Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Nursing (M.S.N.)

Degree Program

College of Nursing


This study examined possible differences in levels of stress and perceived sources of stress in student nurses attending associate degree programs and baccalaureate degree programs. A combination of Lazarus' theory of cognitive appraisal with Roy's Adaptation Model provided the conceptual framework. One hundred and sixteen students from a public university, two private Christian colleges and two community colleges participated in the study. The Student Stress and Coping Inventory (SSCI) questionnaire was used to measure stressful situations and/or experiences from students beginning the second semester of their first year in the nursing program. Reliability of the questionnaire was established at 0.91. Paired t-tests analysis of perceived levels of stress between the two educational groups of nursing students yielded no difference at the .05 level of significance. Negative correlations were identified between grade point average and being enqrloyed and level of stress. Several implications for nursing education were identified.


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