Date of Graduation

Spring 2016

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing


Nursing RN/BSN Akron

Research Sponsor

Christine Graor, PhD

First Reader

Rebecca Erickson, PhD

Second Reader

Karyn Morgan


Nursing education and professional work involve stressful circumstances that may indirectly lead to attrition, which can further contribute to the projected nursing shortage. This study examines the relationships between motivation, emotional regulation, psychological well-being and academic performance in baccalaureate sophomore and senior level nursing students at a Midwest urban university in the United States. The non-experimental, correlational study is guided by the self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000) and uses online survey data collection and convenience sampling. Motivation, emotional regulation, psychological well-being (burnout; inauthenticity), and academic performance (GPA) are measured respectively with Deci and Ryan’s scale, the Emotion Regulation Questionnaire, and the Burnout and Inauthenticity in the Student Role scale. Pearson correlation analysis was used to determine relationships between types of motivation, emotional regulation, psychological well-being, and academic performance. Findings support that students who were extrinsically motivated were more likely to suppress their emotions, experience feelings of inauthenticity, and have lower GPAs. Furthermore, students who regulated their emotions using expressive suppression were also more likely to experience feelings of inauthenticity and have lower GPAs. Intrinsic motivation was positively associated with cognitive reappraisal; however, neither of these two variables was correlated with burnout, inauthenticity, or GPA. There was no significant relationship between pro-social motivation and burnout, inauthenticity, or GPA.