The rigor of a DNP program requires that each learner maintain personally developed strategies that can be used to minimize stress to maintain a healthy balance. One important area to consider is self-care. Discuss ways you will recognize signs of imbalance or anxiety as a DNP learner. Explain what self-care routines or activities you can use in these instances to help you better achieve balance. (This response does not require research support.)

In response to your peers, discuss what strategies they are using that could work for you or provide suggestions to peers for self-care.

How to Answer DNP Topic 1 DQ 2 Question

When answering a prompt like this, it’s crucial to focus on your personal experiences, preferences, and potential strategies you find effective for maintaining balance and managing stress. Here’s a structured approach:

1. Introduction

  • Briefly acknowledge the importance of maintaining balance and managing stress in a rigorous DNP program.

2. Self-Recognition of Imbalance

  • Discuss how you plan to be self-aware and recognize signs of imbalance or anxiety. This could include:
    • Regular reflection on your emotional and mental state.
    • Paying attention to physical cues like lack of sleep, changes in appetite, or irritability.
    • Seeking feedback from peers or mentors about your performance and demeanor.

3. Self-Care Routines or Activities

  • Outline specific self-care routines or activities that you find personally beneficial. These could include:
    • Regular exercise to release stress and boost mood.
    • Mindfulness or meditation practices to promote mental well-being.
    • Setting aside time for hobbies or activities you enjoy.
    • Adequate sleep and a balanced diet to support overall health.
    • Establishing boundaries to manage workload and avoid burnout.

4. Peer Strategies

  • Discuss any insights you’ve gained from your peers regarding their self-care strategies. This could involve:
    • Participation in group activities or study sessions.
    • Learning about different approaches to stress management.
    • Seeking advice from peers who have successfully navigated similar challenges.

5. Suggestions for Peers

  • Offer constructive suggestions to your peers for effective self-care, based on your experiences or insights. This could include:
    • Recommending mindfulness apps or techniques.
    • Encouraging regular breaks during study sessions.
    • Emphasizing the importance of seeking support from mentors or mental health professionals.
    • Sharing your positive experiences with particular self-care practices.

6. Conclusion

  • Summarize your commitment to prioritizing self-care and maintaining balance throughout your DNP program.

Remember, the key is to be genuine and specific about your own approaches while also being open to learning from others and contributing to a supportive peer community.


DNP-801A Topic 1 DQ 2 Sample Answer

Having spent almost 17 years working in a bustling Emergency Department with 75 treatment rooms, split flow, and an ED-based observation unit, managing the evaluation and treatment of patients, alongside being a caregiver to two family members, stress became synonymous with my middle name. Chronic exposure to environmental stressors, as noted by Kravits et al. (2010), can lead to emotional exhaustion and burnout, highlighting the importance of effective coping resources.

Throughout my extensive career and personal life, I’ve implemented diverse coping strategies to ward off emotional exhaustion and burnout. Engaging in meditation through guided imagery, soothing music, or focused breathing has proven highly effective for stress relief. This practice allows me to alleviate stress and instigate personal changes that contribute to a less reactive response to future stressors. Whether it’s a quick 5-minute mini-meditation or a more extended 20-minute session, the flexibility caters to my schedule and the urgency to manage stress and anxiety. Listening to chakra-guided meditations on YouTube before bedtime has significantly enhanced the quality of my sleep and alleviated anxiety.

Anticipating the rigorous and stressful nature of the DNP program, especially while juggling full-time work and family responsibilities, discipline emerges as a key factor for success. Scheduling and committing dedicated time for writing will be imperative. Considering the four-year gap since my last online graduate program and research paper, leveraging resources like the GCU writing center becomes crucial. Seeking support from such platforms will not only enhance my writing skills but also reintroduce me to the intricacies of the APA writing style, ensuring a smoother journey through the demanding DNP program.


Kravits, K., McAllister-Black, R., Grant, M., & Kirk, C. (2010). Self-care strategies for nurses: A psycho-educational intervention for stress reduction and prevention of burnout. Applied

Nursing Research, 23(3), 130–138.

Response to student post:

Hello Regina,

I can completely relate to the struggle of spending a significant amount of time in front of the computer, grappling with thoughts and then trying to align them with the APA format. Writing, as crucial as it is for graduate student success, often poses a challenge for many entering graduate school, hampered by difficulties in expressing thoughts effectively (Alter & Adkins, 2001). I, too, am planning to tap into the resources of the writing center and seek assistance from writing tutors to ease the burden of writing stress.

Given the duration of the program, the curriculum demands, and the evidence-based project, it becomes paramount to employ stress mitigation resources and adopt healthy coping strategies while navigating the DNP program. Several evidence-based techniques for healthy stress management include regular physical exercise, quality time with loved ones, mindfulness meditation, seeking advice from healthcare professionals, and engaging in hobbies (Foley & Lanzillotta-Rangeley, 2021). Glancing at your list, it’s evident that you’re already well on track. I particularly appreciate the notion of using a calendar or daily planner to optimize time usage and plan daily goals. Inspired by your approach, I’ve procured a 16-month weekly planner, hoping it will aid me in staying on top of assignments and daily activities.


Alter, C., & Adkins, C. (2001). Improving the Writing Skills of Social Work Students. Journal of

Social Work Education, 37(3), 493–505.

Foley, T., & Lanzillotta-Rangeley, J. (2021). Stress Reduction Through Mindfulness Meditation in Student Registered Nurse Anesthetists. AANA Journal, 89(4), 284–289. PMID: 34342565.

Hello Diane and Yee,

As healthcare professionals, we sometimes perceive self-care or self-pampering as a selfish act. However, maintaining self-care as a nurse is an ongoing necessity. For nurses, self-care extends beyond the physical and includes attending to one’s mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. According to the American Nurses Association (ANA) (n.d.), a healthy nurse actively focuses on balancing physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, personal, and professional well-being. The ability of nurses to demonstrate compassion and empathy is rejuvenated through regular self-care practices.

Incorporating creative expression and activities into our lives can be instrumental in supporting overall well-being. According to Leckey (2011), creative activities have therapeutic effects that contribute to mental well-being. These activities not only promote relaxation but also serve as a means of self-expression. Additionally, they have been linked to reducing blood pressure, boosting the immune system, and alleviating stress (Leckey, 2011). Engaging in artistic pursuits such as poetry, music, painting, storytelling, theater, and dance provides individuals with a powerful outlet to express and process their emotions.


American Nurses Association (n.d.). Healthy nurse. Retrieved from

Leckey J. (2011). The therapeutic effectiveness of creative activities on mental well-being: a systematic review of the literature. Journal of psychiatric and mental health nursing, 18(6), 501–