Stress and eustress in nursing students

School of Nursing and Midwifery, Queens University Belfast, UK.
Journal of Advanced Nursing (Impact Factor: 1.74). 03/2008; 61(3):282-90. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2007.04497.x
Source: PubMed


This paper is a report of a study to identify experiences that led to both distress and eustress and to make recommendations to help students cope with course demands.
Much of the research on stress in nursing students is quantitative in focus and all draws on their experience of distress, with little attempt to understand experiences of eustress.
A series of focus groups were carried out with a volunteer sample of final year nursing students (n = 16) in the United Kingdom in 2007. The data were thematically analysed.
The themes identified were clinical experience, support, learning and teaching experience and course structure. There were experiences within each that were perceived as sources of distress and eustress. Many of the sources of distress concur with earlier findings but they are more likely to be experienced and commented on because the demands of present-day programmes and the profile of many nursing students mean that more effort is invested in meeting educational demands. The experiential learning and patient-care opportunity that placements provided was an important source of eustress.
Students who coped well drew on effective support networks and adopted a positive, optimistic perspective towards programme issues. Effective educators did not offer more time than those perceived as less effective but seemed more effective at tuning into students' concerns, showing more empathy and offering clearer guidance.

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    • "Clinical education and the clinical area can be stressful for students (Cilingir et al., 2011; Chan et al., 2009; Timmins and Kaliszer, 2002; Mahat, 2002). Identified stressors in the clinical setting for students include fear of making mistakes , attitude of clinical team, unfriendly atmosphere , interpersonal relationships, theorypractice gap, lack of teaching and interest in learners, reprimands in front of staff and patients (intimidation), and fear of unknown situations (Cilingir et al. 2011; Pulido-Martos et al., 2011; Chan et al., 2009; Moscaritolo, 2009; Gibbons et al.,2007; Seyedfatemi et al., 2007; Timmins and Kaliszer, 2002; Mahat, 2002). Continuous stress affects both physical and psychological health resulting in negative outcomes (Button, 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: Stress impacts negatively and positively depending on how effectively the individual experiencing the phenomenon is able to cope. The objective of this study was to identify the stressors in clinical practice for nursing students and the coping mechanisms used. Eighty-nine (89) students from the Department of Nursing, KNUST were selected using systematic sampling methods. Respondents completed questionnaires, part of which was the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS). Data was analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). The common stressors identified include “when nurses' instructions are different from what is taught in class” and ‘feeling ignored by clinical nurses’. Fifty-nine percent (59%)of respondents experienced moderate to high levels of stress. Level of stress was found to decrease with increasing age and year of study; and matured students experienced a lower level of stress compared to the generics. Receiving moral support from family, developing cordial relationship with nurses and praying were among the common coping mechanisms identified. Students experienced stress in the clinical area and used coping strategies that were mainly relationship-based. Greater collaboration between educational and clinical institutions, tutorship and supportive supervision are recommended.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015
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    • "Studies also revealed that use of positive coping strategies lessens student stress (Gibbons et al., 2007; Hegge and Larson, 2008). For students social support in the form of family and friends was the primary and most positive coping strategy used for stress reduction (Lindop, 1991; Lo, 2002; Ross et al., 2005; Gibbons et al., 2007). Although faculty were sought for support in matters pertaining clinical experiences and performance (Mahat, 1998), many students preferred to work out their difficulties alone (Gibbons et al., 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Stress is an inevitable part of life and is especially pervasive in the lives of nursing students. Identifying the predictors of stress as well as coping strategies used can allow for the implementation of appropriate coping interventions to assist in the management of stress in nursing students. Mixed methods research that has been undertaken to gain an understanding about student stress, especially juxtaposing generic versus accelerated nursing students could not be identified. Objectives (1) Identify predictors of stress between accelerated and generic Baccalaureate Nursing (BSN) students; and (2) Describe stressors and coping strategies used by accelerated students in comparison with generic students. Design Embedded mixed methods study. Setting Accelerated and generic BSN third- and fourth-year nursing students at two Midwestern universities. Participants 210 participants: accelerated (n = 75) and generic (n = 135). Methods A questionnaire packet, including demographics, history of depression, the Perceived Stress Questionnaire, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, and open-ended questions were administered to students at the end of a class. Simultaneous multiple regression was used to examine predictors of stress. Content analysis was used to analyze qualitative data. Results Predictors of stress for both the accelerated and generic groups included history of depression, year in the program, emotional support, and self-esteem. Fear of failure and clinical incompetence, problematic relationships, and time management issues were identified as major stressors. Coping strategies used by both groups included positive thinking and social support. Conclusions Senior students with a history of depression, low self-esteem, and little social support were more likely to experience high levels of stress. This gives educators the potential to identify at risk students and establish stress reduction programs. Encouraging students to use individualized coping strategies will be beneficial.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · Nurse Education Today
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    • "Student nurses' stress is also related to personal factors such as adaptation to new environment, financial burden and problems related to family matters. Students have to adjust to new surroundings away from home (Brown & Edelmann 2000; Deary et al. 2003; Pryjmachuk & Richards 2007), new learning environments , which highlights the difference between what is taught in the university setting and what is practiced in the clinical environment (Jones & Johnston 1997; Evans & Kelly 2004; Gibbons et al. 2008) and adapting to new student roles (Brown & Edelmann 2000; Deary et al. 2003; Pryjmachuk & Richards 2007; Gibbons et al. 2008). Nursing students stress is further compounded by their financial burden as the majority of student nurses have to work to support their study (Brown & Edelmann 2000). "

    Full-text · Article · Jun 2011
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