Managing Role Stress as a nurse

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14 April 2016

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Role Stress is the number one reason nurses leave the nursing field (Chang, Hancock, Johnson, Daly, & Jackson, 2005). Role Stress happens when you find yourself experiencing things that you did not expect to happen to you as a nurse. It is the difference your perception of a role versus the reality of your role. You might first experience this as a new grad Nurse without confidence, facing unrealistic expectations, and value conflicts. You could also experience Role Stress due to a lack of job control, high demands, and work overload. We are now being faced with shorter and shorter hospital stays equaling more work to be done in less time. (Blais & Hayes, 2011, pg. 27 )

A nurse experiencing Role Stress might end up with Role Strain. “An emotional reaction accompanied by psychological responses, such as anxiety, tension, irritation, resentment, depression, and job dissatisfaction” (Blais & Hayes 2011, pg. 27). A stressor that one might experience as a substitute school nurse is the lack of consistency on policy from one school to another. A good way to manage the stress caused by the inconsistency is to research school nurse policies in the state you are in, and work under those regulations. Also, voicing your concerns to those involved can help if done politely.

This was shown to be effective, thus eliminating stress. In another example; one may not realize the emotional stress of a job. Death in the ED can take a toll on both staff and family. It can produce feelings of guilt, anger, failure. One might become numb and develop emotional defenses to cope with the way they feel. To help with this special education or training can be given to the nurse, which can help improve wellness and performance (http://emedicine.

In every different nursing environment we will eventually run into stressors, that can cause role strain. There are fortunately some strategies that can help manage stress. A plan of care to manage stress might be helpful to all working in the health care field. The following interventions might help reduce stress: Learn how to identify problems and solve them, have good time management skills, delegate well, and learn to not procrastinate. It is also helpful to not assume too many roles, to arrive early, and prepare ahead of time to eliminate any work overload stress.

(Blais & Hayes, 2011, pg. 29). A short term goal could be to arrive early to work everyday which in return could prevent some additional stress.. A long term goal would be the reduction of stress through applying the above strategies, as well as doing something healthy for yourself, such as a walk, exercise, alone time, or perhaps a good book. Using community resources and help available through specialist and friends can also be beneficial. In summary, it is first necessary to take care of yourself, then you will be in a position to apply the many other helpful techniques enabling you to care for others.

Blais, K.K. & Hayes, J.S. (2011). Professional Nursing Practice: Concepts and Perspectives (6th ed). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, Inc. Chang, E.J., Hancock, K.M., Johnson, A., Daly, J., & Jackson, D. (2005). Role stress in nurses: Review of related factors and strategies for moving forward. Nursing and Health Sciences, 7, 57-65.

Medscape. (2009). Grief Support in the ED. Retrieved September 4, 2013, from http://emedicine,

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"Managing Role Stress as a nurse" StudyScroll, 14 April 2016,

StudyScroll. (2016). Managing Role Stress as a nurse [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 5 December, 2023]

"Managing Role Stress as a nurse" StudyScroll, Apr 14, 2016. Accessed Dec 5, 2023.

"Managing Role Stress as a nurse" StudyScroll, Apr 14, 2016.

"Managing Role Stress as a nurse" StudyScroll, 14-Apr-2016. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 5-Dec-2023]

StudyScroll. (2016). Managing Role Stress as a nurse. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 5-Dec-2023]

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