Date of Paper/Work


Type of Paper/Work

Doctor of Nursing Practice Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice



First Advisor

Alice R. Swan


Doctor of Nursing Practice


There has been an increase in incivility in nursing education. The uncivil behaviors that are demonstrated most frequently are anger, frustration, and disrespect toward others. The uncivil behaviors may be exhibited by nursing faculty or nursing students. The reasons for uncivil behavior are varied and are identified in studies by nurse researchers. While the problem of incivility has been difficult to resolve, it is important to address incivility because it is in fact escalating in nursing education. It is hoped that the integration of caring theories within nursing education will lead to an understanding and expression of caring behaviors, which will decrease incivility.

The purposes of this phenomenological study, Cultivating Caring in Nursing Education, were to obtain personal perspectives and understandings of caring from student nurses and to enrich the nursing curriculum with a caring theory that will heighten trust, communication, and respect.

The current nursing curriculum was enhanced with caring lectures and narrative story-telling. Eighteen students participated in focus groups and answered questions related to caring. The questions were: When you think about caring, what are the first words that come to your mind? What is it to care for self and others? Tell me of a caring action that you witnessed in the school environment this semester? How can you help decrease negative attitudes in school? Tell me how you can demonstrate caring behaviors with students and faculty. Data were analyzed using qualitative thematic analysis.

Themes related caring included “expressing genuine interest in others, listening, being present, providing comfort, and role modeling”. Students were able to describe caring attributes and behaviors in nursing that have been exhibited while in nursing school. The nursing students felt that caring behaviors have been role-modeled by nursing faculty and that they have experienced and developed caring relationships while in school. Nursing educators will be able to promote civility in nursing education and practice by more intentionally incorporating caring in the nursing curriculum and environment.