Nurse managers' work stressors and coping experiences: unravelling the evidence

Sonia A Udod, W Dean Care
Nursing Leadership 2011, 24 (3): 57-72
This pilot study explored (a) front-line nurse managers' stressor experiences and (b) coping strategies used in order to respond to the myriad of challenges and demands of their role. The nurse managers who participated indicated that limited resources, ever-increasing challenges and work expectations contributed to the stressors they experience. Coping responses included support, cognitive, personal and social strategies, but findings indicated managers still lacked the ability to cope effectively. Managers faced considerable job stress and conflicting demands, often caught between focusing on staff relations and organizational productivity. Equipping managers with appropriate preparation and support may make the role of nurse manager more attractive and facilitate succession planning. These findings will assist senior nurse leaders in formulating directives for appropriate structures and processes in advancing a multidimensional approach to support managers. Resolving this issue is critical for creating reasonable and realistic work expectations for nurse managers and for supporting the pivotal role that managers play to achieve organizational outcomes while preserving their personal health and well-being.

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