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To explore the phenomenon of stress as perceived by nurse practitioner (NP)students enrolled in a master of science in nursing program.The study utilized a qualitative approach for data collection and analysis consistent with grounded theory methodology. We recruited 12 students,4 men and 8 women, during their final year of a university-based NP program. Data were collected through individual interviews and a demographic questionnaire.Students reported stress levels ranging from moderate to highest ever in their lives. Although reasons given for becoming an NP included increased autonomy and increased ability, high-level stress was attributed to high demands and to independent teaching-learning techniques in the NP courses. Participants also expressed concerns about time management and financial obligations.Knowledge of NP students 'perceptions regarding personal stress can provide insight useful for developing approaches to foster optimum learning.Practicing stress reduction techniques with students would not only facilitate their own stress reduction but would also reinforce their ability to assist clients with this need.