Nurses and stress: recognizing causes and seeking solutions
Article first published online: 23 MAY 2013
© 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Journal of Nursing Management
Special Issue: This issue: International perspectives on retention, stress, burnout and new ways of improving Practice Issue editors: Kristiina Hyrkas and Jennifer L. Morton
Volume 21, Issue 4, pages 638–647, May 2013
How to Cite
2013) Journal of Nursing Management 21, 638–647 Nurses and stress: recognizing causes and seeking solutions, , , , , & . (
- Issue published online: 23 MAY 2013
- Article first published online: 23 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 4 OCT 2012
- occupational support;
To identify, from the perspectives of nurses, occupational stressors and ways in which they may be reduced.
Nurses commonly experience high levels of occupational stress, with negative consequences for their physical and psychological health, health-care organisations and community. There is minimal research on reducing occupational stress.
Six focus groups were conducted with 38 registered nurses using a qualitative exploratory approach. Participants were asked to identify sources of occupational stress and possible workplace initiatives to reduce stress.
Sources of occupational stress were: high workloads, unavailability of doctors, unsupportive management, human resource issues, interpersonal issues, patients’ relatives, shift work, car parking, handover procedures, no common area for nurses, not progressing at work and patient mental health. Suggestions for reduction included: workload modification, non-ward-based initiatives, changing shift hours, forwarding suggestions for change, music, special events, organisational development, ensuring nurses get breaks, massage therapists, acknowledgement from management and leadership within wards.
The findings highlight the need to understand local perspectives and the importance of involving nurses in identifying initiatives to reduce occupational stress.
Implications for nursing management
Health-care environments can be enhanced through local understanding of the occupational stressors and productively engaging nurses in developing stress reduction initiatives. Nurse managers must facilitate such processes.