Background of the review: Stress is a prevalent aspect in daily life and is directly attributed to people in the nursing profession. As this concern is gaining attention as an important area of research and literature especially in the area of nursing education in India, a comprehensive review regarding stress and its coping strategies used by the nursing students is needed.
Aim: (a) to identify the level of stress, its sources, and (b) to explore coping methods used by student nurses during nursing education.
Methods: The narrative conceptual synthesis method was used to review quantitative studies reporting sources of stress in nursing students and their coping mechanisms. The search also was limited to studies conducted between 2010 and 2020 (10 years). The keywords include ‘‘stress’’, ‘‘coping strategy’’, ‘‘nursing students’’ and ‘‘clinical practice’’ in various combinations. Finally, 33 studies were identified, of which, 12 met the set criteria.
Results: Low to moderate level of stress was reported in all the studies and high/severe stress was comparatively low. All of the studies reported the significant stressors as Academic Stressors, Time balance Stressors, Interpersonal Stressors, Intrapersonal Stressors, Family Stressors, and Environmental Stressors. Majority studies reported the use of problem solving strategies, positive thinking/reappraisal of the problem/stressor and seeking relaxation strategies deal with stress. Other general coping strategies were of a mixture which included seeking alternative rewards, seeking social support, talking with friends or spiritual leaders or parents, living close to someone who cares, crying, ignoring the stress, day dreaming, referring to the past similar experiences/stressors to make solution, decision making, eating/dining and time management.
Conclusion: During nursing education, students face moderate to high levels of stress from multiple stressors (caring for patients, duties and workloads, unpleasant experiences with staff and faculty, loss of professional ability, and taking exams). Nurse educators may consider the use of formulation and implementation of empirically tested interventions to reduce stress while enhancing coping skills.