The study on “A sense of belonging and perceived stress among baccalaureate nursing students in clinical placements” goal was to find out how the sense of belonging in nursing students relates to their perceived stress levels during placements. The driving concern behind it was that studies concerning nursing and belongingness and nursing and perceived stress had occurred before. However, no studies could relate the two factors and how they influenced an individual as a nurse. Belongingness is considered a mental health concept as it is an umbrella of all that an individual considers as acceptance, feeling needed, and fitting in a specific community. The better one feels they belong, the healthier, happier, confident, and better life experience they have. It is more like a positive fuel of life. The reverse is true. On the other hand, perceived stress denotes the thoughts an individual has in relation to the degree of stress they are going through at a point in time. That is, the amount of stress depending on what they currently face in life. Many stressors like patients, smells, work, individuals, and more present themselves to an individual during placement. Similarly, various factors that contribute to or diminish the feeling of belongingness are there. The study’s simple idea is how the two relate to an individual when they get to placements where conditions that support both variables exist.
The study measuring the relationship between perceived stress and belongingness among baccalaureate nursing students got done through an online SurveyMonkey questionnaire. It involved a population of 30000 nursing students from the National Students Nurses Association (NSNA). The nursing students were from 50 states in the U.S, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Gam, and the U.S Virgin Islands. The survey was strict on confidentiality as researchers did not use names and personal identification info. Inclusion Criteria was current enrolment in a nursing program, completion of at least one clinical experience, and they had to be over 18 years of age. To measure the variables used, the researchers utilized a multidimensional study called BES–CPE to measure belongingness, and the PSS-10 to measure the degree of perceived stress in the past month. Both scales involved self-reporting and a Likert scale to measure the degree of belongingness and perceived stress for the BES-CPE and PSS-10 consecutively. A demographics study was also conducted through a ten-question questionnaire based on eight characteristics of the nursing students.
Out of the sample, 1296 of the 1590 responses to the survey were valid as they fitted the proper criteria. Concerning this group, the greater percentage were Caucasian while the other 54% had more than one ethnic background. Age averaged at 26.3 years. Most students were full-time, and more than half the group had experienced employment. From this group, the researchers also found that an inverse relationship between the two variables existed, while they had no relationship with the respondents’ demographic information. Although all the students who participated in the survey reported that a sense of belonging was important to them, this was not influenced by things like race, where they came from and other demographics. However, further, observation showed that perceived stress and belongingness showed a negative correlational. For instance, when a point of the BSE-CPE increased, there was a decrease of 0.42 of a point in the PSS. That was a promising finding. It showed a possibility of the two variables influencing one another if tested on a smaller population over a long time than the period of one month used in this research.
Grobecker, P. A. (2016). A sense of belonging and perceived stress among baccalaureate nursing students in clinical placements. Nurse Education Today, 36, 178-183. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2015.09.015
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