Over the past few years, researchers, led by Professor Kim Foster and the NorthWestern Mental Health (NWMH) Mental Health Nursing Research Unit, have been conducting a world-first randomised controlled trial of a resilience program with mental health nurses at NWMH/Royal Melbourne Hospital.
Promoting Resilience in Nurses (PRiN) is an evidence-based program originally developed at Queensland University of Technology and tailored for mental health nurses. This program aims to:
- help improve nurses’ mental health and wellbeing
- build their skills in managing stress
- improve their relationships and management of conflict
- promote their capacity for post-traumatic growth
- support them to be resilient in the face of stress at work and in their personal lives.
Like other research projects, the study was significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and was delayed during 2020. However, researchers have now completed data collection after recruiting 144 registered and enrolled nurses into the trial.
The research team is now analysing the findings.
Preliminary analysis indicates promising findings in respect to staff wellbeing and turnover intention outcomes. Participants reported improvements in their communication and problem-solving skills, managing stress, and recommended the program be offered to all nurses, from graduates to experienced staff.
‘I spoke about it [the program] at our team meeting … everybody thought it was a good idea and everybody agreed that it was necessary for nurses to focus on some resilience.’
‘I have nearly three years of experience now, yet I found it [the program] really helpful… for new nurses, if they can have this program it would be really amazing.’
‘I think that this program should be offered more broadly. I think every single nurse should be offered an opportunity to be part of this program. Because it’s really good.’
The complete report will be released in 2023.
The research project is funded by the Australian Research Council, in partnership with ANMF (Vic Branch), HACSU, and the Victorian Department of Health.