Effects of Relaxation Techniques on Nursing Students' Academic Stress and Test Anxiety

J Nurs Educ. 2019 Sep 1;58(9):534-537. doi: 10.3928/01484834-20190819-07.


Background: This mixed-methods study examined the effects of relaxation techniques on first-year baccalaureate nursing (BSN) students' academic stress, test anxiety, and intention to stay in the nursing profession.

Method: To evaluate the effects of using relaxation techniques, 45 students participated in a 6-week relaxation technique intervention and a focus group. A pretest was disseminated the first week of class and a posttest was disseminated at the end of the semester, followed by a focus group interview.

Results: The paired-sample t test indicated that students who used relaxation techniques significantly decreased in academic stress and test anxiety. A thematic analysis of the focus group interview indicated relaxation techniques prior to examinations helped to reduce mental and physical stress and fear of failure and increased the likelihood of their intention to stay in the nursing profession.

Conclusion: Institutional learning experiences that reduce students' academic stress and test anxiety can include relaxation techniques. [J Nurs Educ. 2019;58(9):534-537.].

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / prevention & control*
  • Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate
  • Educational Measurement
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Nursing Education Research
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Relaxation Therapy*
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control*
  • Students, Nursing / psychology*
  • Treatment Outcome