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Mental Toughness in Nursing Professional Training and Practice for Excellent Performance and Sustainable National Development


In this quantitative survey research study, a structured questionnaire was employed to collect data from a sample of 120 respondents in the nursing profession. The research aimed to investigate mental toughness in nursing professional training and practice for excellent performance and sustainable national development. Data collected from the respondents were processed and analyzed using SPSS27. The study employed t-tests to test the hypotheses, and the subsequent findings, conclusions, and recommendations are discussed herein. The study yielded significant results. It was found there is mental toughness in nursing professional training and practice for excellent performance and sustainable national development, as respondents strongly agreed or agreed with this proposition. In conclusion, investing in the development of mental toughness in nursing professionals, both through training and practice, is a strategic and sustainable approach for enhancing healthcare quality, workforce retention, and achieving national development goals. Recognizing and valuing the mental toughness of nursing professionals is not only a testament to their dedication and commitment but also a critical factor in ensuring the health and well-being of the nation’s citizens and the sustainable development of the healthcare sector.



Chapter one


Background of the study

Mental toughness is a vital attribute in the field of nursing that can significantly impact the quality of healthcare delivery, especially in a country like Nigeria, where healthcare infrastructure and resources may be limited. This study will investigate the importance of mental toughness in nursing, its role in professional training, and its contribution to excellent performance and sustainable national development in Nigeria.

Nursing is a demanding profession, with nurses often facing high-stress situations, long working hours, and emotional challenges. Mental toughness equips nurses with the resilience to thrive in these conditions and continue providing quality care (Jackson et al., 2016).

Nigeria’s healthcare system often grapples with resource shortages, and nurses need to adapt to working in such conditions. Mental toughness helps nurses to stay focused, innovative, and resourceful in delivering care (Bamgboye & Fasokun, 2017).

Nursing schools should incorporate mental toughness training in their curricula. This can include stress management techniques, emotional intelligence development, and strategies for coping with adversity (Shirey et al., 2019).

Practical experiences in the form of clinical rotations and internships provide opportunities for nursing students to develop mental toughness by facing real-life challenges and learning to adapt and persevere (Fealy et al., 2017).

Nurses with mental toughness are better equipped to provide comprehensive and compassionate care, even under adverse conditions, which leads to improved patient outcomes (Gerdenitsch et al., 2015).

Mentally tough nurses are more likely to find innovative solutions to healthcare challenges, contributing to improved healthcare quality and efficiency (Jackson et al., 2016).

Mental Toughness for Sustainable National Development in Nigeria:

Reduced Nurse Burnout: Mental toughness can mitigate the risk of nurse burnout, improving staff retention and, in turn, healthcare service sustainability (Oyefolu, 2017).

Improved Disaster Response: In a country prone to natural disasters and epidemics, mentally tough nurses are better prepared to respond effectively, contributing to national resilience (Onigbinde et al., 2017).

Mental toughness is an essential quality in nursing that plays a pivotal role in professional training and practice. In Nigeria, where healthcare challenges are prevalent, developing mentally tough nurses is crucial for achieving excellent performance and sustainable national development. Incorporating mental toughness training in nursing education, fostering resilience, and adapting to resource limitations can lead to better healthcare outcomes and a stronger healthcare system, ultimately contributing to Nigeria’s progress and development.

Statement of the problem

In the context of the Nigerian healthcare system, which faces numerous challenges, the mental toughness of nurses emerges as a critical issue that warrants attention. Despite the importance of mental toughness in nursing professional training and practice, several pressing problems hinder its development and application, ultimately affecting the quality of healthcare delivery and the sustainable national development of Nigeria.

Nigeria’s healthcare system often operates under severe resource constraints, including shortages of staff, medical supplies, and infrastructure. Nurses working in such conditions face excessive workloads, long working hours, and inadequate support systems. These factors create a high-stress environment that can strain the mental toughness of nurses, impacting their performance and well-being.

Nursing education and training programs in Nigeria often fall short in equipping students and practicing nurses with the necessary mental toughness skills. The absence of formal mental toughness training leaves healthcare professionals ill-prepared to deal with the emotional and psychological challenges they encounter daily.

Nurse burnout is a pervasive issue in Nigeria, exacerbated by the challenging work environment. A lack of mental toughness can contribute to high rates of burnout, which, in turn, negatively impacts nurse retention. The constant turnover of nursing staff undermines the sustainability of healthcare services in the country.

The mental toughness of nurses directly affects the quality of patient care. Emotional and psychological stress can lead to reduced empathy, job dissatisfaction, and errors in patient care. As a result, healthcare outcomes may suffer, undermining the overall health and well-being of the Nigerian population.

Nigeria frequently faces national emergencies, such as disease outbreaks and natural disasters. Mental toughness is crucial for nurses responding to these crises, yet the lack of preparedness in this regard can hinder the country’s ability to effectively manage and mitigate such situations.

Objective of the study

The objectives of the study are to:

  1. Assessing the current level of mental toughness among nursing professionals in Nigeria.
  2. Identifying the factors that contribute to mental toughness or its absence in the nursing profession.
  3. Analyzing the relationship between mental toughness and the quality of healthcare provided by nursing professionals.

1.4 Research Questions

The following research hypotheses are formulated:

  1. What is the current level of mental toughness among nursing professionals in Nigeria, and how does it vary across different demographics and regions?
  2. What are the key factors that contribute to mental toughness or its absence among nursing professionals in Nigeria?
  3. How does the level of mental toughness in nursing professionals correlate with the quality of healthcare they provide, as perceived by patients and peers?

Research Hypotheses

The following research hypotheses are formulated;

H1: There is no significant difference in the level of mental toughness among nursing professionals in Nigeria based on demographic and regional factors.

H2: The factors contributing to mental toughness among nursing professionals in Nigeria have no significant impact on their performance in healthcare.

H3: There is no significant correlation between the level of mental toughness in nursing professionals in Nigeria and the perceived quality of healthcare they provide.

 Significance of the study

The significance of the study on “Mental Toughness in Nursing Professional Training and Practice for Excellent Performance and Sustainable National Development in Nigeria” lies in its potential to impact multiple aspects of the nursing profession, healthcare delivery, and the broader national development in Nigeria. Here are some key points highlighting the significance of the study:

Improving Healthcare Quality: Understanding the role of mental toughness in nursing can lead to the enhancement of healthcare services. It may result in better patient outcomes, improved care quality, and increased patient satisfaction.

Enhancing Job Satisfaction and Retention: By identifying the factors related to mental toughness, the study can contribute to strategies that boost job satisfaction and retention rates among nursing professionals. This is particularly crucial in addressing the shortage of skilled healthcare workers.

Strengthening Resilience: The study can shed light on how mental toughness can help nursing professionals cope with the unique challenges and stressors they face. This can ultimately lead to a more resilient and emotionally stable healthcare workforce.

Supporting National Development: A robust healthcare system is integral to national development. Enhancing the performance of nursing professionals can directly impact public health, which, in turn, contributes to overall national development.

Policy Development: The research findings can inform healthcare policies and guidelines, leading to more effective training programs and supportive policies for nursing professionals in Nigeria.

Educational Improvements: Insights into mental toughness can help shape the curriculum and training methods for nursing professionals, potentially resulting in more competent and resilient graduates.

Research and Academic Contributions: The study may add to the body of knowledge in the field of nursing and mental health. It can serve as a reference for future research, educational materials, and academic discussions.

Economic Impact: A healthier population, stemming from better healthcare, can lead to increased productivity and economic development in the long term.

Global Perspective: The study’s findings may be relevant not only in Nigeria but also in other regions facing similar challenges in healthcare and nursing.

 Scope of the study

The scope of the study covers mental toughness in nursing professional training and practice for excellent performance and sustainable national development. The study will be limited to selected hospital in Delta state

Limitation of the study

Every research study has limitations that need to be acknowledged to maintain transparency and to provide context for the results. Here are some potential limitations of the study on “Mental Toughness in Nursing Professional Training and Practice for Excellent Performance and Sustainable National Development in Nigeria”:

  1. Sample Size and Representation: The study may have limitations in terms of sample size, which could affect its representativeness. If the sample is not sufficiently large and diverse, the findings may not be fully generalizable to the entire population of nursing professionals in Nigeria.
  2. Self-Reported Data: The study may rely on self-reported data from nursing professionals, which could be subject to response bias and social desirability. Participants may not always provide completely accurate or honest responses,
  3. Data Collection Challenges: Collecting data on sensitive topics like mental health and stress can be challenging due to the stigma associated with these issues. Participants may be reluctant to disclose personal information, which could affect the comprehensiveness of the data.
  4. Resource Constraints: Resource limitations, such as time and funding, could restrict the scope of the study, impacting the depth and breadth of the research.

Definition of terms

  1. Mental Toughness: Mental toughness is defined as a psychological construct that refers to an individual’s ability to withstand and thrive in the face of challenges, stressors, and adversities. It encompasses resilience, determination, and the capacity to maintain optimal cognitive and emotional functioning under pressure.
  2. Nursing Professional: A nursing professional in the context of this study refers to an individual who is formally trained and qualified to provide healthcare services, including registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and nursing assistants.
  3. Performance: Performance relates to the effectiveness and efficiency of nursing professionals in delivering healthcare services. It encompasses aspects such as patient care quality, adherence to best practices, communication skills, and the ability to manage workload effectively.
  4. Sustainable National Development: Sustainable national development denotes the long-term improvement of a country’s social, economic, and environmental well-being. It includes factors like economic growth, healthcare access, education, and infrastructure development, all of which contribute to the overall advancement of the nation.
  5. Job Satisfaction: Job satisfaction is the contentment and fulfillment experienced by nursing professionals in their work roles. It reflects their overall attitude towards their job, workplace, and working conditions.
  6. Retention Rates: Retention rates indicate the percentage of nursing professionals who remain employed within the healthcare system over a specified period. High retention rates suggest that nursing professionals are remaining in their positions, while low rates indicate turnover and attrition.
  7. Coping Strategies: Coping strategies are the adaptive mechanisms and techniques that nursing professionals employ to manage and navigate the challenges and stressors they encounter in their healthcare roles.
  8. Training Programs: Training programs refer to formal educational and skill development initiatives designed to enhance the knowledge, skills, and resilience of nursing professionals. These programs may encompass professional development, continuing education, and mental health support.
  9. Healthcare Quality: Healthcare quality refers to the standard of care provided by nursing professionals, including the effectiveness, safety, patient experience, and overall outcomes of healthcare services.


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  •  Mealer, M., Jones, J., & Meek, P. (2012). Factors affecting resilience and development of posttraumatic stress disorder in critical care nurses. American Journal of Critical Care, 21(6), e1-e8.



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