, resilience, and spiritual well-being can increase academic success in a test-retest design.


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