Date of Award

January 2022

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Yale University School of Nursing

First Advisor

Joan Kearney

Second Advisor

Mary Ann Camilleri


Retention of newly licensed registered nurses (NLRNs) is crucial to the future success of a thriving nursing workforce. It is well-established that most NLRNs experience stress as they transition from school to work environments leading some to leave the workforce or nursing altogether within their first two years post-graduation. The novel Coronavirus virus (Covid-19) pandemic exacerbated this problem as NLRNs experienced increased stress, fear, exhaustion, uncertainty, and dissatisfaction, further threatening the future of the nursing workforce. The aim of this project was to develop and implement a trauma-informed wellness program in an acute care inpatient hospital, The Registered Nurse Residency Script for the Future (RNRx), to support the NLRNs well-being post-exposure to the traumatic experience of caring for patients with the novel Covid-19 virus. The 6-week RNRx program consisted of three program elements: (1) a Nurse-peer Buddy System; (2) Wellness Check-ins/Decompression huddles and; (3) Celebration/Compassion Circles. Thirty six participants completed the Secondary Traumatic Stress Scale at the beginning and immediately following the end of the 6 week program. Pre and post program results for the overall STSS score were compared using a Welch one-tailed unpaired t test on the R foundation Statistical tool. The results show a statistically significant improvement in the overall well-being of all NLRN participants immediately after RNRx program completion (p= 0.004). The RNRx program can be easily and cost-effectively scaled across this large New England academic health system of five acute care hospitals and in other inpatient environments to support nurse well-being post-trauma. As the program is scaled, long term measurement of program impact on nurse retention is recommended.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access