The Relationship Between Emotional Intelligence, Previous Caring Experience and Mindfulness in Student Nurses and Midwives: A Cross Sectional Analysis

Rosie Stenhouse, Austyn Snowden, Jenny Young , Fiona Carver, Hannah Carver, Norrie Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background
Emotional Intelligence (EI), previous caring experience and mindfulness
training may have a positive impact on nurse education. More evidence is
needed to support the use of these variables in nurse recruitment and
retention.

Objective
To explore the relationship between EI, gender, age, programme of study,
previous caring experience and mindfulness training.

Design
Cross sectional element of longitudinal study.
Setting & Participants.
938 year one nursing, midwifery and computing students at two Scottish HEIs
who entered their programme in September 2013.

Data
Participants completed a measure of ‘trait’ EI: Trait Emotional Intelligence
Questionnaire Short Form (TEIQue-SF); and ‘ability’ EI: Schutte’s (1998)
Emotional Intelligence Scale (SEIS). Demographics, previous caring
experience and previous training in mindfulness were recorded.

Methods
Relationships between variables were tested using non-parametric tests.

Results
Emotional intelligence increased with age on both measures of EI [TEIQ-SF
H(5)=15.157 p=0.001; SEIS H(5)=11.388, p=0.044]. Females (n=786) scored
higher than males (n=149) on both measures [TEIQ-SF, U = 44,931, z = -
4.509, p < .001; SEIS, U = 44,744, z = -5.563, p < .001]. Nursing students
scored higher that computing students [TEIQ-SF H(5) = 46,496, p < .001;
SEIS H(5)=33.309, p<0.001. There were no statistically significant differences
in TEIQ-SF scores between those who had previous mindfulness training
(n=50) and those who had not (n=857) [U = 22,980, z = 0.864, p =0.388].
However, median SEIS was statistically significantly different according to
mindfulness training [U = 25,115.5, z = 2.05, p = .039]. Neither measure
demonstrated statistically significantly differences between those with (n=492)
and without (n=479) previous caring experience, [TEIQ-SF, U = 112, 102, z =
0.938, p = .348; SEIS, U=115,194.5, z=1.863, p=0.063].

Conclusions
Previous caring experience was not associated with higher emotional
intelligence. Mindfulness training was associated with higher ‘ability’ emotional
intelligence. Implications for recruitment, retention and further research are
explored.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152–158
JournalNurse Education Today
Volume35
Issue number1
Early online date20 Sep 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sep 2014
EventResearch and Innovation in the Recruitment and Retention of Pre-registration Nursing and Midwifery Students - Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 13 Feb 201413 Feb 2014

Keywords

  • Emotional Intelligence;
  • caring
  • mindfulness
  • recruitment
  • nursing and midwifery
  • attributes
  • ability
  • trait

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