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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 72-81

Emotional intelligence levels in baccalaureate-prepared early career registered nurses


Division of Nursing, University of Mary, Bismarck, ND, USA

Correspondence Address:
Glenda S Reemts
Division of Nursing, University of Mary, Bismarck, ND
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2347-5625.157573

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Objective: The increasing complexity of the healthcare environment calls for increasing emotional intelligence (EI) competence in nurses. This study assessed the EI competence of 164 baccalaureate nursing alumni who graduated during the years 2007-2010 from three Benedictine institutions located in the Midwestern United States to see if there was growth of EI with experience as a registered nurse (RN), and to determine if age, gender, grade point average (GPA), and years of total healthcare work experience prior to graduation predicted EI. Methods: Participants completed the web-based Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) and a demographic survey. Results: Findings indicated 79.4% of participants were competent or higher on the MSCEIT total EI score. Percentages of nurses scoring in the competent or higher range on each of the four branch scores of perceiving, using, understanding and managing emotions were 80.6%, 72.7%, 84.2%, and 84.9% respectively. There were no significant differences on EI scores between graduates with 1-2 years compared to 3-5 years of experience as a RN. Results of a linear stepwise regression indicated being female was a significant predictor on the MSCEIT total EI score (P = 0.015) and using emotions branch (P = 0.047). Findings also indicated GPA (P < 0.001) and being female (P = 0.023) were significant predictors of EI on the understanding emotions branch. Conclusions: The findings indicate there is work to be done to improve the EI competence of nursing graduates. Continued research on the topic of EI and nursing is needed to build the knowledge base on how to promote positive patient outcomes.


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