Perceptions and practices of nurse educators in recognizing and addressing student nurse stress

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Marker, Jan Robey
Murk, Peter J., 1942-
Issue Date
Thesis (D. Ed.)
Department of Educational Leadership
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Three hundred and eight nurse educators, who teach in NLN Accredited Bachelor of Science in Nursing Programs in the Midwest, were requested to complete a three-page survey concerning their perceptions and practices concerning student stress. The study demonstrated that nurse educators, in this study, were aware of the level of stress among students who were pursuing undergraduate degrees in nursing. The study found that most nurse educators understood that the sources of stress were a combination of the many roles and responsibilities of students. They were aware that most students needed services/interventions to assist them in coping with stress. Most nurse educators thought that they were responsible, to some degree, for intervening to assist students in decreasing their stress level. However, they expressed frustration at their attempts to help students. They indicated that many of the sources of stress were not within faculty control and that there was low participation when services/interventions were offered. Finally, the study found that most nurse educators thought that stress management for nursing students was included in the nursing curriculum. However, very little time was actually spent on stress management in the nursing program. Nurse educators indicated that they relied on other institutional services/interventions to provide stress management skills. However, many nurse educators indicated that they were willing to make changes to assist students. Nurse educators need to reconsider the amount of time that is spent facilitating students in reducing stress and helping them build coping skills that will continue to help them become competent nurses. Given the predicted nursing shortage that is estimated to last until 2020, the low application rate to nursing school, and the graying of America, it would seem prudent that nurse educators assist students who are in nursing programs become successful. The health of our nation may be at stake. The task for nurse educators is to help students recognize the signs of stress, understand the effects that unmanaged stress can produce, and teach the techniques that students can use in coping with stress.