Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Nursing (M.S.N.)

Degree Program

College of Nursing


Lazarus' Stress and Coping Theory was used to examine the relationship between hardiness, social support, and nurses’ appraisal of stress as a threat or challenge. This descriptive correlational design used a convenience sample of 40 registered nurses on orientation at a large West Michigan hospital.

Hardiness and social support were dichotomized by splitting them at the median. The proportion of the sample viewing orientation as a challenge versus threat was not significantly different regardless of their hardiness or social support status. The results were limited by lack of variation in stress appraisal (77% challenge) and hardiness levels, sample size, and limited sensitivity of measures. Additional significant findings indicated that (a) younger nurses viewed change as a challenge more frequently than older nurses and (b) more experienced nurses had a higher perceived satisfaction with social support than new nurse graduates. Implications for nursing are discussed.


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