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The Empathy Enigma: Does It Still Exist? Comparison of Empathy Using Students and Standardized Actors

Ward, Julia PhD, RN

doi: 10.1097/NNE.0000000000000236
Feature Articles

Empathy is at the heart of all nurse-patient interactions. Yet empathy often declines during students’ nursing education. Nurse educators are challenged to find ways to offset this decline. A mixed-methods research design was used to assess whether an educational intervention using standardized actors influenced nursing student empathy. The results suggest that the educational intervention holds potential for improving empathy in nursing students.

Author Affiliation: Associate Professor, Jefferson College of Nursing, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The author declares no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Dr Ward, 901 Walnut St, Ste 807, Philadelphia, PA 19107 (

Accepted for publication: November 21, 2015

Published ahead of print: January 16, 2016

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