Stress within nursing was first officially recognised as a problem in the UK Lancet Report on Nursing in 1932. Since then many initiatives have been undertaken to reduce nurse’s stress, though with limited success. Reflecting this wider professional problem, it has been found that student nurses have higher levels of stress whilst on clinical placement compared to students in other health related disciplines.
Whilst there have been many studies of student nurse stress, few have incorporated a cross-country comparative analysis. The SSTeMM project facilitated such an analysis between student nurses in Ireland, Spain and Slovenia using the SSTeMM self-assessment questionnaire that can be found on the SSTeMM website (see link below)
A total of 802 student nurses answered the anonymised survey (which consists of 84 items) and their answers were analysed by the SSTeMM team. Results showed that there were national differences in the experience of stress in relation potential to feel stressed, occurrence of stress inducing events and the provision of resources to help students feel less stressed. A significant finding overall, was that the earlier a student nurse was in their training trajectory the more stressed they felt. This is an important finding in relation to student nurse retention and suggests that supports should be designed with reference to the cycle of training rather than provided in a blanket manner.