Stress Resiliency Practices in Neonatal Nurses

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Abstract

Background:

Multiple environmental changes were experienced in a large level III neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) causing a perception of work-related stress leading to high nurse turnover, decreased engagement, and decreased satisfaction.

Purpose:

To identify a preintervention measure of perceived stress resiliency and ranking of interpretive styles in a population of neonatal, bedside registered nurses faced with a change in the physical practice environment.

Methods:

A descriptive, cross-sectional, correlational design was used to measure stress resiliency. The Stress Resiliency Profile (SRP) questionnaire was administered to a convenience sample of 48 neonatal bedside nurses. The SRP identifies 3 distinct interpretive styles as constructs of stress resiliency including deficiency focusing (negative thinking), necessitating (managing forced change), and skill recognition. Statistical analysis was used to describe associations between ages, years of experience, and resiliency.

Results:

Results showed skill recognition to be significantly lower than expected in participants 40 years and older. Also, participants with greater than 5 years of NICU experience revealed low to moderate levels of resiliency.

Implications for Practice:

Although skill is critical in nursing, it may not be the key factor in reducing the perception of work-related stress. Implementation of interventions targeting interpretative styles known to enhance resiliency may promote positive coping and quality change management.

Implications for Research:

Baseline resiliency data are necessary to guide unit leaders to manage future challenges found in evolving NICU nurse practice environments. More research is warranted to determine the generalizability of study results as healthcare organizations strive to implement best practices, control costs, and deliver safe, quality care.

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