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
To explore the relationship between EI, gender, age, programme of study,
previous caring experience and mindfulness training.
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.
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.
Relationships between variables were tested using non-parametric tests.
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].
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
- Emotional Intelligence;
- nursing and midwifery