Nursing is a notoriously high-stress occupation - emotionally taxing and physically draining, with a high incidence of burnout. In addition to the damaging effects of stress on nurses'health and well being, stress is also a major contributor to attrition and widespread shortages in the nursing profession. Although there exist promising in-person interventions for addressing problems of stress among nurses, the experience of our group across multiple projects in hospitals has indicated that the schedules and workloads of nurses can pose problems for implementing in-person interventions, and that web-based interventions might be ideally suited to addressing the high levels of stress among nurses. In recent years, Internet-based stress management programs have been developed and tested in the workplace, and the evidence from several studies, including a recent study conducted by our organization in a hospital setting, has indicated that a web-based stress management programs can be an efficacious intervention for reducing stress among nurses. The overall goal of this Fast-Track project is to develop and test a web-based stress management program for nurses, supported by a specialized web application and accompanied by a web-based nurse manager's guide directed mainly at improvements in the work environment. In Phase I, prototypes of a nurses stress management program and a nurse managers'guide will be developed and a feasibility test will conducted on the nurses stress management prototype. In Phase II, the web-based stress management program for nurses and the nurse managers'guide will be fully developed, and the nurses stress management program will be tested in a randomized controlled trial with 300 nurses at Mt. Sinai Hospital. Mt. Sinai has enthusiastically agreed to serve as the site for both phases of the project. The final program will be marketed to hospitals through concentrated efforts by ISA's Center for Workforce Health.
The notoriously high stress of the nursing occupation damages the health and well-being of nurses and contributes to attrition and nursing shortages in hospitals throughout the U.S. Although there exist promising in- person interventions for addressing problems of stress among nurses, the schedules and workloads of nurses can pose problems for implementing in-person interventions. The experience of our group indicates that web- based interventions might be ideally suited to addressing the high levels of stress among nurses. The outcome of this Fast Track project will be the development and test of an innovative, web-based stress management program for nurses, along with a guide to assist nurse managers in reducing stressors in the hospital environment. The effective development and test of these programs could provide a mechanism for broad dissemination of an efficacious and cost-effective stress management program for nurses in hospitals throughout the U.S., potentially resulting in significant reductions in nurses'stress, burnout and attrition.