This paper reports an exploratory study examining the relationship between emotional competency and work stress, and the association between the length of time in mental health nursing and emotional competency and stress. A significant relationship was found between emotional competency and years of experience. Nurses with six years and more experience had higher levels of emotional competency. This relationship was stronger for female than male nurses. Nurses with less than two years in the nursing profession were found to experience significantly more personal self-doubt than nurses with greater nursing experience.