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A review of the literature regarding stress among nursing students during their clinical education

Authors

  • A. Alzayyat RN, BSC, MSC,

    Teaching Assistant, Corresponding author
    1. Faculty of Nursing, Department of Community Health Nursing, The University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan
    • Correspondence address: Mr Abdulkarim Alzayyat, Faculty of Nursing, Department of Community Health Nursing, The University of Jordan, Amman 11942, Jordan; Tel: (962 6) 5355000; Fax: (962 6) 5300244; E-mail: a.alzayyat@gmail.com.

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  • E. Al-Gamal RN, BSC, MSC, PhD

    Associate Professor, Psychiatric & Mental Health Nursing
    1. Faculty of Nursing, Department of Community Health Nursing, The University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan
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  • Conflict of interest: No conflict of interest has been declared by the authors.
  • Ethical approval was obtained from the Research Ethics Committee at the Faculty of Nursing, The University of Jordan, on 12 December 2012 (Reference number: 8).

Abstract

Background

There has been increased attention in the literature about stress among nursing students. It has been evident that clinical education is the most stressful experience for nursing students.

Aim

The aim of this paper was to critically review studies related to degrees of stress and the type of stressors that can be found among undergraduate nursing students during their clinical education.

Methods

The search strategy involved the utilization of the following databases: MEDLINE (Medical Literature on-Line), CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature), PsycINFO (Psychology Information) and PubMed. Keywords were stress, undergraduate nursing students, clinical practice. The review included those studies published between 2002 and 2013, conducted in any country as long as reported in English, and including a focus on the clinical practice experience of nursing students. Thirteen studies met the eligibility criteria.

Results

Four themes were identified: initial clinical experience, comparison between different academic years, cross-cultural comparison, and eustress aspects of clinical experience.

Implications for nursing and health policy

This review expands current knowledge in the area of stress in clinical settings and calls for further research. Nursing teachers should utilize the findings of this review to direct their students during clinical practice. Moreover, hospital administrators need to promote policies to promote a training environment where students are supported and inspired.

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