Self-Care Practices of Baccalaureate Nursing Students

J Holist Nurs. 2016 Jun;34(2):185-92. doi: 10.1177/0898010115596432. Epub 2015 Aug 3.


Purpose: The aim of the study was to investigate baccalaureate nursing student perspectives of self-care practices to gain understanding of their value in health promotion.

Design: A descriptive, quantitative tool developed by Chow and Grant Kalischuk (2008), Self-Care & Complementary Therapies Survey, was adapted to measure the self-care practices of nursing students.

Methods: A convenience sample of students (n = 119) enrolled in a 3-year baccalaureate nursing program at a public university were sent the Self-Care & Complementary Therapies Survey online. Fifty-three (44.5%) students participated in the survey. Collection of data occurred over a 30-day period in spring of 2014.

Findings: Year in the program did not appear to impact self-care practices or knowledge of complementary alternative therapies (CAM). Diet, exercise, and sleep correlated with perceived health status. General health by students was rated as 7.18 using a scale from 0 to 10 (O being poor health and 10 excellent). Students reported feeling comfortable caring for clients who use CAM yet rated their knowledge as average.

Conclusion: Although based on a relatively small sample size, the findings support education and interventions addressing areas of general health, diet and hydration, exercise, reduction of stress, and increased knowledge of CAM in baccalaureate nursing.

Keywords: health promotion/disease prevention; nursing; self-care; students.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Complementary Therapies / methods
  • Complementary Therapies / standards
  • Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate / trends*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Self Care / methods*
  • Self Care / trends
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy
  • Students, Nursing / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires