Baby boomer nurses bearing the burden of care: A four-site study of stress, strain, and coping for inpatient registered nurses.

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OBJECTIVE: Because today's nursing workforce faces a multitude of stressors, the objective of this study was to describe stress, strain, and coping across institution types for inpatient registered nurses (n = 694), and to identify the influence of age on these findings.

METHODS: This study, using a multi-site, mixed methods approach, provides data to support more focused interventions that address the challenges of specific types of stressors and age cohort needs.

RESULTS: The worst scores for sub-scales addressing stress and strain for this sample of inpatient nurses were problems associated with physical environment and responsibility. Consistency was found across the four institutions for the sub scale of responsibility. Baby Boomer nurses (born between 1946 and 1964) had significantly worse scores than other age cohorts, specifically with the stress and strain sub-scales of role overload, role insufficiency, role ambiguity, role boundary, and interpersonal strain.

CONCLUSION: The authors outline specific ways to support registered nurses by using staffing metrics that factor in unit activity as well as supporting the Baby Boomer nurse, both physically and psychosocially.

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The Journal of nursing administration





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MeSH Keywords

Adaptation, Psychological; Adult; Age Distribution; Age Factors; Aged; Attitude of Health Personnel; Burnout, Professional; Conflict (Psychology); Focus Groups; Health Facility Environment; Humans; Interpersonal Relations; Job Satisfaction; Middle Aged; Midwestern United States; Nurse's Role; Nursing Methodology Research; Nursing Staff, Hospital; Social Support; Surveys and Questionnaires; Workload


Baby Boomers; RNs; Registered Nurses

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