Job stress in new nurses during the transition period: an integrative review

L. J. Labrague*, D. M. McEnroe-Petitte

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: This review appraised and synthesized evidence relating to new nurses' stress experiences during the transition period. Background: Although stress among nursing professionals has been a subject of several systematic reviews in the recent years, there is still scarcity of systematic evidence examining job stress in new nurses. Methods: This is an integrative review of original studies conducted from 2002 onwards examining new nurses' stress experiences. Five databases were used to retrieve relevant articles such as CINAHL, SCOPUS, PubMed, PsycINFO and MEDLINE. Twenty-one articles were included in this review. Findings: New nurses perceived low to moderate levels of stress mainly from heavy workloads and lack of professional nursing competence. Individual and organizational factors that might contribute to their stress experiences were rarely explored. Conclusion: This integrative review evaluated and synthesized available evidence examining stress in new nurses and contributed to the literature regarding stress in nursing professionals. The findings of this review may offer specific information to nurse administrators that can relate to the stress encountered by new nurses who enter into healthcare facilities. Implications for Nursing and Health Policy: Findings of this review may provide valuable input to assist nurse administrators in developing and implementing organizational measures to reduce stress in new nurses while maximizing and facilitating their integration into the nursing workforce. Such measures may include the following: establishment of a well-structured transition programme, provision of an adequate orientation and senior staff mentorship, stress management programmes, in-service educational programmes and exposure to clinical simulation scenarios.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-504
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Nursing Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


  • heavy workloads
  • job stress
  • new nurse
  • novice nurse
  • nurse
  • nursing competence
  • psychological adaptation
  • psychological stress
  • transition period

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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