Stress among nursing students in their clinical placement in Karachi

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MScN)


School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan


Stress is an important phenomenon because it may affect students' learning and productivity. This analytical descriptive cross-sectional study aimed to measure the prevalence of stress among second year nursing students in their clinical placement, the most and least stressful clinical placements as perceived by the students, and also the coping strategies they used to cope with stress. The study also aimed to explore the association of stress with factors of stress as well as the participants' socio-demographic variables. The sample size consisted of 374 students from 12 schools of nursing in Karachi. The data collected through Cohen's Students' Stress and Coping Inventory, was analyzed by using descriptive and inferential statistics. The results showed that 44% of the students experience stress during their clinical learning. The study results also indicated that for many students Critical Care and Surgical Units are the most stressful place to work; however, some students perceived otherwise. No student viewed the Pediatric Unit as the least stressful, but rather identified it as the most stressful place. The significant factors of stress in this study included: physical status and condition of the client, interaction with staff nurses, insufficient time to do things, being in emergency situations, being in a new environment, exposure to contagious diseases, and possibility of making an error. The results also revealed that students use more emotion-focused coping strategies than problem-focused coping strategies to overcome stress. It was found that some students were using negative ways of coping, such as smoking, drinking alcohol, and using tranquillizers. This study has implications for the nursing faculty, the administrators of schools of nursing, and the Pakistan Nursing Council. It is suggested that nursing faculty should develop an in-depth understanding of the students' cues of stress, so that any untoward consequences may be prevented through timely identification of students undergoing extreme stress.

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