Students attend a Well-Being Initiative session

Professional Well-Being Experience

Preparing you to face the challenges of providing high-quality patient care in different clinical settings is our most important charge as a nursing school. But the demands of a career in nursing can take a toll on even the hardiest of us, which is why we must also cultivate resilience and self-awareness in the face of adversity and stress.

The Professional Well-Being Experience is designed to develop knowledge and skills to help you cope with stress and adversity in a healthy, proactive way. You will be able to apply what you learn in this initiative to manage the many tasks and deadlines of our program, then carry that knowledge and awareness with you well beyond this program in professional practice.


“We’re preparing our students to take on not only the challenges of providing high-quality care in different clinical settings, but also to tackle the issues of burnout and work-related stress that are causing so many nurses to exit the profession.”

Dean Pamela Jeffries


Wellness Statement

We acknowledge the challenges health care providers face in delivering high-quality patient care across clinical and community settings. The demands of a career in nursing can take a toll emotionally, physically and spiritually, which is why we seek to cultivate resilience and self-awareness in the face of adversity.

We are committed to educating nurses on how to deal with burnout, fatigue and other factors that cause them to leave the profession. By teaching specific coping strategies and mechanisms as part of our Professional Well-Being Experience, we aim to train a generation of nurses that can manage the stress and challenges of an ever-changing health care environment.

Training Resilient Nurses

Practicing resilience in the face of adversity can be challenging, given the rigorous demands of the nursing profession. Preparing nurses to deal with burnout, stress and other factors that cause them to leave the profession can be as important to their success in a nursing career as the clinical skills they learn.

By teaching specific coping strategies and the importance of seeing to your own well-being as well as that of your patients, we aim to train a generation of nurses that can face the stress and challenges of an ever-changing health care environment with resilience.

Completing at least six sessions will result in you receiving a notation on your official transcript stating you have completed the Professional Well-Being Experience.

When and Where

Each of these hourlong sessions will be held in Innovation Hall on our Virginia Science and Technology Campus in Ashburn. You will cover three modules as part of your normal course progression: Transitioning to A Professional Role, Mindfulness and Self Care and Anxiety and Depression. Here, you can learn more about each session and how it can help you develop habits and practices that will improve your well-being not only in this program but beyond into your nursing career.

Mindfulness and Self Care

Nursing care is patient-centered, where we meet them along their life journey. So often we give so much to others and forget to care for ourselves in the process. You must remember that this is your journey too. Providing safe, high-quality patient care is demanding and multi-faceted and a healthy nurse is one who mindfully and proactively creates self-care practices and support systems to support and protect themselves.

Effective Communication and Conflict Resolution

Adaptive versus maladaptive communication strategies can often be misconstrued. This session will provide an opportunity to discuss constructive conflict resolution skill-building using an Interest-Relational Based approach. 

Anxiety and Depression

You’ll review the various types of anxiety-spectrum disorders, diagnostic criteria, nursing and medical management and resources available to assist individuals with these disorders. The depression module types of depressive disorders, diagnostic criteria, nursing and medical management and resources available to assist individuals with these disorders.

Self-care Through the Arts in Health Care

Achieving work-life balance can be tricky. Exploring your own creativity and self-expression through the arts can be a calming and self-revelatory, self-care practice. Even 15 minutes of “me time” spent writing a poem, dancing or playing a favorite instrument can soothe and restore a weary mind.

How to Manage and Cope with Stress

Managing stress is critical to managing the expectations of a fast-paced program as well as being an effective and compassionate nurse. This session will provide useful methods to safeguard against feeling constantly overwhelmed and provide insights into your specific ways of managing stress.

Transitioning to A Professional Role

Transitioning into the demanding role of professional nurse requires discipline, courage, a solid moral and ethical foundation, compassion, and a commitment to lifelong learning. Nurses must be knowledgeable about the economic, political and workplace realities of today’s complex health care environment.

Grit and Resilience

Health care professionals are pros at readiness; we train, drill and prepare to manage any situation. Yet how do we prepare ourselves for the emotional strain of caring for others? Resilience has a genetic component, but we can build our emotional reserve, enhance our grit and get back up when the strong winds of life knock us down.

Grief and Loss

Grief is the natural, normal, necessary and adaptive response to a loss or a life altering transition. It is a process that allows us to let go of that which was and to ready ourselves for that which is to come. It is perhaps our greatest teacher and makes us more fully human. As caregivers, we need to understand this process for the benefit of our patients and ourselves.