Date of Publication


Project Team

Jane Nathan, Ph.D


Background: Baccalaureate nursing students report high levels of stress and anxiety. Chronic stress in nursing students is on the rise and can increase the risk for suicide, depression, burnout, and increased academic attrition.

Objectives: The purpose of this EBP/QI project was to establish baseline stress and anxiety levels for senior baccalaureate nursing students and to evaluate the effectiveness of implementing the Benson Henry Institute (BHI) SMART program with nursing students.

Methods: Senior nursing students (n=32) self-selected into either the control or SMART group. The SMART group participated in 8 weekly 1.5 hour SMART sessions during the fall, 2020 semester. All sessions were conducted over Zoom due to the pandemic. Project participants’ baseline stress and anxiety were measured before and after the SMART training.

Results: At the start of the project, both the SMART and control groups endorsed mild to moderate stress and anxiety levels. Post intervention, SMART participants (n=14) showed a statistically significant decrease in stress and anxiety levels (p

Conclusion: Nursing student baseline stress and anxiety levels were mild to moderate. The SMART program easily adapted to virtual format. Nursing students viewed this program favorably and reported lower stress and anxiety levels with the use of SMART strategies. Future research is needed to establish baseline stress and anxiety levels of all nursing students, and feasibility of incorporating virtual or live SMART into the nursing curriculum.

Document Type