Increasing Emotional Competence in Nursing and Healthcare

Increasing Emotional Competence in Nursing and Healthcare

Strategies to Combat Low Morale and Increase Resilience

Michelle Dellaria Doas, Ed.D., MSN, RN

Did  you know more than 50% of nurses leave their first professional nursing position within the first five years? And, more than 17% quit within their first year.  

Nurses are at the frontline for direct patient care, and with that comes burnout, compassion fatigue, and an increasing turnover in the nursing workforce. Yet it doesn’t have to be that way.

In her recent book, ‘Increasing Emotional Competence in Nursing and Healthcare’ Registered Nurse Michelle Doas shares case studies and practical steps that nurses, hospital staff and administrators can implement in their daily routines to address the nursing crisis and increase emotional competence. 

The demand upon nurses and managers grows every day with increased patient loads, strict reporting requirements, and technological challenges. Under this pressure, professionalism, civility, and even patient care can suffer. With over four decades of experience as a clinical nurse and nursing educator, Michelle has observed nurses and hospital staff caving to stressful situations, as well as handling situations with grace, positivity and empathy. During that time she built a case for how increasing emotional awareness in nurses can positively impact both the healthcare profession and the patient experience. 

As Michelle says, “A nurse with emotional awareness is better equipped to manage the stress of sad situations, but also more able to draw strength from the positive outcomes that can and do happen on a day-to-day basis.”

Cultivating emotional competence within all areas in nursing, including nursing students, fosters connectedness and mutual respect. In this book, experienced and novice nurses and other hospital staff can learn:

  • How to cultivate emotional competence within all areas of nursing
  • How to practice deliberate kindness to minimize compassion fatigue 
  • Practical steps administrators, managers and supervisors can take within their job setting to support nurses and create empathetic work environments
  • How to be proactive versus reactive to stressful situations
  • How to infuse emotional competence into every aspect of the healthcare field
  • How to find satisfaction in your job again

If you are working as a nurse or studying to become a nurse, pick up your copy of ‘Increasing Emotional Competence in Nursing and Healthcare’ and start practicing the skills to enjoy a long, fulfilling career in healthcare.

CHAPTER 1. Emotional Competence in Nursing Practice

  • Beginning a Nursing Career
  • Emotional Competence and Emotions
  • Author’s Professional Journey


CHAPTER 2. Developing Strategies to Respond Rather than React

  • The Role of Impulsivity
  • Moving Towards More Emotionally Competent Interactions

CHAPTER 3. Empathy

  • HCAHPS Connections: Do Nurse’s play an Integral Role?
  • Nurses and Staff Members Deserve Empathy Too!  
  • Additional Strategies for Building Empathy in Yourself and Those around You


CHAPTER 4. Planning for an Emotionally Competent Clinical Workday

  • Sharon’s Journey & Greta’s Journey


Thanks CHAPTER 5. Emotionally Competent Nurse Educators

  • The Power of Responses
  • Role Modeling in the Clinical Area
  • The Power of Perspective


CHAPTER 6. Interventions for Decreasing Compassion Fatigue and Fostering Professional Value

  • Reflections: To Stay or Leave?  
  • Compassion Fatigue Clinical Example: Ron’s Experiences
  • Invest in Close Positive Relationships


CHAPTER 7. Cultivating Emotional Competence as a Nursing Student


CHAPTER 8. Essential Skills

  • Effective Communication Skills  
  • Emotional Awareness
  • Multi-tasking and Flexibility  
  • Maintaining Focus
  • Problem Solving Skills  
  • Respect
  • Positivity
  • Reigniting Emotional Competence


CHAPTER 9. How to Remain Emotionally Competent While Avoiding Chaos

Author's Note

It is my hope that this book will increase awareness of the power of emotional competence in nursing.

I also wish to instill a constant reminder that nurses are amazing people and professionals.

As a nurse, I have been blessed with many professional roles. During each of these over the course of thirty-five years, one constant was observed: one’s emotional messaging system can be interrupted by multiple variables associated with the environment. For example, receiving a test score inconsistent with studying or capability, a busy and at times chaotic clinical environment, or even an unkind word or interaction. Despite these, nurses must forge ahead and use multiple skills or complete tasks within specified timeframes. The result is many messages that leave the nurse feeling diminished, angry, unheard, and so on. Powerful messages, negative interactions, and feeling professionally diminished can lead to a mismatch between professional self-worth, professional role modeling, and tooting your own horn. Instead, mountains are created out of molehills and the outcome often results in negative feelings for oneself and others. Thus, nurses often miss out on ways to experience inner happiness and strategies for promoting emotionally competent interactions.

In my vast number of experiences in the profession, one of the most consistent and powerful set of experiences directly impeding consistent emotionally competent interactions is related to the power of the spoken word. For example, think of the power of taking time to congratulate yourself or another person in an attempt to promote a mindset that will bring joy, inner peace, and harmony. Nursing is and always will be an amazing profession with limitless opportunities. Nurses are amazing individuals with limitless opportunities.

About Michelle

Michelle Dellaria Doas, Ed.D, MSN, RN has extensive teaching experience in AD, Diploma, Baccalaureate, RN-BSN, MSN and DNP nursing programs. Additionally, Michelle has maintained clinical practice during her entire nursing career beginning in the mid 1980’s. Academically and clinically, Michelle has held a deanship and other various administrative roles. She consistently serves as a professional mentor and preceptor, along with membership on an array of hospital and academic committees.