Problem solving among nurses as a strategy for coping with the stress of hospital restructuring


  • Paul D Tyson
  • Rana Rongruengphant
  • Bela Aggarwal


Problem solving, Nurses, Job stress


            Problem solving as a strategy for coping with government cutbacks and anticipated staff reductions was examined as a buffer of organizational stress and job satisfaction. A sample of 107 nurses was asked to rate their occupational stress, job satisfaction, and coping strategies. Avoidance and social support were found to be significantly correlated with stress, but neither of these coping strategies appeared to reduce nurses’ level of organizational stress. However, an interaction between problem solving and job satisfaction was found to be highly significant and it added 42% to predicting stress levels. Supporting the stress-buffering hypothesis, nurses with lower intrinsic job satisfaction seemed to benefit from employing problem solving whereas dissatisfied nurses who infrequently use problem solving reported the highest levels of organizational stress. Paradoxically, intrinsically satisfied nurses who most frequently utilize problem solving experienced heightened organizational stress. Protracted problem solving aggravated stress levels among nurses with insufficient information, decisional control, or resources to cope with the anticipated demands of hospital restructuring.