Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Nursing (M.S.N.)

Degree Program

College of Nursing


The purpose of this study was to examine, using King’s Conceptual Framework, “stressful” nursing situations that might affect critical care (CC) and non-critical care (NCC) nurses in an acute health care setting. Similarities that existed between the two groups were evaluated using responses to Gray-Toft and Anderson s Nursing Stress Scale (NSS).

The sample of 131 included registered nurses and licensed practical nurses at a 300-bed acute care tertiary hospital in Northern Michigan representing two critical care areas and three non-critical care areas. The NSS, letter of explanation and waiver, and return envelope were sent to participants’ homes. Data indicate that perceived work stress by CC and NCC nurses was significantly different (p < .05) for the total NSS and the subscales of death and dying, conflict with physicians, workload, and uncertainty concerning treatment. Educational and support programs can be developed to empower staff nurses working in critical care and non-critical care units to effectively cope with the identified work stressors.


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