Work Stress Among Nurses in Ontario

Since the 1980s, a great deal of research has looked at the possible causes and impact of work stress on health. While the links between specific diseases and stress are complex and often unclear, it has long been accepted in the health literature that negative health outcomes and stress are related. Nursing is a particularly stressful occupation and there is an emerging body of literature devoted specifically to the prevalence, sources, impacts of, and responses to organizational work stress among nurses. This discussion paper looks at the Canadian and global research in this area, the workplace context, changes in the occupation of nursing, the role of hospital restructuring on workplace stress, and responses to stress among nurses.

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