Date of Award

Spring 1979

Degree Type

Master's Essay - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




The purpose of this study was to determine which factors care nurses identify as stressful in their work environments and which aspects of the environment are more stressful than others. Data were obtained through the use of a check-list type questionnaire which required the individual subject to respond to eighty-four items by rating each item as extremely stressful, moderately stressful, minimally stressful, not stressful, or not applicable. Each item was pre-classified into one of five broad categories: A-The Patient and His Care; B-Personnel; C-Environment; D-Families; and E-Other. The sample consisted of 182 registered nurses working full-time in critical care units. Of the eighty-four items on the questionnaire none were identified as extremely stressful by the nurses surveyed. Twenty-six items were identified as moderately stressful and eight of these items (31%) were physician related. A rating of minimally stressful was given to fifty-two items and six items were identified as not stressful. There were items listed as moderately stressful in all categories except Category C-Environment. While no items were extremely stressful, only six items were found to be not stressful, indicating therefore that there were many factors in the work environment that the nurse identified as either moderately or minimally stressful.