Meditation's Effect on Attentional Efficiency, Stress, and Mindfulness Characteristics of Nursing Students

J Nurs Educ. 2017 Jul 1;56(7):430-434. doi: 10.3928/01484834-20170619-08.


Background: Strengthening attention-regulation efficiency of nurse graduates is important to the quality and safety of nursing practice in increasingly complex and cognitively distracting workplaces. Neuroscientific evidence suggests that regular practice of focused meditation can enhance attentional skills. This study explored meditation as an educational strategy for enhancing nursing students' attentional efficiency.

Method: A randomized-control trial with 52 prelicensure nursing students examined differences between those who meditated and those who did not on measurements of alerting, orienting, and executive attention. Stress and mindfulness were also explored.

Results: Meditation demonstrated moderate strength for enhancing executive attention, F = 4.26 (1, 49), n2 = .080, p = .044. Additional outcomes specific to the meditation group were reduced stress and increased mindfulness, F = 7.16 (2, 47), n2 = .234, p = .002.

Conclusion: Results support the consideration of meditation training as a strategy for enhancing nursing students' attentional efficiency and other self-regulatory skills necessary for safe nursing practice. [J Nurs Educ. 2017;56(7):430-434.].

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention
  • Burnout, Professional / prevention & control
  • Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meditation / psychology*
  • Mindfulness*
  • Occupational Health
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control*
  • Students, Nursing / psychology*
  • Young Adult