Document Type

DNP Project


School of Nursing

Date of Degree

Spring 2023


Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Primary Advisor

Dr. Karen Whitt, PhD, APRN, AGN-BC, FNP-C, FAANP


Mental Wellness; Clinical Staff; Respite Rooms; Mindfulness Strategies; Ambulatory Care Settings


Background: Diminished physical and mental wellness of clinical staff leads to poor patient health outcomes and high turnover rates. Providing designated quiet spaces to practice mindfulness can be beneficial to the overall health of healthcare workers, thus, improving compassion fatigue, job satisfaction, and retention of clinical staff.

Aim: This project implemented a respite room in an ambulatory care practice to improve clinical staff’s self-reported ratings of compassion fatigue, compassion satisfaction, and intent to leave their job.

Methods: This quality improvement project used a pre- and post-test design to compare clinical staff ratings of compassion fatigue (burnout and secondary traumatic stress), compassion satisfaction, and anticipated turnover before and after implementing an eight week respite room intervention. Participants completed the Professional Quality of Life-V, Anticipated Turnover Scale, and a questionnaire assessing respite room and mindfulness tool utilization.

Results: Participants (n=47) reported significantly lower burnout scores after implementation of the room (t (45)= 1.858, p=.035). Participants who used the room showed trends for lower mean scores for secondary traumatic stress, compassion fatigue, and anticipated turnover compared to those that did not. More nurses used the room (80%) compared to medical technicians/assistants (41.6%) and the highest reported barrier of using the room was lack of time (89%). Deep breathing exercises were the most used mindfulness strategy (53.3%). Participants who used the room reported significantly lower mean stress levels before room use (M=2.00,SD=0.603) compared to after room use (M=2.92, SD=0.669) (t(11)=11.00, p<0.001).

Recommendations: Implementation of respite rooms in ambulatory settings can improve clinical staff’s mental wellness and job satisfaction.

Open Access


Included in

Nursing Commons



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