Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2016

Project Advisor(s)

Blair T. Johnson; Denise Panosky; Lynne Goodstein

University Scholar Major



Health Psychology | Industrial and Organizational Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Due to the nature of their work, nurses often face unique occupational stressors and health outcomes. It is important to understand the source of this occupational stress and its affect on health, so that improvements can be made. This study sought to examine occupational stress and health outcomes for both correctional and non-correctional nurses across the continental United States. A survey regarding occupational stressors, community characteristics, individual beliefs, and health outcomes was completed by the nurses (N=459). Predictors including demographic factors, work related stressors, community/network factors, individual beliefs, and health conditions were investigated using linear and Poisson regression analyses. Home/work conflict, work satisfaction, work environment, and length of shift were all significant predictors of occupational stress. In addition, correctional nurses (vs. non-correctional nurses) suffer more health conditions. Furthermore, nurses living in communities with less community services, those who are taking antidepressants, and those with a high BMI report managing more health conditions as well. Although there are limitations to the current study, its results provide a foundational understanding regarding nurses’ occupational stress and its deleterious effects on health.