• student;
  • nurse;
  • stress;
  • education;
  • coping;
  • Project 2000;
  • Registered Nurse;
  • Diploma;
  • Certificate

A comparative study of stress between pre- and post-Project 2000 students¶This paper reports upon a comparative study in an English health authority of stress experiences between 146 current Diploma in Nursing (Project 2000) Adult Branch students and a prior study of a sample of 146 students who undertook a Certificate course leading to Registered General Nurse (RGN) in 1988. Both groups were administered the same questionnaire. The number of stressors common to both groups were two in education and nine in the clinical environment. Three prominent feelings of stress were expressed by both groups along with two methods of coping with stress. A constellation of 11 personality type characteristics labelled `determination', which enabled students to sustain themselves, was identified. Three characteristics of `determination', plus a feeling of uselessness and inability to contribute to the nursing team effort, and the intense amount of academic work were statistically significantly higher for Diploma students. Six prominent clinical stressors were experienced more intensely by third-year Diploma students than first- or second-year students. Stress was found to increase with the level of training. This finding replicated the picture found among 324 students in 1988. Differences in stress experiences for different age groups were not statistically significant with the exception of physical hard work. A number of stressors experienced by students in 1988 were also experienced by students in 1997.