Implementation of a Compassion-Based Communication Skills Program for Medical-Surgical/Oncology Nurses

Background: The practice of nursing involves not only clinical competence but also includes the expression of compassionate care through verbal and nonverbal communication. Communication Skills Training (CST) can enhance nurses’ ability to communicate compassionately and thereby improve nurse and patient experiences and outcomes. The purpose of this quality improvement project was to evaluate the effectiveness of a compassion-based communication skills program upon the compassion satisfaction and compassion self-efficacy of nurses who work on a medical-surgical/oncology unit. Local Problem: A national survey conducted by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services found that only 78% of respondents at a 380-bed hospital in central Pennsylvania, along with 43% of respondents evaluating the hospital’s 48-bed medical-surgical/oncology unit, reported that nurses ‘always’ communicated well. Interventions: Thirty-two nurses from a medical-surgical/oncology unit were invited to participate in a CST that included communication strategies using the NURSE acronym. Measures: Outcomes were measured with pre- and post- intervention surveys assessing participants’ self-reports of compassion satisfaction and compassion self-efficacy. Results: Twenty-four nurses participated in this quality improvement project. A statistically significant difference was found between compassion self-efficacy and compassion satisfaction before and immediately after the communication skills training (p=.0007), as well as, four weeks after the intervention (p=.002). The intervention can be easily replicated and sustained in a nurse residency program, while contributing to an organizational goal of attaining Magnet status. Conclusion: A compassion-based CST using communication skills represented by the NURSE acronym was an effective intervention to increase nurse compassion self-efficacy and compassion satisfaction.



Work Title Implementation of a Compassion-Based Communication Skills Program for Medical-Surgical/Oncology Nurses
Open Access
  1. Paula Jean Kustenbauder
  1. DNP Project
  2. Compassion-Based Communication
License CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives)
Work Type Project
  1. Michael M. Evans, Ph.D., M.S.Ed., RN, ACNS, CMSRN, CNE
  2. Marie Boltz, Ph.D., GNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN
  3. Rachel Allen, Ph.D., PMHNP-BC, RNP, RN
Publication Date April 3, 2020
  1. Compassion-Based Communication
  1. English
DOI doi:10.26207/307w-se15
Deposited April 03, 2020




This resource is currently not in any collection.

Work History

Version 1

  • Created
  • Added Kustenbauder_P_Compassion_Based_Communication_Skills_Program_for_Medical_Surgical_Oncology_Nurses.doc.docx
  • Added Creator Paula Jean Kustenbauder
  • Published
  • Updated