Nursing ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 4-16-2017


Compassion fatigue and compassion satisfaction are two inter-related concepts. Individuals in helping professions may occasionally face compassion fatigue from giving so much of themselves to others. Compassion fatigue has been studied in a variety of settings: medical, social work, nursing, law enforcement, and fire departments, to name a few. While some researchers have studied nurses, little published work has focused exclusively on nurses who care for specialty pediatric populations. Additionally, there is scant research on whether compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue are associated with patient satisfaction. The purpose of this study was to determine the level of compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue among pediatric nurses and whether there was an association with patient satisfaction. This descriptive study was conducted in a large academic medical center in the Southwestern United States. A convenience sample of 231 nurses working with children in inpatient or outpatient settings completed an online demographic questionnaire and the Professional Quality of Life (ProQOL) 5 tool, which measured compassion satisfaction and two dimensions of compassion fatigue: burnout and secondary traumatic stress. Results of this study showed that the nurses had a moderate to high level of compassion satisfaction, a low level of burnout, and a low to moderate level of secondary traumatic stress. There were no differences in the level of compassion satisfaction or burnout related to demographic characteristics, clinical unit type, or years of experience of nurses. There were no differences in the levels of compassion satisfaction or compassion fatigue based on the levels of patient satisfaction according to unit type.

Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

College of Nursing

First Committee Member (Chair)

Mark Parshall, PhD, RN, FAAN

Second Committee Member

Marie Lobo, PhD, RN, FAAN

Third Committee Member

Geoff Shuster, PhD, RN

Fourth Committee Member

Ryan Jacobson, PhD


compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue, patient satisfaction, nurse sensitive indicators, pediatric nurses



Document Type