The nursing profession is characterized by high levels of work stress and serious associated health problems. The aim of the present study was to explore the strategies nurses employ before, during and after work to cope with every day work stress. The literature review indicated that nurses use mechanisms which at the beginning of shift work as preparation mechanisms, during work as stress controllers and after the end of it as an opportunity for nursing staff’s emotional recovery. In terms of effectiveness, the use of stress coping mechanisms not only reduces job burnout but also increases nurses’ job satisfaction and wellbeing. However, evidence show that their duration is short and their effectiveness may be limited. Changes mainly in organizational level are required to create a more positive working environment and advocate for nurses’ good level of health and wellbeing.
Keywords: Coping strategies, stress, nursing staff, work shift