Honors Program

University Honors, Honors in Nursing

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Leigh Powers

Thesis Professor Department


Thesis Reader(s)

Katherine Hall, Daniel Hedden


Nurses are caregivers who are instrumental in improving patient outcomes through providing hands-on care and health education. In addition to performing prescribed interventions and providing instruction to patients, nurses can also have a positive impact by modeling healthy behaviors for their patients (Blake & Harrison, 2012). Nurses educate patients on the importance of maintaining healthy habits such as eating well, getting enough sleep and exercise, and avoiding alcohol and drug use; however, studies demonstrate that nurses have similar difficulty maintaining healthy lifestyles as the general population’s and in some cases are even more prone to develop problems with unhealthy habits. This discrepancy in knowledge versus behaviors may be due to high levels of occupational stress, struggles with balancing life and work, and added strain from working extended shifts (Marchiondo, 2014). This perceived discrepancy may negatively impact the patient-nurse relationship as patients may be less likely to follow the health advice of someone who does not appear to apply their own recommendations for healthy living (Zapka, Lemon, Magner, & Hale, 2009). Exploring how the patient views the nurse’s role is critical to determining if patients perceive nurses as one dimensional in their role as caregivers or if nurses’ care and personal appearances or behaviors impact patient health, care, and wellness. The results may identify a barrier to treatment requiring additional education for nurses regarding expanded role development and improving patient health.


East Tennessee State University

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Withheld

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Included in

Nursing Commons