Document Type

Final Project

Graduation Date

Spring 5-7-2022

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

First Advisor

Dr. Nick Guenzel



Objective: As caregivers in high-pressure and demanding environments, critical care/intensive care unit (ICU) nurses are at risk for compassion fatigue. The purpose of this study is to explore compassion fatigue and compassion satisfaction levels within ICU specialty nursing at Nebraska Medicine during COVID.

Aims: Four aims were considered throughout the course of the study: 1. How do overall compassion fatigue (CF) and satisfaction (CS) at Nebraska Medicine’s ICU’s compare with national norms? 2. How do (CF) and (CS) levels (mild, moderate, severe) differ between the Intensive Care Units?3. Do years of experience correlate with compassion fatigue levels (mild, moderate, severe)? 4. Does working with COVID-19 patients have any connection to compassion fatigue scores?

Design: The study design is a cross-sectional survey that investigates the level of compassion fatigue and compassion satisfaction in ICU registered nurses at Nebraska Medicine. The study researches the differences and/or connections in levels of compassion fatigue and compassion satisfaction between three factors: intensive care nursing unit, years of experience, and working with COVID patients.

Methods: 64 RN participants took a brief survey and were assessed using the ProQOL measure used to determine mild, moderate, and severe compassion fatigue defined by subunits of burnout (BO) and secondary trauma stress (STS) and compassion satisfaction in professionals at their workplace.

Results: 1) The t-scores for (CF) and (CS) levels had no statistical significance according to the t-scores of compassion fatigue for Nebraska Medicine ICU nurses compared to the national norms. 2) There is no difference between the CF and CS levels (mild, moderate, severe) between the Intensive Care Units at Nebraska Medicine. The majority of the results were mild (CF) and (CS) levels. Years of experience was studied and collected as a categorical variable; however, a chi-square could not be done due to little variation in the data. 4) Pearson’s r demonstrated no correlation between (CF) and (CS) levels for ICU RN’s working with COVID-19 patients.

Conclusion: There were no statistically significant findings between (CF) and (CS) and the variables studied. Implications for this study have the potential to significantly impact standards of patient care and the overall mental health of ICU nurses which can cause financial concerns for the hospital system if high levels of compassion fatigue are present.

Included in

Nursing Commons