Perceived Sources of Academic Stress in the Nursing Program

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Iana Denise Fontanilla, BSN
School of Nursing, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI, USA

University students in health disciplines face many different sources of stress and challenges during their experience in their individual programs. However, previous studies have shown that baccalaureate nursing students experience higher levels of stress as well as higher levels of physiological and psychological symptoms than students in other disciplines. A baccalaureate nursing degree is a time consuming and stressful major that requires many hours of studying, clinical work, and other various assignments. The workload for both classes and clinical can often be extensive, and at times, may seem almost impossible to accomplish in real time. This frequently leaves students feeling extremely stressed and anxious.

A survey was conducted to identify the main sources of stress for senior nursing students (n=47) in a baccalaureate nursing program. Data was collected by means of a survey questionnaire using SurveyMonkey. The goal of this study was to determine what the biggest sources of stress are in the nursing program and identify what factors in the students’ lives may affect academic achievement and self-efficacy. The purpose of this study is to identify the most prevalent sources of stress among students who are completing their last year in a nursing program at Western Michigan University.

In order to create interventions to improve student performance and self-efficacy in the nursing program, both the professors and students in the program must understand the most significant stressors that can negatively impact the overall performance of the nursing students. Results from the study shows how factors such as employment, academic status, sleep, self-efficacy, and support systems can affect stress levels. Results also identify what the students perceive as their top sources of stress in the nursing program. By providing this information, educators can use this data in order to establish interventions to reduce those specific stressors and improve academic achievement. Future students may also use this information in order to better understand what may impact their overall performance and come up with strategies ahead of time to overcome these obstacles.