Stress among nurses is well documented, and in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has reached record highs.


Under normal conditions, nurse managers and frontline nurses face stressors that come with the territory of their profession, but the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly added to their burden. Nurse managers are being called not only to help their organizations manage the crisis operationally, but also to help the nurses they supervise mentally, emotionally, and even ethically.


This article provides recommendations for how nurse managers can use the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses Healthy Work Environment standards and make the experience of stress more productive.


Stress comes with the territory in nursing, but nurses can work together to make stress their ally and not their enemy. The real enemies are COVID-19, burnout, and the aftermath of uncontrolled stress. When nurses keep stress in perspective and focus on what they can control, they contribute to developing healthier work environments.

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