Learning gratitude

Cindra Holland, associate professor of nursing

Cindra Holland, D.N.P. associate professor of nursing at Wright State University, was a guest on an American Nurses Foundation Gratitude Podcast, hosted by Derek Bell.

The foundation created the podcast as part of its Well-Being Initiative, which supports nurses’ mental health through the pandemic and beyond. Decades of research show that practicing gratitude is highly effective in promoting physical and psychological health both at the individual and organizational levels. The podcast series builds on previous work conducted by the foundation in partnership with the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley.

Holland said she found out about the project from Patricia O’Malley, Ph.D. a nurse scientist with Premier Health. O’Malley was one of approximately 35 persons across the United States who received studied education in gratitude science at UC Berkley and has taught this science and supported the work of the American Nurses Foundation in the development of new podcasts.

When O’Malley was asked to find a faculty member to discuss the possible applications of gratitude science in undergraduate and graduate education for the podcast series, she turned to Holland, with whom she has worked for years through the Sigma Theta Tau (International Honor Society of Nursing) Zeta Phi Chapter at Wright State as well as other projects.

O’Malley said Holland’s wisdom and experience in education and her experience teaching during the pandemic helped to create a valuable podcast for nurse educators across the country.

During their episode, titled “Gratitude and the Nursing Student,” Holland and O’Malley discussed how to create gratitude practices in nursing students, how to get students to adopt self-care and well-being practices early in their career path and how gratitude builds resilience and self-compassion.

“Nursing students like all students ‘took a hit’ during COVID and have not recovered,” said O’Malley.

Holland added that is very important for faculty to identify these issues and come up with strategies to promote gratitude science in nursing education.

O’Malley and Holland recommend the series to nurse educators and nurse residency managers.

“Having a clear discussion on the issues that students may face in practice following graduation will hopefully help them to remain in the profession,” Holland said.

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