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Job Stress Among Nursing Home Certified Nursing Assistants: Comparison of Empowered and Nonempowered Work Environments

GRUSS, VALERIE MSN, RN, GNP; MCCANN, JUDITH J. DNSc, RN; EDELMAN, PERRY PhD; FARRAN, CAROL J. DNSc, RN, FAAN

FEATURE TOPIC: EDUCATING CAREGIVERS FOR PERSON-CENTERED DEMENTIA CARE
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As the primary caregivers in long-term care (LTC), certified nursing assistants (CNAs) experience high levels of job stress and extraordinary high turnover rates, resulting in a shortage of personnel at a time when we face an increasing demand for LTC workers. The purpose of this study was to examine job stress among dementia care CNAs working in empowered and nonempowered LTC environments and to determine which stressors were associated with the 2 types of environments. Results indicate that CNAs working in empowered environments reported more resident-focused stressors and CNAs working in a nonempowered environment reported more job-focused stressors. These results enhance our understanding of the nature of CNA job stress and may lead to the development of interventions that reduce stress and create culture change with empowering work environments in an attempt to attract and retain employees.

Valerie Gruss, MSN, RN, GNP, is a geriatric nurse practitioner and doctoral student at Rush University, Chicago, Illi-nois. She is a John A. Hartford Nursing Scholar and recipi ent of the “Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity Scholarship.”

Judith J. McCann, DNSc, RN, is affiliated with Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois. She is an associate professor in the College of Nursing and a research scientist with the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging.

Perry Edelman, PhD, is director of dementia research at the Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging where he is responsible for applied dementia research, as well as the development of outcome measures for Whole Person Wellness programs.

Carol J. Farran, DNSc, RN, FAAN, is professor and the Nurses Alumni Association Chair in Health and the Aging Process at Rush University College of Nursing, Chicago, Illinois. Her research has focused on family caregivers of persons with Alzheimer's disease.

Address correspondence to: Valerie Gruss, MSN, RN, GNP, Department of Nursing, Rush University, 600 S Paulina, Chicago, IL 60612. E-mail: vgruss@msn.com.

The cooperation and assistance of staff at Mather Pavilion of Mather LifeWays in Evanston, Ill, is greatly appreciated.

©2004Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.